Kawasaki's Whibley Claims GNCC XC1 Championship at Final Round2009-10-27 16:46
Kawasaki’s Paul Whibley captured his first-career GNCC XC1 championship at the final round of the series in Crawfordsville, Ind. His fourth-place finish was enough to stay 20 points ahead of the runner-up and secure his second championship of the season aboard the Kawasaki KX™450F. Teammate Jimmy Jarrett finished a respectable top-5 after leading the first lap, while XC2 class rider Scott Watkins finished just off the podium in fourth. The team will compete next weekend at the final OMA National round in Morrison, Ill.
With the OMA National championship already clinched last August, Whibley held a comfortable points lead in the XC1 standings going into the final round in Indiana. He rode relaxed during the race and tried to make as few mistakes as possible on the rough track, eventually finishing in fourth as the new GNCC XC1 champion.
“The race was pretty uneventful for me,” said Whibley. “I didn’t push too much and tried to be smart. I could tell the guys at the front were really pushing it and I knew what I needed to do to win the championship.”
Whibley has felt the emotions of one championship so far this year, but the second still hasn’t been grasped.
“It really hasn’t sunk in,” said Whibley. “I’m sure when I go home and look back on my year it will finally hit me. It’s really hard to put into words how I feel about it all. It’s kind of overwhelming right now, but definitely awesome!”
With his wrist still on the mend from a mid-season crash, Jarrett went out and rode a strong race. He got a great start and led the race for most of the first lap. He kept a strong pace and at the end of the race, he was feeling the effects of his wrist. He backed down his pace a little, but still finished a solid fifth place.
“Every race my wrist gets better and better,” said Jarrett. “This race was rough and fast, which took a little toll on my wrist. I have progressed with it so I am happy about that. For the most part, I stayed out of trouble most of the race and was happy with the day.”
Bringing Home Fourth
Watkins came into Indiana feeling good about the track and the conditions to get on the podium. After a good start and making few mistakes, Watkins was running in third place nearing the end of the race. Before getting the white flag, Watkins brought his bike into the pits for a quick repair and was able to go back out and move up to fourth in the XC2 class and ninth overall.
“I’m happy to have been able to salvage fourth since it potentially could have been much worse,” said Watkins. “I’m happy that I was able to maintain fourth in points and 10th overall for the year. Our team has had a great year. We just have one more race left with everyone at the OMA Nationals.”
What’s To Come
The racing doesn’t stop quite yet for the East Coast boys with one more stop on the OMA Nationals tour. Whibley has won the previous nine rounds and looks to finish the perfect season in Illinois. His toughest competition will come from his teammates Jarrett and Watkins, who are looking to wrap up second and third in the point standings.
Grand National Cross Country Series
Ironman– Crawfordsville, Ind.
October 26, 2009
1. Nathan Kanney, High Falls, N.Y., KTM
2. Charles Mullins, Hamilton, Ohio, Suzuki
3. Josh Strang, Hickory, N.C., Suzuki
4. PAUL WHIBLEY, NEW ZEALAND, KAWASAKI
5. JIMMY JARRETT, SALEM, OHIO, KAWASAKI
6. Jesse Robinson, Connelly Springs, N.C., Husaberg
7. Barry Hawk, Jr., Smithfield, Pa. Yamaha
8. Kurt Caselli, Palmdale, Calif., KTM
9. Cory Arbogas, Bowden, W. Va., Aprilla
10. Glenn Kearney, Antioch, Calif., HSQ
XC1 Point Standings
1. PAUL WHIBLEY, NEW ZEALAND, KAWASAKI, 313
2. Josh Strang, Hickory, N.C., Suzuki, 293
3. Charles Mullins, Hamilton, Ohio, Suzuki, 286
4. JIMMY JARRETT, SALEM, OHIO, KAWASAKI, 220
5. Nathan Kanney, High Falls, N.Y., KTM, 215
6. Barry Hawk, Jr., Smithfield, Pa. Yamaha, 169
7. Kurt Caselli, Palmdale, Calif., KTM, 155
8. Jesse Robinson, Connelly Springs, NC, Husaberg, 138
9. Glenn Kearney, Antioch, Calif., HSQ, 135
10. KENNETH GILBERT, TAVARES, FLA., KAWASAKI, 124
Source: Monster Energy Kawasaki
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