Whibley rides high at home

By Andy McGechan


Motorsport

Pahiatua's Paul Whibley is making the most of his time back in New Zealand, as be builds towards towards another cross-country motorcycle campaign in the United States.

The 34-year-old former Manawatu forestry worker, affectionately dubbed "The Axeman" on the motorcycling scene, won two major cross-country titles in the US last season, clinching the Grand National Cross-country Championships and the Off-Road Motorcycle and ATV crown as well.

Last weekend saw the Yamaha ace use the second round of the Bush Riders' Motorcycle Club's cross-country championships to continue his 2013 pre-season preparation and his fellow competitors stood almost no chance at all as Whibley turned up the heat.

He took control from the start of the race and was a class above most of his rivals on a course which included some nice bulldozed tracks before the riders headed out into open farmland.

Woodville's Ben Exeter fought past Aucklander Callan May in the early stages and managed to keep sight of the fast-flying Whibley for at least the opening stage of the race.

After three laps has been completed, however, it was all Whibley and despite adopting a more cautious approach when making a creek crossing where several bikes got stuck in the ruts, his victory was never in doubt.

Whibley will race just one more time in New Zealand - in the river race at the New Zealand Motocross Grand Prix at Woodville this coming weekend - before he heads back to his base in the US.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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