by Mike Webb

Just got back from frigid North Carolina and the GNCC’s. It was another really good weekend for Team FMF Suzuki Off Road with the boy’s in yellow going 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th overall.

It was Whib’s turn to lead the team with his third place finish, so far three races and Paul has finished 5th, 4th and now 3rd on the new RM-Z450 EFI. Paul gated OK, but told me he was a bit cautious with the slick first turn and came out about 6th or 7th. Then he struggled with arm pump, but it turns out his shock sag was a bit off and he was fighting the front end. After a gas stop that had every Suzuki rider come in at the same time, he got going and pushed his way to a well deserved third.

Josh Strang aboard the teams other RM-Z450EFI gated second to last but was aggressive early on. Unfortunately when he got to the first uphill, the rut at the bottom of the hill was blocked with a fallen rider and Josh tried some bonsai line around the outside that turned out to be way slower and he was back in last by the time he got to the top. After that he pushed hard and was up to third when he spun out and handed the position to his teammate Whib’s. I was stoked again with the young Ozzie and I know his break out race is just around the corner.

JJ (Jimmy Jarrett) gated 4th, but never really showed his true speed, he said his lower back started giving out with 2 laps to go and settled for 5th behind Josh. Jimmy needs to have another good race, since his 2nd. place in Florida he has lost a bit of fire.

Last race winner Charlie Mullins battled Kanney for the hole shot, but then lost his drive up the first uphill and had to go all the way back down and do it again which put him around 12th. Amazingly within a lap he was back with the freight train of his team mates. Unfortunately Charlie clipped a tree with his bars and jammed his wrist pretty good. After that he soldered on to 6th, while trying to take it easy on his sore wrist. I was happy that Charlie didn’t give into the pain and was able to score valuable points. The kid is so fast, speed is not his problem, we are working on getting Charlie to settle down when his game plan is altered and to take his time getting back to the front.

All in all that’s three podiums in three races, and that’s what makes a race team manager happy. All the guys are headed to the OMA opener next week and then its back to the GNCC in South Carolina after that.



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