Monster Energy Athlete Paul Whibley checks in this week with a report on his off-season training and riding from his home back in New Zealand. According to Whibs, the "break" has been shorter than usual due to the extended time he and wife Katherine spent in the States last year and thanks to the early date of the opening round of the OMA on February 24th, which will see the duo returning to America sometime next week.
Not only has Whibley spent the off time racing, in preparation for his assault on the 2013 OMA and GNCC schedules, but he also dabbled in race promotions at his off-road park, promoting and running a race for the first time.
"That took some organizing!" Whibley said. "My first race as a promoter. We also gave the park a once over with some upgraded machinery before the riders tore it up."
Whibley also ran a boot camp for local racers, which amounted to five days of training, riding and instruction. "The idea was to give some of New Zealand's top young guys an insight into what it takes to race internationally," explained Whibley. "The guys seemed to enjoy it, and were worn out by the end so I think I did my job."
Don't think that Whibley has lost sight of the ultimate goal at hand, however, which is bring home two more championships in the coming year.
"I'm looking forward to getting back and defending the championships," says Whibley. "It's going to be tough with the continued competition coming into the XC1 class - the young guys seem to get faster and faster each year. But I'm still enjoying it, and look forward to the challenge and working together with the AmPro family for another season."
First up for Whibley once he returns to the States will to be to get settled into the home base in Traveler's Rest, and then get on the bike to prepare for the first OMA in Alabama.
The GNCC series kicks off on March 7th at River Ranch, Florida, and will see Whibley sporting the shiny Number One plate on the front of his YZ450F.
I'm looking forward to running the #1 plate on the bike and trying to fend off the challenge from the pack of hungry young riders," says Whibley. "I'm looking forward to getting back into the States and down to the AmPro Yamaha Team base. We have a solid platform there and after spending the last three years building our program, it feels like we are heading back to our family! Although, it's been nice to chill here in NZ for a while but it's time to get back to business."