OMA Nationals: Parts Unlimited Off-road Motorcycle and ATV, Round 10/series finale: Titan Cross-country National


by Mark Kariya

 FMF/AmPro Yamaha’s Paul Whibley rebounded from his defeat at the Moose Run to edge FMF/KTM Factory Off-Road Racing Team’s Russell Bobbitt for the Titan Cross-country National win in Birdsong, Tennessee. Thus, the 10th and final round of the Parts Unlimited Off-road Motorcycle and ATV (OMA) Nationals mimicked the first round, though this one was a lot closer.

Paul Whibley (1, left) and Russell Bobbitt (127, right) squared off from the second the green flag flew. Though Bobbitt led the majority of the event, Whibley came through at the end with the winning pass, and his winning margin over Bobbitt wasn’t much more than this.

 Bobbitt got the holeshot over Whibley, but Husaberg’s Nick Fahringer was determined to push to the front and he nosed past the five-time and defending series champ to put himself into second behind Bobbitt.

            But a crash followed by arm-pump left Fahringer in third to stay, despite a serious charge that saw him make up most of the time he’d lost. The top three easily outdistanced the rest of the field, especially once Whibley’s teammate Jordan Ashburn DNFed with reported bike trouble while in fourth.

Fast-starting Nick Fahringer ran second early on but a couple of crashes doomed him to third place for the sixth time this season.

            The battle for the lead went down to the very end, with Bobbitt saving a couple possible passing lines for his last-ditch attacks. Unfortunately for him, he fell short by less than one second at the finish, his sixth runner-up of the series. That clinched second in final points for him with Fahringer an easy third in points.

Vet racer Steve Leivan won 30-39 A, wrapping up the class championship. As a bonus, he also passed all other A riders to finish fourth overall.

            Behind the top three Pros, A riders enjoyed a banner day, 30-39 A winner and class champ Steve Leivan claiming a solid fourth overall for his best finish of the season. Some five minutes behind him came Jeff Cowan, the Open A winner, followed by Open A runner-up Spencer Burke. But Burke ended up with the class championship for the series, a nice farewell ride for the trusty KX450F that he’s retiring.

Spencer Burke rode his KX450F for the last time (he bought a KTM 250 XC on the way to the race and plans to use it next season). Though he was second Open A and sixth overall behind Jeff Cowan, he clinched the class championship.

            Visiting Pro Brandon Ferguson, Open A’s Adam Creasor and Chevis Hendon, and 30-39 A runner-up Dale Duke rounded out the top 10.


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