Whibley wins Maxxis Moonshine X-C National; Jarrett back from broken wrist for second
By Mark Kariya
Paul Whibley’s like a broken record as he moves closer to a record-breaking unbeaten season in the Parts Unlimited Off-road Motorcycle and ATV Nationals; he just keeps doing the same thing: winning. In Memphis, Missouri, round nine of the series, he recorded his ninth consecutive victory aboard his KX450F. Old news.
Paul Whibley shot to his ninth win in nine OMA races this year; one more and he has a clean sweep of the series
But not everything was the same at the event co-sanctioned by the MXC Series as well as the Iowa Enduro Riders Association.
Whibley’s JG Off-road/GEICO Powersports/Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate Jimmy Jarrett continued his amazing recovery from the broken wrist he suffered at round five in Wisconsin less than two months ago to end up second. That was his first podium finish since round three in Ohio and came despite tangling and crashing with Chris Bach on the first lap.
Bach got the holeshot when Jarrett overcooked the first turn, and the privateer on his Spastic Designs-backed KX450F earned the $100 Bike Barn Holeshot Award. The rest of his race, however, went decidedly worse and he would finish a disappointing 12th in class (in his first Pro start of the year after wrapping up the Open A championship at the previous round).
Jimmy Jarrett (2) has staged a remarkably quick come-back from the broken wrist he suffered at round five in Wisconsin. He nearly got the holeshot, coming into the first turn too hot and letting Chris Bach (984) sneak past on the inside, but JJ rallied back to finish second–his first podium since round three in Ohio.
Whibley wasted little time eating dust and was soon in front to stay. “I had a little bit of a bad start today, but it came good; I got to the lead just before the open grass fields,” he said. “When we got to the tight stuff, I kind of made some time up there and had a little bit of a lead by the end of the first lap and I was able to ride my own race from there.”
Jason Thomas held second for a while after making up for a “mediocre” start aboard his Fred Andrews Racing/Monster Energy Yamaha WR250F, but he couldn’t hold off Jarrett’s KX450F and would settle for third. Still, that gave the young man from Wales his second podium in his second race back after missing rounds four through seven.
Jason Thomas rode hard in his OMA debut of his new WR250F and held second for a while before Jarrett passed him; he settled for third and his second straight visit to the podium.
After being on the podium for the last five rounds, Scott Watkins missed it by just five seconds in Missouri’s Maxxis Moonshine Cross-country National, but he wasn’t extremely disappointed. That’s because his fourth-place result in what was probably his final OMA appearance of the year aboard his KX250F easily kept him second in points; he’ll likely opt for a 450 at the finale on Halloween weekend in Illinois, the ever-popular Moose Run.
Though he missed the podium for the first time since round three, Scott Watkins’ fourth place easily kept him second in points in his debut OMA season.
Fastway YZ450F-mounted Jeff Melik had one of his overall best rides of the year en route to fifth. An excellent start saw him run second behind Bach early on, and Melik kept that lead pack in sight for a while, aided by a bike he felt is finally sorted out.
Husaberg’s Nick Fahringer had a one-week-old 2010 FX 450 to try out, which wasn’t all bad or all good; it was just different and he ended up sixth.
Adam Bonneur rode his Gieson Motorsports YZ450F in Missouri to seventh place, which wasn’t enough to keep him ahead of Jarrett in points. Unofficially, Bonneur dropped to fourth in points, setting up a potential JG Off-road/GEICO Powersports/Monster Energy Kawasaki sweep of the top three at year’s end.
Privateer Shane Klimek put his RM250 into eighth followed by Lite A winner Chase Bishop on his YZ250F and Pro Adam Reeves, a friend of Whibley’s visiting from New Zealand who even rode Whibley’s practice KX450F.
With only the Moose Racing-sponsored Moose Run remaining, Whibley’s only remaining goal in the series is a clean sweep of all 10 rounds, but he discovered last year that things have a way of happening that are often out of your control so it’s not a given.