2009 Champion Paul Whibley…part 2!
Hot on the heels of his 2009 OMA championship, the likeable Kiwi proved once again that he’s the man to beat by dominating the 2009 GNCC championship. Hear about it in his own words:
The past couple weeks leading up to the final GNCC seemed to take forever. After putting in two wins and a 3rd after the break I had boosted my lead in the Championship to around 23 points. So at the final round I needed to play it safe and finish inside the top 13 to claim the title.
With the wave of the green flag the final GNCC of 2009 was underway. Off the start I avoided any pile ups in the first turn and was mid pack through the first lap. There was a lot of lead changes with plenty of line options as the track had been churned up by the 500 odd morning race entrants. I began to move up toward the leaders and was in touch with the lead group when I bounced off Thad Duvall pretty hard when our different lines merged. This made me nervous as I didn’t want the title chase to end right there with a damaged bike. So I backed it down some more and stopped taking any risks. I found it hard to ride at the reduced pace and ended up riding bad and making a lot of mistakes. The mud holes were getting bad but the spectators and team personnel in their bright yellow GEICO shirts kept me on the straight and narrow.
At the fuel stop I was informed I was doing exactly what was needed to take the title and keep it up. Late in the race I ended up riding with Kallib Russell and began to ride better as we pushed each other along. I ended up moving up to 4th in class by the end of the race. Securing the GNCC Championship, Job Done, Mission Accomplished. Crossing the line was an amazing feeling. Lost for words, relieved, excited and so, so happy. Surrounded by the team and supporters and getting a big emotional hug from Katherine. Awesome.
Winning the title has been a life long dream of mine but a lot of people have helped me get to the final step. Too many to mention here but I have to thank some of the major ones. Katherine for believing in me and supporting me 100% of the way. The JG Off road team, JT and Gretchen. Mark for all his work behind the scene. My mechanic Scotty and also Monty for their hard work. All the great sponsors, both personal and team. Our two Mums for coming over to see what we do.
Also in the years leading up to this point, all the people who have helped me and have shared their experience. Scott Summers and Fred Bramblet for giving me the opportunity to come to America and race. The teams in the WEC that taught me a lot, Husqvarna, Gas Gas and Paul Edmondsons’ Honda team. Justin Heke for his hard as hell training programs, Richy from MotoSR. Morrie and Dan for their mechanical skills and support.
And the fans at the races for all their support and cheering me on. All the emails of support from freinds, family and fans that have wished me well and kept me motivated.
All those that I have forgot to mention I’m sorry, there have been so many in this journey that deserve more thanks than I can give here.
Thanks to my Sponsors:
JG Offroad, GEICO, Monster Energy Kawasaki, Moose Racing, Shoei, Smith, Sidi, RG3, Ohlins USA, Moto SR, Pirelli, LeoVince, No Toil, CTi, Enduro Engineering, Renthal, Pro Moto Billet/Fastway, IMS, Vortex ignitions, G2, PG Graphics, EBC Brakes, Tsubaki Chains, WER, BRP, Rekluse, CV4, Silkolene, Works Connection, Motion Pro