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Whibley And Reeves The Dream Team


MARCH 1, 2015: It was a Yamaha "dream team" combination from the Manawatu region that won the day at the big annual Castrol Honda Six-Hour cross-country race at Matata on Saturday.

Pahiatua's Paul Whibley (Yamaha YZ450F) joined Palmerston North's Adam Reeves (Yamaha YZ250) to tackle the race, the first time either of them had contested the event, and they won it comfortably.

With two United States cross-country crowns to his credit, Whibley had chosen an ideal team-mate, Reeves being a three-time former New Zealand cross-country champion.

The 35-year-old Whibley and Reeves, 32, were never really troubled on Saturday and, although the lead swapped back and forth a couple of times early on in the race, Whibley was six minutes clear of the pack when he arrived at the timing zone at the end of lap 13 nearly six hours later, but, with five minutes still left to run on the six-hour clock, Reeves was forced to carry on and complete an extra lap for the duo, the two Yamaha men eventually the only pairing to complete 14 laps.

Runners-up were the Honda pairing of Scott Birch, of Rotorua, and Hamilton's Andrew Charleston.

"Paul rode the first two laps back-to-back because he had a bigger fuel tank, and I raced just one after that before handing back to Paul to carry on the race," explained Reeves.

"As it turned out, we then had it figured that I could get two laps in on my tank and so, at each change-over after that initial one, we each did two laps before coming in to swap.

"I don't think I rode very well on my first lap anyway and so made some adjustments to the suspension while Paul was out on the track (for the team's fourth and fifth laps) and I was good after that.

"The result is a great confidence booster for me, with national championship events coming up," said Reeves.

Whibley and Reeves clocked the first and second-fastest lap times of the event.

Meanwhile, Cambridge rider Ashton Grey took his new Blackwood Yamaha YZ250F to team up with Waimauku's Jake Wightman (KTM) and they finished third overall.

Racing also for honours within the youth class, the two young men engineered a great start, among the top five exiting turn one.

"I then got up to third behind Paul Whibley and Scott Birch. I then made a little mistake and crashed, I got up and got going again coming in eighth after the first lap," said Grey.

The two teenagers battled through traffic over the torrid laps that followed and had soon progressed to the No.3 position, behind the Birch/Charleston combination, although they were still locked in a battle with Morrisville brothers Nathan and Hayden Tesselaar to try to hold on to their advantage.

But that's how the race ended, with Grey and Wightman holding out the Tesselaar siblings, while father-and-son team Mark and Greg DeLautour, from Taupo, rounded out the top five.

The two co-winners now head their separate ways.

The next big event for Reeves is round three of the New Zealand Enduro Championships near Wellington on March 14, while Whibley tackles round two of the New Zealand Cross-country Championships near Mosgiel the following day, March 15.

Whibley is supported by Yamaha Motor New Zealand, Freedom Moto Yamaha, Monster Energy, Shoei, Sidi, Smith, MSR G2, Asterisk, Moto SR, Vortex Ignitions, EC3D, Bush Riders MCC, Spectro, Acerbis, DID, JT sprockets, Leatt, Kenda, Yamaha NZ,, Unibiker and Tire balls.

Reeves is supported by Yamaha Motor New Zealand, Sargents Yamaha in Carterton, and Darbi Accessories.


Words and photo by Andy McGechan,