Newly Crowned OMA Champion
Kawasaki’s Paul Whibley came out in full force at the beginning of the season with the backing of a new team and riding aboard a new bike. The Kawasaki KX 450F and Whibley have won a total of 11 races thus far between the GNCC series and the OMA Nationals. With his dominant showing at the OMA Nationals, going eight for eight, he successfully defended his No. 1 plate and was crowned champion for the second time. He took some time to talk about the season, his new bike, and his future goals.
Question: First off, congrats on your newest title. Does this one feel as good as the first?
Paul Whibley: Yeah it feels pretty good. I haven’t lost a race in the series so that makes it even better. I still have a couple races to go and want to make it a clean sweep for the season. Now that I have the title wrapped up, that is the next thing to aim for and hopefully we’ll finish strong.
Question: As you said, you’ve won all eight races so far. How has the overall season treated you with a few new tracks on the schedule, different competition, and the pressure to defend your title?
Paul Whibley: The OMA Nationals have had a varied competition. A lot of the top guys haven’t done the whole series, which made it a little easier on me. My teammate Jimmy Jarrett has been one of my major competitors, but he broke his wrist just over a month ago. I got a little bit of a points break because of that and was able to wrap it up a little earlier since he wasn’t there putting on the pressure.
Question: Have you been helping your other teammate Scott Watkins out with his first experience with the OMA series or is he a natural at it?
Paul Whibley: He’s adapted to the tracks really well. The tracks are a lot tighter than the GNCCs and he seems to do really well with that. He’s definitely excelled pretty fast. I think he’s currently second and is looking good to carry it out for the rest of the season.
Question: You seem to have adapted well to the Kawasaki KX 450F in your first year. What is it about the bike that makes it a great for you?
Paul Whibley: It just suits me really well. It has a nice smooth motor and smooth power delivery. The bike seems to handle all the bumps and obstacles that we encounter in off-road. It’s not just a bike for motocross racing, but crosses over really well into off-road racing. It’s been good to ride it this year.
Question: You’re next big race is the Unadilla GNCC in two weeks. How do you feel about that race?
Paul Whibley: That can be a pretty tough track. It usually rains there so it can get pretty muddy and slippery. It’s a good challenge. I’ve had pretty good results in the past so I’m looking forward to it.
Question: You’ve accomplished a lot in your career already. What are your future career goals?
Paul Whibley: Well the GNCC title is a goal for this year. It’s not sewn up yet and I really want to win that title. I want to continue to carry on and win more races and more titles here. The EnduroCross series is fun, but it seems to clash a lot with the OMA and GNCC schedules so I don’t know if that is in the immediate future. It’s definitely fun racing, but it takes a lot of practice and testing.