Although he admits that he is out of his element when it comes to the genre of extreme racing, Whibley soldiered on to an impressive finish in relatively difficult conditions. Most called the event the “toughest they had ever ridden.”
Fast times in qualifying put Whibley on the front wave of the starting grid, with the 36-rider finale getting divided into waves with five riders to a wave. The Am Pro Yamaha rider maintained a steady pace in the extremely rugged and rock-infested 10-lap final, missing the podium by just a few minutes at the finish of the race.
With the GNCC “summer break” nearing its end, Whibley can now concentrate on his main objective: the 2012 GNCC Championship title.
Q: How was this event; it looked quite difficult?
A: Yeah, it was pretty tough. I think it was tougher than last year, there was a bit of moisture on the rocks from that brief rain we had and it made the course pretty slippery. Also, there was a big waterfall that we went down last year, and this year we went up it, and it was almost impossible. There were a lot of guys struggling to get up that sections.
Q: How would you rate your finish?
A: It was good; I’m happy with my finish and I’m happy I rode my two-stroke. I think the four-stroke would have been a bit much in this type of event. I’m not as comfortable on the 250, but it’s definitely a better bike for this kind of stuff.
Q: These extreme races are not something you usually ride.
A: No, this is the only one. I rode this event last year and again this year, and that’s the extent of my extreme racing. I must say I’m happy to survive it and come out in good shape.
Q: You had another one-off race last week with the Big Sky Cross-country. Are you looking forward to getting back to familiar territory when the GNCC series gets underway again in two weeks?
A: Yeah, but we had a productive summer break. We raced quite a few races during the long break between GNCC races and ended up wrapping up the OMA title as well as winning the Big Sky XC race in Montana. So it’s been a good summer but I’m looking forward to getting back down to business. I’ve just been riding and training and trying to stay in race shaoe, but it will be good to get back to concentrating on just one series now that the OMA title is wrapped up.
Q: The next GNCC round is at Unadilla. Is that a good course for you?
A: Yeah, I’ve done well there in the past and I like the course. It’s kind of a short track, and it can be difficult. If it rains I’ll really like it.