WHIBLEY HOLDS OFF MARTIN FOR ANOTHER OMA WIN

MXer Martin gives Whibley a run for his money in Minnesota
By Mark Kariya


Whibs did it again, just edging Alex Martin for the win (Photo Kato)
JG Off-road/GEICO Powersports/Monster Energy Kawasaki star Paul Whibley faced his greatest challenge to date in the Parts Unlimited Off-road Motorcycle and ATV Nationals in the form of young pro motocrosser Alex Martin. But Whibley prevailed after outlasting Martin at the Motion Pro Spring Creek Grand Prix at Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota, round six of the series, and thus kept his win streak intact at a perfect six out of six with four races left.
Off the start, things looked different. Though Whibley got into the first turn in front, privateer Shane Klimek powered around the outside on his RM250 to steal the $100 Bike Barn Holeshot Award, his feet flying and barely in control. (Klimek would eventually drop back to 10th in the Pro division and 17th overall.)
A turn later, Whibley controlled the race with Martin coming from a poor start (not being used to dead-engine starts on his Spring Creek MX/Ti Lube/Storm Lake Honda CRF250R) to settle into second by the time they exited the famous motocross track.
It seemed that Martin used the first hour to simply study Whibley’s superior woods performance because he had no problem making up time on the MX track where he literally grew up. (His father, former AMA National Hare Scrambles Champion John Martin, owns Spring Creek and lives at the venue so Alex is intimately familiar with every inch of it.)
“I probably could’ve passed Paul on the motocross track, but I wanted to kind of stay behind him and save as much energy as I could for the end of the race,” Martin explained.

Alex Martin, son of track owner and former National Enduro Star Johnny Martin gave Whibley fits
On the other hand, despite knowing he took a second seat to Martin on the motocross track, Whibley knew it was only a small part of the approximately eight-mile-long course and that he was faster in the surrounding, hilly woods.
“I knew he was going probably as good as he could go in the tight stuff, and I wasn’t overly concerned that I couldn’t beat him,” Whibley said. “I knew I could still go faster in the tight stuff.”
And that’s what he did. Both racers had their problems: Whibley had an extra pit stop to try to fix a badly bent brake pedal (giving Martin the lead) and Martin needed an extra stop for fuel, with his stock motocross tank and its twist-on gas cap not helping matters.
But in the end, Whibley put the hammer down and pulled away in the final couple laps with Martin slowing significantly and ending up almost two minutes behind.

Scott Watkins tallied a third place finish
Whibley’s teammate Scott Watkins rode a lonely race in third place nearly all day on his KX250F as did KTM 250 XC-mounted Cole Kirkpatrick in fourth. Chris Bach came from the A line on his KX450F and locked onto fifth overall, first Open A, physically a few seconds ahead of Pro Adam Bonneur’s YZ250.
Fellow Pros Nick Fahringer on his Husaberg FE570, Jeff Melik aboard his YZ450F, Gas Gas EC250-mounted Justin Williamson and Dylan Debel on his Husaberg FE450 rounded out the top 10.

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