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Race Report: North Carolina Hare Scramble

Rider: Paul Whibley

Team : AmPro Yamaha

Bike: Yamaha YZ 125

Result: 2nd

I had a poor pick for a start position but managed to get around turn

one in the top 5 and entered the woods in 3rd behind Jason Thomas .

The track was dusty in the open and hard pack slick in the woods with

some loose rock. It wasn’t long before Jason and I both passed the

leader and set off on our own battle for the win. Jason led the early

laps but I again, put pressure on after he stopped for gas. He tangled

with a lapper the lap after his fuel stop and handed the lead over to

me. I gassed a lap later and only just got out in front of Jason. We

pushed hard for the remaining laps.

I was on the 125 and he was on his 300 so was putting some heat on

me on the hill climbs and faster straights. Late in the race he took a

questionable line and took the lead and held it to take the win.

Overall it was a good day on the bike and some good racing and

finished with only a few seconds between us.

--------------------------

Race Report: GNCC Rnd 10 Unadilla, USA.

Rider: Paul Whibley

Team : AmPro Yamaha  -- Bike: Yamaha YZ 125  -  Result: 2nd

It’s good to be back in the States sitting on the start line hearing the 10

second call again. First time on a bike since the last race in NZ!

I had a good start, was running top 3 early on. At the FMF Spectator

point there were a few different options to climb the hill. I used the

right hand line to avoid the carnage of bikes not making it up the hill

and think I gained a position. Later in the lap, in the woods I took a

poor line which meant I was back to 3rd. I was struggling with arm

pump for the first 3 laps and lost a lot of time behind 1st and 2nd and

had pressure coming on from 4th position. Once I loosened up I was

able to make some time on the leaders. Jack Edmundson had bike

troubles which meant I picked up 2nd place and then started gaining on

Thomas but didn’t quite catch him before the finish line. Was great to

get back on the 125 although a hard ride in the slippery & rocky

conditions

Huge thanks to the AmPro Yamaha team and all the team sponsors. Its

great to be back!

------------------------------------

Rider: Paul Whibley

Team: Yamaha

Bike: Yamaha FX 450  Event: Central Enduro Rnd 5 Santoft   Result: 1st

It had been a while since a race had been held in Santoft forest. So when I heard a Central

Enduro was planned, I marked it on the calendar. And with a trip looming back to the

States, 5 hours in the sand would be a good workout.

The day looked like this. A North loop and a South loop. A test at the end of each, and all

done twice for good measure.

I started on row one and headed out into the North loop. An hour and a half of fresh

trails, toes up to avoid the stumps. Test one at the end of the section went well, hitting all

my lines and missing all the camera men!!!

Into the Southern loop and more fresh track. A little tighter this loop but the long

whooped out straight mixed it up a little. Another test at the end of this loop, a little

shorter than test one and a little faster. I felt good with the times I was posting but often

with Enduros it’s hard to tell until the end of the day and the times are added up.

Another North and South loop, and another trip through the tests completed the day. The

trails and test rode better the second time through. Most stumps were exposed and the

corners were bermed up.

I managed to win all tests and comfortably win the day.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Seth Reardon

3rd: Jake Whitaker Thanks to

---------------------------------

Rider: Paul Whibley

Team: Yamaha

Bike: Yamaha FX 450

Event: NZXC Rnd 4, Yamaha Taikorea 500

Result: 1st

The fourth round of the NZXC Series was held in conjunction with the Yamaha Taikorea

500. A huge amount of rain fell overnight before the event. The pits were half under

water but the skies were clearing.

The start straight was modified and shortened to avoid some of the standing water but it

was still pretty sloppy along with the MX track that was the first part of the loop before

we jumped onto the XC track. I got an average jump of the line but snuck up the inside

and managed to stay clean and come out in the lead. I kept my nose clean around the MX

track and out onto the XC track were conditions were not far off perfect. The sand had

soaked up a huge amount of rain and left the trail primed for riding.

I put my head down and reeled of some good laps and established a lead. A quick splash

of gas to top up the IMS tank after 3 laps and I was set for the last half of the race. My

Yamaha teammates were running 2nd and 3rd. Callan May and Ashton Grey were keeping

me honest and I was doing my best to keep out of sight. Late in the race I had one of

those crashes where you wonder what just happened. I tucked the front in an unseen

hole in a uphill sweeper. Going over the bars and ending up facing the wrong way on the

track. Im sure it was all gracefully done. I recovered well enough to reel of my fastest lap

of the day on the last lap and claim the win. It was a good day for the boys on blue, taking

the top 4 spots, with Adam Easton having a great day on his YZ 250 to claim fourth.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Callan May

3rd: Ashton Grey

-----------------------------

Rider: Paul Whibley

Team: Yamaha

Bike: Yamaha FX 450

Event: Sandpit 2 Man Series

Result: 1st

I was lined up on row 3 alongside my teammate Ashton Grey. The two rows ahead of us held the top “team” riders. I got a good jump off the line and lead my row. Quickly we started to catch the riders in front. There was a lot of clear fell and it was difficult to see the track early on. Ashton was right behind me and moved past me on several occasions. I was also battling arm pump on lap one. We worked our way through to the lead before the end of the lap. Early in the second lap a branch on young pine tree clipped a finger injury I’ve been nursing for a while and really hurt it. With the arm pump and a sore mitt I was riding pretty tight through the first few laps. Ashton was riding well and kept the pressure on.

Liam Draper was helping in the pits and called me in for gas around the hour 15 mark. The arm pump began to fade but the hand continued to bother me, especially in a section of young trees that repeatedly slapped it as we rode through. I didn’t realize but at this point I began to stretch out a lead and when Liam brought me in for a quick splash late in the race I was informed I had a good lead. As the laps wore on, the sun settled lower in the sky, making it difficult to see into the shadows. But a small price to pay for such an awesome fine day.

Overall another fun day playing in the sand at Woodhill forest.

 

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Ashton Grey

3rd: Andrew Charleston / Phillip Goodwright            

--------------------------------------------

Bush Riders Motorcycle Club 2017 Prize Winners

 Congratulations Bush Riders Trophy Winners 2017

Tony Jury M/C Trophy Most Improved Mini Rory Angove

Sowry Trophy Mini of the Year Maz Parkes

Tony Jury M/C Trophy Most Improved Junior Henry Buck

Skilton Suzuki Trophy Junior of the Year Sam Callaghan

Bisset Honda Trophy Most Improved Senior Matthew Sparrow

Hull Cup Senior Rider of the Year Daniel Christie

Tootell Trophy for Best 125cc MX Rider James Galpin

Phil Wilson Trophy for Best 250cc MX Rider Matthew Sparrow

Rodney Ralph Trophy for Vet Champion Andy Galpin

Timmins Bros. Challenge Cup 201cc over Enduro Daniel Christie

Carian Honda Cross Country Series Overall Adrian Smith

Tony Jury Memorial Junior Overall Cross Country Adam Loveridge

Eagle Trophy Crash of the Year Sophie Exeter

Little Ladies Award Connie Olsen

Clubman of the Year Nicky Ellingham

Supporter of the Year Cameron Bird

Katherine Whibley Memorial Trophy Best Pit Crew Blair Davison

Congratulations to all prize winners

 -------------------------------------

Rider: Paul Whibley Race Report :

Team: Yamaha  Bike: Yamaha FX 450 Event: Dirt Guide Series Rnd 2  Result: 1st

The second round of the Dirt Guide Series was held at the infamous Tar Hill venue.

The start was on a skid site with a short straight to the first turn. I came around in second,

following Tom Buxton I think for the first half of the lap. Misty, drizzly conditions had the

track a little slick so I was happy to follow Tom for a while to get a feel for the track.

Tom ran a little wide mid lap and gave me an easy pass into the lead. I tried to push but

was making a few mistakes so settled into a safe pace with less risk of wiping out. After

three laps I came in for gas and Brad Groombride was pretty much right with me. I had

heard a bike during the second lap but didn’t realize he was so close. With a fresh set of

Oakley’s and a full tank the race was on to the finish. Unfortunately my goggles jammed

early in that next lap and had to be removed after a lapped rider filled me in. With no

goggles on I was now getting some series pressure from Brad. I maintain the lead but

dove into the pits for a fresh set. Brad carried on and took the lead. I charged out of the

pits and made up the few seconds he put on me. I was now able to pressure him. A tip

over in a deep rut and I was able to retake the lead while he picked himself up. I pushed

hard and thought Brad was right behind me. At the end of the lap the chequered flag was

out and I secured the win. Brad had lost some time but still held onto second ahead of

Tom Buxton.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Brad Groombridge

3rd: Tom Buxton

Paul Whibley is supported by:

PWR Yamaha, Arai, TCX, Oakley, G2, Asterisk,

MotoSR, Vortex Ignitions, EC3D, Bush Riders MCC,

Rosscos Start Up Services, Dirt Guide, Tire Balls,

,Renthal bikesportnz.com, CarbSport, FMF, Michelin,

Yamalube CV4 GYTR, IMS ONeal, Rekluse, Workshop

graphics, Motomuck, NZXC Series

----------------------------------------

Race Report - Rider: Paul Whibley, Team: Yamaha

Bike: Yamaha FX 450  - Event: NZXC Rnd 2, Woodhill 2 Man series  Rnd 1 Result: 1st

The second round of the NZXC Series was held in conjunction with the first round of the 2 man series at Woodhill forest with near perfect conditions. Overcast skies during the race and the showers stayed away until pack up.

We were lined up in rows of 5 and set off in waves, a standard start for the 2 man series given most starts are on the forestry roads. I started on the 3rd row.

At the end of lap 1 I had cleared the field and made it to the lead, ahead of the rows which started previous. This was a fresh cut track and there was a lot of clear fell. I took a few wrong turns in the open but the second lap all was perfectly clear.

I knew Callan May (WR 450) started on the row behind me and I didn’t want him latching onto the back of me and following so I tried to push and open a gap. Lap length of just on 30 minutes combined with the sandy conditions put us towards a two lap fuel strategy. This was on the conservative side but we had time up our sleeve.

The FX 450 was working perfectly with the MotoSR suspension in the sand and this was the first real test of the setup as the track roughed up in the later stages.

I came through scoring with 3 minutes to spare before the clock ticked over to 3 hours, so I snuck in another lap. Callan didn’t make the cut and this gave me a cruisy last lap. Big thanks to Tony and his crew for an awesome track and event.

 

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Callan May

3rd:  Ashton Grey                            

-----------------------

Rider: Paul Whibley

Team: Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ 125 Event: NZXC Rnd 1 Tokoroa Result: 1st

The 1st round of the NZXC series was hosted by the Dirt Guide Series near Tokoroa.

Wet conditions leading up to the event had some a little nervous but come race day the

sun came out and the track was in really good shape.

I got a good jump on the 125 and came into turn one on the inside, while a couple bikes

outside me pushed hard but ran wide leaving me a clear run up the inside. I entered the

bush in the lead and made the most of clear track. But about half way throught the first

lap my goggles started fogging. I kept them on as long as possible but it was effecting my

speed with the lack of vision. Sam Greenslade caught up near the end of lap 1. I took the

goggles off as we came through scoring and set off on the second lap without goggles.

Not ideal with the cool air making my eyes water on the faster sections. Sam kept the

pressure on but I didn’t crack. Maybe half way through lap two I could no longer hear

him. Dunno what happened.

At the end of the second lap I came in for gas and goggles. Set for the final stretch I was

able to put in some good laps. The YZ125 was working perfectly with the MotoSR

suspension soaking up the roots and carving through the ruts.

After nearly two and a half hours I took the win to complete a Yamaha sweep of the top 4

positions.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Luke Mobberley

3rd: Ashton Grey Thanks to Andy @bikesportnz.com

--------------------------------------------------

Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ 125 Event: Central Cross Country Series Rnd 4 Result: 1st

Since being back from the States I have not being doing much riding ( no bike) but with the NZXC Series fast approaching I needed to get back on the track. I pulled my old YZ 125 out of the shed and lined up for latest round of the Central Cross Country Series just south of Eketahuna.

With the start line on what was dubbed the Eke airstrip getting a good start on the 125 was always going to be tough. I just hoped the rest of the track was not going to be so wide open.

Anyway by the time we reached turn one I was about 10th. I made a couple passes but it wasn’t until we crossed under the road and the track began to weave into some hill country I started really moving forward. Charlie Richardson took the early lead chased hard by Adrian Smith. I made a move on Adrian in some rough ground at the base of a steep choppy hill climb. Adrian wasn’t having any of that and twisted it and repassed me on the hill. At the top Charlie crashed into a log just over the brow of the hill and Adrian crashed into the log trying to avoid Charlie I think. I was on the other side and was able to ride past into the lead. From there it was clear sailing. Pulling a safe lead to the finish. The  track turned out to be a pretty fun and the 125 was singing all day.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Adrian Smith

3rd: Daniel Cristie                                   

------------------------------

Race Report: GNCC Rnd 3 GA   Rider: Paul Whibley   Team : AmPro Yamaha   Bike: Yamaha YZ125   Result: 3rd XC3

I got a great jump of the line and moved through the gears smoothly to take the holeshot on the YZ 125. The track was dry and hard after the earlier races. A lot of exposed roots and some single track that required constant attention if you where to catch the many lines that would open up. On the first lap I rode tight and Jack Edmondson and Jason Thomas came by. I tried to follow but the arm pump quickly put a stop to that. I was able to put in some good laps late in the race but otherwise a pretty lonely race for third. Still fun though and stoked for the sponsors.

 chance to be back on a bike. Thanks to the AmPro Yamaha team and all its sponsors

-----------------------

Race Report: GNCC Rnd 1 ~ Big Buck

Rider: Paul Whibley  - Team : AmPro Yamaha  Bike: Yamaha YZ 125  Result: 3rd XC3 Class

It had been a while since I had lined up for a GNCC; 28 months to

be exact; it was great to be back on the line hearing that ten

second call again.

I got a good start and nabbed the holeshot.

The track was pretty cut up and dusty. We quickly caught the back

of the XC2 class. After leading about 10 miles my adrenaline

started to wear off and I began to succumb to the flu that had kept

me off the bike all week. I quickly dropped to fourth.

I tried to ride a consistent pace that I hoped would see me through

to the finish. At the final pit stop I was done. Nothing left. To be

honest I was just happy to be back on a bike again at tthe race and

to make it to the finish line was awesome. To come home 3rd was

so cool. Hopefully with another week I can get back to full strength

and be on the hunt for a win in Florida.

------------------------------
MOTOCROSS: IN INDONESIA SIDI IS STRONGER THAN THE RAIN AND MUD
In MX2 Seewer scores the first victory in his career. In MXGP Cairoli maintains his leadership in the World Series.
 



Maser (Treviso), 06 March, 2017 -
In Indonesia, during the second stage of the motocross World Series, the real stars of the show were the mud and the rain. The races were impacted by the terrible weather conditions that rendered the track impossibly treacherous.
However, once again Sidi came out of the event with its head held high. In the MXGP, only race1 was held. Sidi took second place with Dutchman Glenn Coldenhoff (KTM) and Tony Cairoli (KTM) managed to limit damages by closing out in fourth place. The good news is that after two stages Cairoli is holding on to the red table as leader of the World Series.



Sidi’s finest hour arrived in the MX2 event. Here race1 was held in its entirety, while race2 was interrupted after 21 minutes and the day’s victory went to Switzerland’s Jeremy Seewer (Suzuki), ahead of Holland’s Pootjes and the Belgian Lieber. Seewer will not soon forget the Indonesian mud, because after the many podiums captured in 2016 this was the first MX2 victory in his career.



Sidi was also a major player in the WMX, which held its world debut in Indonesia. Among the women, Kiara Fontanesi (Yamaha) had a lacklustre race1 after being bogged down in the mud, but she made a great comeback in race2 with an excellent second place. Too bad for Nancy Van De Ven (Yamaha), who won race1 and seemed destined for final victory in the first Grand Prix race of the season; however in race2 the Dutch lady was disqualified for having received assistance to get out of the mud she got trapped in.
 

----------------------------

Race Report: Mid Ease Hare Scramble Rnd 1

Rider: Paul Whibley Team : AmPro Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ125 Result: 4th

First race on the YZ125 which will be my race bike for the XC3 class in

the GNCCs. . I was suffering from the cold/flu that has been going

around and probably would have been better off in bed but I wanted

to get some race time on the Factory Connection suspension and get

some data on fuel mileage. I got a good start and was 3rd into the first

corner despite lining up along side a bunch of 450s. The track was half

hard pack, half sandy, quite dry and dusty, making vision a challenge

with the sun low in the sky.

We were on a conservative pit stop regime and fuelled twice, loosing

3rd place in the last stop.

The little 125 was so much fun. The Factory Connection suspension

worked awesome. Round 1 of the GNCC series at Big Buck is this

weekend. Looking forward to being back on the line.

Huge thanks to the AmPro Yamaha team and all the team sponsors.

--------------------------------------

Maser (Treviso), 27 February, 2017 - The 2017 MXGP season has gotten off to a glorious start for Tony Cairoli (KTM), the rider from Patti, Messina, on the island of Sicily. Cairoli already holds eight World titles, and he made his mark towards a ninth at the Qatar GP in Losail by dominating both heats. These events were already foreseen with Cairoli’s performance in the Italian Internationals, which he won by a landslide. Now the first race in the World Series has confirmed all forecasts: Tony Cairoli is aiming to recapture the World title, which he really, really wants.

The bad luck and injuries which compromised his last two years seem to have been left well behind him. What we saw at Losail was a spectacular and thrilling race among the three big stars going into the World Series competition. In the end Cairoli came out on top against his two young adversaries, Frenchman Romain Febvre (2015 World Champion) and Slovenian Tim Gajser (2016 World Champion). These three are the presumptive candidates for the 2017 title.

Tony Cairoli gave battle in the race and then shined on the highest step of the podium as the Italian National anthem by Mameli played under the Italian tri-colour flag waving proudly above him. Of course, he was wearing his ever faithful Sidi Crossfire 3 SRS boots. Sidi designed these special boots with yellow fluorescent/blue graphics dedicated exclusively to the Sicilian ace, who is always attentive to his look as well as his performance on the track. The next date with the World Series is one week from now, in Indonesia, where the goal for Tony Cairoli and Sidi will be to win again.

-------------------------------------------

Race Report: Setra and NCHSA

Rider: Paul Whibley

Team: N-Fab AmPro Yamaha

Bike: Yamaha YZ450 FX

Result: 2nd/3rd

Just days after getting off the plane in the States I jumped into a race at the local Setra Hare

Scramble series.

To say I was a little rusty was an understatement, but I had a blast on a tight track

that is quite different than anything back in NZ. I took a while to get going and didn’t push hard but

by the end I was pretty tired. I came home in second behind the current GNCC XC2 Champion.

A week later I was back on the line and raced a NCHSA event. Real bad arm pump had me lagging

back in 6th for most of the race. The track was pretty rough and had a few slick spots after some

rain. I felt like I was ready to ride a little fast but the arms where just holding me back. Once I

loosened up I pulled up to 3rd by the finish.

Although my focus here is to help the young guys in the AmPro Yamaha Team, it has been a lot of

fun doing some events. I am loving being back on a bike and having the opportunity to do some

races again.

A huge thanks to the AmPro Yamaha team and all the team sponsors.

-------------------------------------------------

The 5th round of the NZXC series was hosted by the Waitamata Club at Riverhead forest in

conjunction with the Dead Toad XC.

Wet conditions leading up to the event had some a little nervous but apart from being

slick the track was really ridable.

I got an average start with the FX taking a couple winds to start on the button. I think I

entered the bush in 7th. There was roost flying in all directions in the first few k’s. Lucky

my Oakleys could deal with the smashing they were receiving as I pushed to make passes.

By the end of the second lap I was up to 3rd (not that I knew it) behind Sam Greenslade

and Liam Draper. Liam had a good start and had used a clear track to set up a sizable lead.

On the third lap I passed a bike that had gone down in a slick mud hole. I had a thought

that it might have been Sam Greenslade but wasn’t sure.

I continued to put in solid laps and not really racing with anyone. The slick conditions

made it hard to push on a 450 so careful throttle applications where needed to keep

things in line.

After two and a half hour I crossed the line surprised to hear that I placed second. Liam

had disappeared out front. It was Sam that I passed in the mud hole. Another front

runner that I hadn’t seen was Callan May. Apparently Callan and Sam had a good battle

late in the race. With 1 point separating those two in the NZXC title chase, it’s going to be

a winner takes all situation at the final on the 4th of Dec.

1st: Liam Draper

2nd: Paul Whibley

3rd: Sam Greenslade

--------------------------------------

Rider: Paul Whibley

Team: Dirt Guide PWR Yamaha  Bike: Yamaha FX450  Event: Central Enduro Rnd 5 Result: 1st

Rnd 5 of the Central Enduro Series was held in the Akatarawas and started from the Moonshine MX track. 3 long sections and 4 tests was the schedule for the day.

The first section was really slick after the previous day’s rain. Then into the first test that was mostly up a bulldozed track that had a hard rocky base. Was arm pump city for me, although I did post a solid time.

The second test was through the slick section we had just pre rode. I posted a good time here and opened up a gap over the field.

The third test was a repeat of test one. And although I had loosened a little in the previous test, still pumped up in this one?!?! But I was still able to post a good time.

The long sections held plenty of challenges for riders with some really technical and tight trails. Plenty of water filled ruts that hid their true personality in the murky depths. Careful line selection was needed to keep out of trouble.

The last section held the last test through the slick pines again. A short piece had been removed after some serious ruts formed. Since I had a comfortable lead I didn’t push too hard in the last test. Instead I saved some focus for the last long section through the mud holes. Managing to stay on time for the day and take the win.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Hugh Lintott

3rd: Charlie Richardson

---------------------------

NZXC Rnd 2 / Sandpit 2 Man Series

The second round of the NZXC series was held with the Sandpit 2 Man Series.

I grabbed the holeshot and led the first lap. Liam Draper put some pressure on and took the front position mid second lap. He quickly opened a gap but as I loosened up I closed in again. By the first fuel stop he was back in sight. I put some pressure on for a lap and a half before I made my move back into the lead. Once back up front I worked on opening my own gap. Taking the win with a comfortable margin over Liam Draper and Sam Greenslade in third.

---------------------------

Rider: Paul Whibley - Team: Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F Event: North Island Enduro, Final. Result: 1st

The final round of the North Island Enduro Series was held at Waitawhiti Station near

Pahiatua. The weather forecast was terrible. Gale force winds and heavy rain were

predicted but the day dawned calm and fine!

The first test was not far into the first section. Starting in farmland then diving into the

bush, then a quick sprint through more farmland to the finish. I put in a good time with

the FX 450 working good in the bush.

The next test was a longer test through mostly farmland. The more open nature meant a

lot of time was wasted searching for arrows. There was a couple fun bits down through a

pine block and a cool tight piece near the end that spectators could watch. Although the

times from this test were scrapped at the end of the day since many got lost.

One lap done with a pretty cruisy trail pace and a long wait at the check.

The next lap was a repeat of test one and two. This time it was much easier to follow and

less time was wasted looking for the track. Still at the end of the lap, a long wait for the

check to open.

Third lap and only test one was timed. The trail pace was tighter but still a good 20

minutes waiting.

The last lap was a shortened loop with a supposed tight trail time but still we made it to

the check with time to spare. Overall a good, fun day on the bike, taking the win.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Charlie Richardson

3rd: Allan Gannon

-------------------------------

Rider: Paul Whibley

Team: Yamaha

Bike: Yamaha YZ450 FX

Event: Central Enduro Series, Masterton

Result: 1st

Light rain greeted riders for the Central Enduro at Bideford near Masterton. This was my first race on the new FX 450. I had done a few laps on the bike at Taikorea but a farmland Enduro was going to be a little different.

Starting on minute 3 there was only a couple bikes through the course before me but this was good as the rain had conditions pretty slick.

The first terrain test started in some pines then quickly ran out into farm tracks. Putting in a safe effort I was able to catch riders who started on the row in front.

The second test was really short and was fresh pines. Basically starting at the top of the block and working our way down and out the bottom. I was having a good run until I blew a turn and struggled to get back onto the track.

Third test went well. A mix of tight pines and fast gravel logging tracks. Being a longer test allowed time to get into a good rhythm.

One lap done and into a repeat lap with an extra section for expert riders. Although only one test this lap, test 3 again. Faster speed averages kept things interesting. The track was much better the second lap with a few lines emerging.

The last expert only section provided the most fun of the whole day with a super tight trail time through the longer 3rd test.

Overall the FX work well and I came away with the win.

 

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Adam Easton

3rd: Charlie Richardson

 

--------------------------------------

----------------------------------

Event: Demon Energy Hard Enduro Race Report -

Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ250X

Result: 3rd

It had been a while since I had entered an event but since I had so much fun at last year’s

Mt Damper Hard Enduro I decided to stick my head back in my HJC and strap on the Sidis

again. It was a bit of a last minute decision so no real prep was done on my behalf for this

event, lucky for me Yamaha had a new bike just for this type of riding, the 250X.

This year’s event was two laps of around 38km. A prologue was held on Saturday but I

couldn’t make it, so had to take the time penalty at the start of Sunday’s race. Each lap

had a killer hill, well it actually had a few but there was one main killer each lap. First lap it

was Devils Staircase. I actually got up pretty clean and didn’t have to push. I continued to

pass a few guys as the lap progressed.

Second lap it was onto Boil Up Hill. I remember this hill from last year. But this time there

were no ropes. There were a couple of helpers. Adrian Smith, was a big help on this one.

With plenty of pushing and shoving I got to the top. Along the bush ridgeline and back

down to the track. There was another Gold section that dropped us down through some

pines and into a clay chute that was so slick. No braking or turning on this stuff, just try to

ride it out, otherwise it’s an instant soil sample.

Completing two laps and reaching the finish is an achievement in its self and brings a sense of satisfaction.

1st: Jake Whitaker

2nd: Chris Birch

3rd: Paul Whibley

------------------------------------------

YAMAHA TIGHTENS ITS STRANGLEHOLD ON NATIONALS

MARCH 1, 2016: The grip continues to tighten as the high-profile Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team heads into the second half of its New Zealand Motocross Championships campaign.

Australian import Dean Ferris was again in command at the second round of four in the series near Palmerston North on Sunday.

The new venue at Himatangi became progressively rougher as the day wore on, the sand-based track offering no let-up as it wore down both man and machines, but Ferris seemed to thrive in it and posted an impressive 3-1-1 score-card in the MX1 class, extending his championship lead to 14 points over the new man in the No.2 position, fellow Gold Coast rider Todd Waters.

With the series now at the halfway stage, Ferris can look back and feel extremely satisfied with his performance – he has won five of the six races in the championship thus far.

The only "blip" on Ferris' performance was his finishing third in the day's first race at Himatangi.

"I made a mistake in choosing the wrong tyres for the first race," explained Ferris, who had led until two-thirds of the way through the race and then began to drop back before settling for third.

"Todd (Waters) and Cody (Cooper, the defending national MX1 champion from Mount Maunganui) are riding really well and my arms tightened up because I couldn't get any rest ... they were on me all day.

"Races two and three were a huge battle between me and Todd. We've been racing each other like this for 10 years now," he laughed.

"Todd was strong today but I managed to get the job done.

"I have the (stand-alone) Conondale Cup to race at home this weekend and then I'm back for the final two rounds in New Zealand. I'll just keep working hard. I know Todd and Coops won't be giving up."

The results were mixed for the Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team's two MX2 (250cc) class riders.

Waitakere's Ethan Martens, riding a YZ250 two-stroke bike, and Mangakino's Kayne Lamont, on the four-stroke YZ250F, set the two quickest times in qualifying, and looked on track for a positive afternoon of racing.

However, it then unravelled for Lamont, who finished runner-up to series class leader Hamish Harwood in the first race but then crashed out while leading the next race. Lamont's head struck the ground and, shaken by the incident, he opted to withdraw from the rest of the day's programme.

Martens battled throughout the day and came away with 6-3-3 results, good enough for third overall on the day, behind KTM rider Harwood and Australian Triple B Valley Fresh Yamaha Team rider Jed Beaton, but it also meant Martens moved himself up from sixth overall after round one to now sit fourth overall for the series.

The second half of the Kiwi motocross calendar takes riders to the Rotorua Motorcycle Club's track for round three on March 13, with the fourth and final round set for the Digger McEwen Motocross Park facility, on the outskirts of Taupo, on March 20.

The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing team is supported by Altherm Window Systems, Yamaha, JCR, CRC, Ados, GYTR, Yamalube, Fox Racing, Hollands Collision Centre, Star Moving, Ward Demolition, Fulton Hogan, Pirelli, FMF, DID, NGK, Matrix, Renthal, Motomuck, Workshop Graphics, Motoseat, Hammerhead, SKF, Vertex Pistons, Rtech Plastics, Etnies, Biketranz and Fulton Hogan.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

------------------------------

KIARA FONTANESI GETS A GUTSY, APPEALING LOOK, BUT she didn't know  about pocket rocket from New  Zealand!
Glitter Sidi Crossfire 2 boots for the Queen of motocross.
 

Maser (Treviso), 28 February, 2016 – A Queen must always stand out, even among the dusty masses in the middle of a motocross track. At Losail in Qatar, for the season opener of the 2016 WMX World Series, the four-time women’s World Champion was sporting a very stylish, attractive new look. She was wearing her Crossfire 2 boots, with new colours for 2016, chosen by the champion herself. For the occasion Sidi Sport tricked them out with a touch of glitter, to help make Kiara look even more fashionable.
Her 5th overall place (11th in race 1 and 3rd in race 2) in the final standings of this inaugural GP is certainly not enough to satisfy the Women’s World Champion, but the race for the title has just begun. It’s still going to be a long season, and it’s sure to bring plenty of thrills.

SIDI SPORT LIGHTS UP THE MOTOCROSS WORLD SERIES!
Luminous Sidi Crossfire 2 boots for Tony Cairoli.
 

Maser (Treviso), 28 February, 2016 – The new Motocross World Series season opened on the raceway in Losail, Qatar. It was a spectacular show with the MXGP race being held by night. Tim Gajser provided a thrilling performance that won him the race. In keeping with tradition, for the third year in a row Sidi Sport lit up the Crossfire 2 boots worn by their super champ Tony Cairoli (Ktm), with a fascinating, magical led light show. The right boot was all yellow and the left one all blue. Thus the new adventure began!
Tony Cairoli came in 6th in race 1 and 4th in race 2 to close out this first test in 5th place. However, beyond the result, what matters now is that we have finally seen Tony Cairoli back on track, motivated, gutsy and competitive as he recovers from the injury to his ribs which slowed him down so far this season.

-------------------------------------------

KIWI GIRL TO TACKLE THE WORLD'S ELITE

CAPTION: Otago's Courtney Duncan (Yamaha), ready to take on the world's elite. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

JANUARY 12, 2016: It is a long way from New Zealand to the motocross hotbed of central Europe, but that's the journey on which South Island teenager Courtney Duncan hope she is about to begin.

It probably comes as no surprise to those who know of the Yamaha rider's exploits and to travel from the small Otago town of Palmerston to the hustle and bustle of racing the Motocross World Championships in places such as Belgium, Germany and France has always been the aim for the Kiwi Yamaha rider.

The 19-year-old Duncan heads to Qatar in a few weeks' time to tackle the opening round of the Women's World Motocross Championships – that event sharing the programme with the start of the parallel but separate men's competition – on February 27.

If she impresses at that event, she's hoping it will lead to a full campaign with the six-round women's series continuing in The Netherlands (March 28), Germany (May 8), France (June 5) and Switzerland (August 7) and wrapping up at Assen, in The Netherland again, on August 28.

She has beaten most of the motocross boys in New Zealand and has turned heads each time she's raced overseas, whether it be winning in Australia or the United States, and it was just a matter of time before she hit the world stage, although she will still have to prove herself.

She has the backing of New Zealand's two-time former world No.2 Josh Coppins, of Motueka, the head of the Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team and has been training regularly with him as she builds towards her world campaign.

For most of last year she was in recovery mode, regaining her strength after tearing her ACL ligament in her left knee – in a freak basketball accident, totally unrelated to motocross.

"I knew straight away what had happened. I was just passing a basketball around before I was to go into the gym and something felt funny.

"It had happened before, so I knew what it was," said Duncan.

She was flown to Auckland for surgery on her knee and then began the long process of rehabilitation.

"I did my exercises pretty much every day. Had the weekend off, but every day it was just about getting fit again.''

She got back on the bike in late October.

"I thought I would be a bit nervous getting back on the bike, but it just felt like home."

She is now back to full fitness and her coach and mentor, Coppins, is quietly confident that she will impress in Qatar and says "she needs to".

"Courtney is only officially confirmed for Qatar at this stage," he said. "It's quite an expensive undertaking to do a full campaign and she's not got a factory ride. She needs to show what she's made of at Qatar and we can go on from there.

"We in New Zealand know how good she is, but you're only as good as your last ride and nobody has seen her overseas for a while. Her biggest competitor is herself. Keeping the bike on two wheels is very important.

"The idea last year was for her to do two rounds and build from that, but then she injured herself and had a lengthy lay-off.

"I don't know what she'll make of Qatar. I raced there myself in 2002 and finished second to (Belgian former world champion) Joel Smets. It was among the sand dunes and Joel was on a 450 four-stroke and I was on a 250cc two-stroke, but the track is all man-made now and a lot of it is clay-based, so it's totally different really.

"Unfortunately, the Qatar race clashes with the date for round two of the New Zealand Motocross Championships and I can't be in two places, but I will be following her progress as closely as I can."

Duncan's Yamaha YZ250F bike is currently being prepared for her in Belgium.

"Yamaha New Zealand has really stepped up to make this possible," said Coppins. "They can see the potential in Courtney and they are helping to bridge the gap."

Fellow Yamaha rider, 21-year-old Italian Kiara Fontanesi, was the 2015 women's world champion and she will no doubt be the one to beat again in 2016, unless a Kiwi girl called Courtney Duncan can upset the form book.

Duncan and the Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing team is supported by Altherm Window Systems, Yamaha, JCR, CRC, Ados, GYTR, Yamalube, Fox Racing, Hollands Collision Centre, Star Moving, Ward Demolition, Fulton Hogan, Pirelli, FMF, DID, NGK, Matrix, Renthal, Motomuck, Workshop Graphics, Motoseat, Hammerhead, SKF, Vertex Pistons, Rtech Plastics, Etnies, Biketranz and Fulton Hogan.

Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

------------------------------------

Paul Whibley Race Report : Rider: Paul Whibley  Team: Yamaha  Bike: Yamaha YZ 125  Event: NZXC Rnd 4/GNCC Rnd 2  Result: 1st

The NZXC series reached its penultimate round at Maddix Park and was co-sanctioned

with the GNCC series. I hadn’t done hardly any riding since having my appendix out and

was still supposed to be on light duties so I took my YZ 125 to Tauranga with the plan to

get some seat time and just have fun.

Off the line I got smoked by all the 450s but was able to sneak around the outside and

dropped into third. Dust was really bad early on but as we got further back into the bush

evidence of the last rainfall still remained. My stomach was a little sore early on but as

the race progressed I loosened up. I moved up into the lead late in the lap after the

leaders made mistakes. Simon Lansdaal took the lead for a lap but I soon regained

control on the following lap. It really was a lot of fun on the 125. The track got choppy and

a few slick spots made finding traction hard work but the little YZ just handles so well. It

was easy to switch up lines to alternative smooth ones seemingly inaccessible to others.

As the track got rougher and rougher the more being creative paid off. I ended up

winning the race comfortably. Simon held out Jason Davis for second, while Peter

Broxholme and Adrian Smith filled out the top five. I was also happy with how consistent

my lap times were. As well as capturing the fastest lap of the day, over 8 laps my times

only varied 20 seconds with the last lap just 10 seconds off my fastest.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Simon Lansdaal

3rd: Jason Davis

---------------------------

Rider: Paul Whibley  Team: Yamaha  Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F  Event: GNCC Rnd 1 Matata  Result: 1st

Sorry for the delay in getting this out but straight after the race I had to get my appendix

out so have been laid up for a few days. This is a quick recap of how the race went.

A good start had me lead the way around the first lap but as we closed in on scoring

Mitch Rees caught and passed me with some youthful excitement. He had started on the

second row and used some local knowledge to close in quickly over the first lap. I jumped

back past him as we started the second lap. I was able to open a small gap but I was

unsure how far he started behind me and how much I needed to put between us to stay

ahead on adjusted time. Mitch rode a smart race and kept me in sight, possibly all he

needed to do to take the win. He took the lead again as we left the pits after 3 laps. I kept

him in sight but needed to be in front to give myself a shot at the win. Mid way through

the next lap he got stuck in a bog and I powered to the front. I tried to keep pushing and

over the last few laps couldn’t see Mitch but again was not sure how much time I needed

to take the win.

As it turned out Mitch had crashed out late in the race and I ended up winning by a safe

margin.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Simon Landsdaal

3rd: Scott Birch

-----------------

Event: Sandpit series Rnd 4

Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F Event: Sandpit series Rnd 4 Result: 1st

Final round of the Sandpit series was held north of Helensville.

I got a good start from the second row and quickly passed the team riders who started on

the front row. Once up front I pushed hard to make a break on the other riders.

The track was half the usual pine forest and half scrubby farmland. The soil was still sandy

and the farmland had an awesome flow to it. Weaving through stands of Manuka, up and

down rolling hills with a couple natural jumps.

After three laps I gassed up and set out for another hour and a half. I had a good lead

although I didn’t know how much of the lead. All I knew was I couldn’t see anyone coming

through scoring after I gassed.

I continued to put in safe laps, although careful not to put it in cruise mode as my

teammate Adam Reeves had been riding well recently and I didn’t want him sneaking up

on me.

With the clock ticking down I came through scoring a few minutes before it ticked over to

the three hour mark and got out for an extra lap.

With the win I wrapped up the series. First time I had competed in this series and I really

enjoyed the tracks and the racing.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Adam Reeves

3rd: Cody Davey

-------------------------

Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F Event: Dirt Guide Series Rnd 3 Result: 1st

There must be some kind of weather god smiling down on the Dirt Guide series because

just like the last round we emerged from rain and miserable conditions on the drive to

the event to race in perfect conditions.

I grabbed the holeshot again and led the way around the first 26 minute lap. A couple

small mistakes on lap two allowed 2nd placed rider Hadleigh Knight close in and put some

pressure on. I had a small lead when I came into gas on lap three but Hadleigh had gassed

up the lap earlier and just snuck through scoring and into the lead as I came out of the

pits. The race was on. Hadleigh was riding really good and it made for an exciting race.

I pushed hard and shadowed the husky pilot putting the pressure back on him but not yet

finding a way past.

Just after we started the 5th and final lap Hadleigh appeared to hesitate for a second and I

took full advantage and moved back into the lead. I later learned he was attempting to

check fuel in his bike. I opened up a gap and rode a good pace into the finish. Hadleigh

struck problems and actually ran out of gas late in the lap.

It was an exciting race and hats off to Hadleigh who really showed some impressive

speed.

With this win I wrapped up the Dirt Guide Series for 2015 with around to spare.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Sam Greenslade

3rd: Jake Whitaker

------------------------------------

Event: Moonshine Run Extreme Harescramble 

Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F  Result: 2nd

A shotgun blast signalled the start of the days torture. The YZ 250 fired up fast and I took

the holeshot and lead the way up the hill through the clear-fell slash. A couple mistakes in

the EX track cost me some positions and got me a burnt butt when someone’s expansion

chamber kissed it while I was off my bike pushing. I think I was in third or fourth after a

couple kms of the 25km lap. A missed turn dropped me even further back with myself and

Taylor Grey lost for what seemed like minutes. Eventually we found where we went

wrong. An arrow and peg lay on the ground, run down by someone. A couple passes and I

think I was back inside the top 3 again, hard to tell though in these kind of races. I soon

struck the next problem with wire getting wrapped around my wheel on a hill climb. I

unwound it only to get snagged again as I tried to ride off. The rest of the lap was

completed with the expected loop-outs, getting stuck and plenty of lifting and pushing. I

think I was 4th at the end of lap 1. Lap time was just under an hour and a half for me with

two laps to go.

The track was pretty tough with slick soil and lots of tree roots. Plenty of hard hill climbs

and steep down hills.

The last two laps were completed without any unexpected drama. Just the usual loopouts

and endos. By the time 3 laps were done I was up to 2nd. I was pretty tired at the end

but satisfied to complete all 3 laps. Think only 6 guys completed all 3.

1st: Jake Whitaker - TE250 Husky

2nd: Paul Whibley YZ450F

3rd: Jacob Hyslop ?

-----------------------

Event: Dirt Guide Series Rnd 2  Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F  Result: 1st

Driving through snow on the way to a race is never very inviting. Once at the venue for

Round 2 of the Dirt Guide Series the skies seemed to clear and the sun had even made an

appearance before the start of the race. There were a few puddles in low spots but the

majority of the track was in great shape.

I grabbed the holeshot and lead the way. I was being pretty careful in some of the

puddles as the odd one was a lot deeper than it looked and even though the sun was out

the air was still chilly. I didn’t feel like being soaking wet!!! The second lap I still hadn’t

really warmed up with cold fingers and tight arms. I had built a lead of nearly a minute

during lap one and this didn’t help as I was riding too careful to really warm up.

Consequently I was caught by Sam Greenslade and Jake Whitaker at the end of the 3rd lap.

These guys were riding good and pushing hard. This wake-up call was just what I needed

and a little boost in adrenaline kicked in and the following lap I upped the pace to reestablished

my lead. I kept a solid pace going for the remainder of the event to take the

win.

The track got some awesome lines and was a lot of fun. If anyone ever wanted to get a

hint of a US GNCC then these Dirt Guide events are the probably the closest thing we

currently have here in NZ.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Jake Whitaker

3rd: Sam Greenslade

-----------------------------------------

Third round of the Central Enduro Series was held at Waitawhiti Station out from Pahiatua.

Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F Event:Central Enduro Rnd 3 Result:1st

Trail consisted of one loop repeated four times with trail time tightening as the day

progressed. Two tests per lap.

I signed up on minute one. We were warned at briefing that windy conditions had

knocked a lot of arrows down and they weren’t kidding. The first test was really hard to

ride fast with some of the arrows missing. The second test was down a creek and through

some clear-fell slash and was a little easier to follow. Also on laps one and two a cool bush

section was included. Plenty of roots were exposed on the second lap, as was expected,

so this section was removed for the last two laps. A few creek crossings got a little boggy

too with some deep ruts waiting for the unwary.

Once the track was burnt in and we weren’t relying on arrows for direction I was able to

pick the pace up and sneak home with the win.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Jacob Hyslop

3rd: Charlie Richardson

--------------------------

 Hamish Macdonald claims the 2015 Open Two-Stroke Enduro National Championship.  SHERCO WINS NEW ZEALAND ENDURO TITLE

 
At just 16 years of age Hamish Macdonald claimed the 2015 Open Two-Stroke Enduro National Championship aboard a Sherco 300SE-R.

Torrential rain leading into the event meant dust wasn’t going to be a problem and the loamy, pumice tracks soaked up the rain, making conditions near perfect in the forests of Waimiha and Tokoroa, in the Central North Island.

“I knew two wins were needed to accumulate enough points to take the National Open Class title and when my first special test time came into the top five, I knew I was on form. Just staying smooth and consistent was the plan” said Macdonald.

“The WP suspension on the bike just soaked up the exposed roots and bumps and gave me the confidence to push harder. I got lost in one of the sections and dropped a minute but thankfully my special test times were good enough to keep me ahead.  It’s been an awesome season and couldn’t have achieved it without the huge support of my parents, Sherco NZ and PURE Sports Nutrition.” Said an excited Hamish.

Macdonald not only claimed the class Championship but also placed third overall behind Chris Birch and Liam Draper.

Hamish Macdonald Final Results, KTM National Enduro Championship:


For more information on Sherco New Zealand, visit www.sherco.co.nz orvisit www.facebook.com/sherconz
 

-------------------------------

The 2015 NZ Cross-country Championships

 SMITH IN THE FIGHT OF HIS LIFE

MAY 12, 2015: This weekend may provide the sternest test yet for Mokau's four-time national cross-country champion Adrian Smith.

 

The King Country sheep and beef farmer is the reigning No.1 and a record four-time winner of the New Zealand Cross-country Championships but it is a must-win race that he lines up for at the final round of this year's series near Pahiatua on Sunday.

 

Pahiatua's Paul Whibley is a multi-time cross-country champion in the United States and he returned home at the end of last season to settle back in New Zealand after a 12-year stint of international competition – immediately upsetting the balance of power, certainly as far as Smith was concerned.

 

The two Yamaha men have traded wins throughout the 2015 domestic series thus far, Whibley finishing 2-1-1 and Smith 1-2-2 in the three rounds, but only three of the series' four rounds are to be counted, with riders discarding their worst result, and this means it all comes down to Sunday's final showdown.

 

The mathematics is chillingly simple – if Whibley wins Sunday's final round he wraps up the series. However, if Smith wins and Whibley finishes runner-up, the two men will be level on points and the count-back rule applies.

 

That means that, after they each presumably discard a runner-up result from their series score-card, they will both have two wins and one runner-up result to their credit and so the rider who finishes highest at the final round wins the championship.

 

As it stands, one of these two men will be crowned champion on Sunday and no other rider is in a position to change that.

 

Smith knows what he must do.

 

"It is definitely going to be tough to beat Paul at Pahiatua ... that's his home turf too," said Smith. "But I've been in tough spots before and I think I can find a way to get the job done."

 

The battle for the championships' third podium position is also undecided and riders to watch for on Sunday in the battle for the No.3 spot include Nelson's Ethan Bruce (KTM), Hamilton's Andrew Charleston (Honda) and Rotorua's Scott Birch (Honda).

 

Also impressive this season have been Palmerston North's James Galpin (KTM), Raglan's Jason Dickey (Kawasaki), Morrinsville's Nathan Tesselaar (KTM) and Eketahuna's Daniel Christie (KTM), each of them also capable of upsetting.

 

Meanwhile, the battle for junior honours is already over – Kotemaori's Reece Lister (KTM) has won all three of the 90-minute juniors races so far this season and his ride on Sunday will be just that.

 

Credit: Words Andy McGechan

---------------------------

Race Report  Rider: Paul Whibley, Team: Freedom Moto  Yamaha -  Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F 

Event: Round 3 of the National Cross Country series again turned out to be a battle with my Yamaha teammate Adrian Smith. The race played out in a similar fashion to Round two with Adrian leading the way on the first couple of laps. A mistake late in lap two handed the lead over and I tried to run with it. I pushed hard but there was no shaking Adrian. He had his YZ 250 fx singing and any break I made was quickly countered by his play to pull me back in. It was a real chess match.

The track was the best of the season with a good mix of terrain. Pine blocks and clear-fell interspersed with farmland and scrubby gulley’s that were all well marked. The dirt had some shale in it and was hard on tires but the Kenda’s held up to the 450’s abuse really well and kept giving consistent traction right to the end.

After trying unsuccessfully to run and hide from Adrian, we entered the last lap nose to tail. I held the lead and pushed hard to make sure his chances to try for a pass were minimal. I created a small lead and worked to keep it to the finish. Adrian came across the line less than 10 seconds back.

One round remains in the series set for May.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd: Adrian Smith

3rd: Ethan Bruce

---------------------------

Rider: Paul Whibley  Team: Yamaha  Bike: Yamaha YZ250  Event: Taranaki Hard Enduro, Mt Damper  Result:3rd

Mar 29 2015 : I’m a little light on experience when it comes to extreme events and with the first

Taranaki Hard Enduro, it was tough to know what to expect. If the track wasn’t technical

enough the rain would certainly make the steep back country a challenge.

Being the last Gold rider to leave meant I had plenty of riders to pass. I tried to push early

and make some quick passes before it got too technical and tight. Still, by the time I got in

the tough stuff it was nose to tail and not being able to carry momentum made it hard to

overcome my lack of trials skills. Once up and over"boil up hill"I got into a good rhythm

and started to flow through some tight bush single track. I was having a lot of fun and the

YZ 250 was working pretty good. Being a little unsure on how tough it was going to get I

was pretty conservative. Unfortunately just over half way to the fuel stop I damaged my

front brake and lost the fluid. As if the steep downhills weren’t scary before, now they

could be gauged by how many times I cartwheels the bike into Ponga trees on the way

down. I struggled on to the fuel stop thinking my day was done. I rummaged around in

the fuel trailer and found some fluid and tools and managed to fix the problem.

I was stoked to be able to continue because to not finish after dragging my bike to that

point would have been gutting. The second half had more technical bush trails and a few

more farmland hillclimbs.

Post-race I heard I had some good times but losing a lot of time with the damaged brake.

Still, just to make the finish at this event was satisfying enough.

1st: Jake Whitaker

2nd : Greg Delatour

3rd Paul Whibley

---------------------------------------------------

Event: National Cross Country Rnd 2 Mosgiel

Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Freedom Moto Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F  Result: 1st

It had been a long time since I have raced down in the South Island. The ferry crossing and trip down through the Kaikora coast being some of the most scenic routes in NZ.

A good turnout of riders too showed the sport is in good shape down south. Off the line I got a reasonable start and held third briefly before moving into the lead. I lead for maybe half a lap before I heard my teammate Adrian Smith behind me.

On the fast track he had his 250 FX more tapped than usual (if that’s possible!!!) and was soon looking for a way by. He took the lead as I searched for arrows on a faster section of track. I was able to follow him pretty easy as the speed of the track had the leader constantly searching for the way on lap one. But as the race played out were close all race. I had the lead for a short period after Adrian washed the front out but generally he led and I followed.

The only split came when we fuelled for the second time. There was some confusion when we should come in with Adrian pitting one lap before me. But the situation soon levelled back out with Adrian right behind me on the second to last lap. I entered what would be the last lap leading and thought Adrian was still there but after a few switch back gateways I realized I was all alone. Turned out Adrian had cartwheeled in a 5th gear swampy tussock section. I ended up taking the win comfortably.

The track was a little too fast with an average pace of 70kph but there were parts that held awesome “gated” gulley’s and a nice pine section. They were on the right track with the layout, just need to slow it down.

1 st: Paul Whibley

2 nd: Adrian Smith

3 rd: Andrew Charleston

-------------------------------------

Rider: Paul Whibley  Team: Freedom Moto Yamaha  Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F 

Event: Central Cross Country Series Round 4  Result:1st

Pouring rain Saturday night had a nervous field rolling in through the gate but there really

was nothing to worry about. The rain soaked in and by the time the senior race kicked off

there were spots of dust showing.

I got an ok start and came out of the start paddock in third. As much as it had dried there

was still some slick grass and clay sections that deserved respect on lap one. Mid lap I

moved into the lead and just tried to ride smooth. This plan was working with a small lead

established before coming into scoring.

Over the next couple laps the track continued to dry and I clicked up a gear etching out a

growing gap over the chasing riders. I couldn’t see anyone behind me but I knew they

wouldn’t be far behind.

After time spent in the pits for the fuel stop I caught a glimpse of the chasing pack. This

gave me a boost to continue to hold the pace and know I had a bit of a buffer.

The track continued to dry and a fair bit of chop emerged on some of the hills. The second

half of the race went smoothly with the YZ 450 eating the big hills with ease and dealing

to the choppy conditions.

Charles Alabaster eventually settled into second with Daniel Christie rounding out the podium.

1st: Paul Whibley

2nd : Charles Alabaster

3rd: Daniel Christie

-----------------------------------------

Race Report: DRD NZ Super Enduro Rnd 2 Te Puke

Rider: Paul Whibley Team: Fredom Moto Yamaha Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F Result: 1st

I still had my hands on a YZ 250 two stroke after the recent River Race so I decided to give the

NZ Super Enduro Championship a crack.

A small entry but those that did show were keen to race. An added format this year was the

knock-out one on one sprint races. After the series of rapid fire races it came down to myself

and Adrian Smith, the current NZ CC Champ. I got the jump on the dead engine start and held

my hard charging teammate at bay to take the win.

The format then reverted back to a more traditional qualification system for the final. Two

semi-final races and a LCQ. I made it in as the top qualifier.

The final was to be longer and include the top 10 qualifiers. I again grabbed a good start and

lead the way over the logs, not wanting to be amongst the carnage and elbow rubbing in the

first turn. The water splash had created some deep ruts before the tires. The deep ruts had

been filled in before the final and when I hit the soft filling it took all my speed and I didn’t

make the top of the tires. Second place got stuck right beside me and basically blocked the

track. In the following scramble to get going again I dropped back to about 5th . I pushed hard

and made some quick passes in the sand whoops and log piles I moved up behind second.

Within a couple of laps I made a pass for the lead up the inside in the sand whoops. Once back

in the lead it was smooth sailing to the win.

1st: Paul Whibley, Yamaha

2nd: Dylan Yearbury, KTM

3rd: Chris Power, Yamaha

=-----------------------------------

 Race Report: National Enduro Round 1, Riverhead, Auckland

Rider: Paul Whibley, Team: Freedom Moto Yamaha, Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F Result: 2nd

It had been a long time since I raced a National Enduro in NZ and even longer since I had raced in Riverhead. While I didn’t recognise any trail, memories quickly came flooding back of slick clay and the pine tree roots once into the first section.

Trail time was supposed to be loose so there was no rush in the first section. The drizzly morning had dampened down the expected dust nicely but in return the hard pack clay was pretty slick. Completing the first section with enough time to grab a quick splash of gas and then into the first special test.

The next section seemed to hold a lot of slower trails and when we came into check two there was a real scramble to get gas and into the check without losing time. A lot were caught out by how tight it was on time and lost minutes. The trail pace was fast enough to prohibit slacking and keep you pushing. I kind of liked it because it kept my focus, but I’m not sure many of the Intermediate riders appreciated the pace they had to ride.

The last loop was abandoned with a horse on the loose in the forest posing a danger to riders. My times felt ok but I suspect I need to work on my special test speed. I felt I rode pretty safely and could do with hanging it out a little. I think I my test pace was basically my 3 hour cross country speed. Overall I had a lot of fun. The bike worked great and with some more test specific training we will be right in the hunt. 1 st: Chris Birch 2 nd: Paul Whibley 3 rd: Liam Draper Photo courtesy Andy

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Race Report: Raglan Rox 4 Hour Cross Country

Rider: Paul Whibley

Team: Freedom Moto/ Yamaha NZ

Bike: Yamaha YZ450 F

Result: 3rd OA/ 1st Team

Local rider and rising star Jason Dickey stormed to the win at the Raglan Rox 4 hour. Grabbing

the lead early and quickly opening up a solid lead on lap 1. Adrian Smith came home in second

on the new Yamaha YZ250 FX. I rode with Callan May in the teams class. This being my first

race since I last raced in the States in the end of October I was a little rusty. Also it is going to

take a little time to adjust to farmland racing again.

I got a good start and led the way early on but the slick green grass freshly watered by some

light drizzle soon had me on the ground. I had to fight my way back toward the leaders with

Jason and Adrian already up front and now pulling away. I got taken out on a downhill when

my line was crossed. Remounting and having to repass some riders that I had just worked past.

By mid lap I was up to third then lost the track. Searching for arrows lost a lot of time and

about 15 riders bunched up until someone found an arrow. Having to fight my way through

again all the while the two leaders kept pulling away. By the end of the lap I was back up to

third but was 3 minutes down on the lead.

Callan had his turn but had to come in early and we lost some more time in the pits with an

extra stop.

Throughout the rest of the race we pushed hard and clawed our way back and Callan got back

by Adrian on the second to last lap. Callan had couple crashes on the last lap and a determined

Adrian had us finish right behind him in third.

I talked to Adrian post race and he kinda lost the track where I got lost but he said he was still

close enough to Jason to see where to go. A tough day but a good warmup heading into the

National Cross Countrys in a few weeks.

1st : Jason Dickey

2nd : Adrian Smith

3 rd : Callan May/Paul Whibley

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A WHIRLWIND WEEK FOR YAMAHA TEAM BOSS

 

CAPTION: Motueka's Josh Coppins, head of the Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team, looks back on what has been an action-packed eight days. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

 

DECEMBER 1, 2014: It has been a whirlwind week for the Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team.

 

In fact, it has been eight days of high-intensity action for team manager Josh Coppins and his riders, Queenstown's Scott Columb and Australian import Jay Wilson.

 

Former Grand Prix motocross star Coppins, who officially retired from fulltime international racing after winning the Australian open class motocross title in 2012, briefly came out of retirement to race at the annual New Zealand Veterans' and Women's Motocross Championships near Christchurch a week ago, with Coppins winning the 35-39 years' class and Columb winning the 30-35 years' class.

 

Then, last Thursday, the Altherm Yamaha men backed that up by winning another national title, this time at the annual New Zealand Supercross Championships at Winton, Wilson dominating the Lites (250cc) class and taking that title.

 

Columb was also in action at the supercross nationals, but this time forced to settle for runner-up spot in the Open class, behind another Australian visitor, Sam Martin.

 

Then yesterday, Coppins was back on a bike once again, this time racing a slightly-modified Yamaha YZ450F in the Supermotard class at the annual Wyndham Streets races, the final event of the internationally-renowned week-long Burt Munro Challenge.

 

Coppins scored a hat-trick of wins at Wyndham, between Gore and Invercargill, Winton's Bent Scammell and Timaru's Jared Pyke to the top of the podium.

 

"It was quite a big field, about 25 riders I think and I was a little lucky because a couple of the really good guys had bad races," said a modest Coppins afterwards.

 

"I had never raced the supermotard bike at the Wyndham races before, although I have raced at the Nelson street races ... just not here. I had always wanted to do the Burt Munro event. Now I can tick that off my bucket list.

 

"I think I'd like to enter the beach races next year too.

 

"I just thought it was important for Yamaha to have a presence here and for the Altherm JCR Yamaha Race Team to wave the flag.

 

"It has certainly been a busy week. I also did a day's coaching in Dunedin during the week and was part of the Night of Champions function, joined by Ben Townley, Hugh Anderson, Cam Donald, Aaron Slight and Robbie Phillis. So you could say it has been a bit of a whirlwind week for me.

 

"I'm happy I made the effort and will definitely be back next year."

 

The Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing team is supported by Altherm Window Systems, Yamaha, JCR, CRC, Ados, GYTR, Yamalube, Fox Racing, Hollands Collision Centre, Star Moving, Ward Demolition, Fulton Hogan, Pirelli, FMF, DID, NGK, Matrix, Renthal, Motomuck, Workshop Graphics, Motoseat, Hammerhead, SKF, Vertex Pistons, Rtech Plastics, Etnies, Biketranz.

 Words and photo by Andy McGechan,

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2012 New Zealand Moto-X GP the famous river race. as seen by a Swiss visitor Kurt. Watch for the 2017 event in January.  

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