Parts Unlimited Off-road Motorcycle and ATV Nationals, Round 5: Maxxis Hang Man Cross-country National
Whibley leaves ‘em high and dry at Hanging Limb
By Mark Kariya
Through five rounds of the OMAs, Paul Whibley has been unbeatable as he demonstrated so ably at the Maxxis Hang Man Cross-country National in Hanging Limb, Tennessee.
FMF/AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley survived one challenge after another–at least in the early going–to win the Maxxis Hang Man Cross-country National in Hanging Limb, Tennessee, round five of the Parts Unlimited Off-road Motorcycle and ATV Nationals. In doing so, he kept his record perfect at five out of five as he goes for a record fifth-straight series championship.
Russell Bobbitt almost got the $100 FMF Holeshot Award, but he couldn’t get slowed enough for the first turn, allowing eventual winner Paul Whibley to sneak past. The FMF/KTM racer held second briefly and settled for third on the day.
But after snagging the $100 FMF Holeshot Award and going on to win yet again, Whibley insisted, “I was not riding real good today; I was riding a little bit careful–too careful–early on and Jordan [Ashburn] caught me and passed me at one point. He was riding really good; I guess he’s pretty comfortable in this stuff.”
Teammate Ashburn is definitely comfortable “in this stuff,” since he lives in nearby Cookeville, and after making a few changes to his WR450F, he was flying. Unfortunately for the local favorite, the fuel tank didn’t hold quite as much as they thought it did and he ran out of gas on the last lap. After a lengthy pause before he was able to get more, he ended up fourth Pro and fifth overall.
Husaberg’s Nick Fahringer was one of the beneficiaries of Ashburn’s unplanned stop. After a somewhat slow first few laps of riding in fourth place, he found his rhythm and got into third. “The whole day was fall-behind-in-the-dust, catch-back-up-in-the-woods,” he said. “Every lap I’d make a little more headway doing that. Jordan was riding good so that was unfortunate for him.”
Though he felt a bit flat in the early laps, Nick Fahringer loosened up and rode a strong third until the final lap when he passed an out-of-gas Jordan Ashburn. Second overall also gave him solitary possession of second in series points, unofficially.
More significant for Fahringer, though, was beating Russell Bobbitt of the FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team. Going into the Hang Man, the were tied for second in series points at 92 apiece. With Fahringer finishing second and Bobbitt third, the Husaberg racer now has sole possession of second place, four points ahead of Bobbitt, unofficially.
But a lot can happen in the last half of the season, of course.
Hall’s Cycle Husqvarna rider Daniel Janus put in a great ride after a somewhat slow start. He not only won Lite A, he was the first A rider, finishing an impressive fourth overall. Ashburn was next followed by 30-39 A winner Marty Michels, Lite A runner-up Brandon Farnum, Pro Shane Klimek, Lite B winner Dalton Cross and Open A winner Spencer Burke.
Despite a somewhat slow start, Daniel Janus moved steadily up through the pack to end up fourth overall and first A rider. That gave him the Lite A win, unofficially moving him into the class points lead.
The next stop in the series is the always popular FMF Spring Creek Grand Prix in Millville, Minnesota, next month. That’s the start of the final half of the season where history could be made if Whibley continues his dominating ways.