Moto Media
James Stewart

Paul Whibley reports from the Eastern Hare Scramble Series

Looking down the start line was just like being at a GNCC with a lot of teams using this event as a warm up.

I got a shocking start and was near last into the trees. Tight conditions in the trees made passing tough but some of the open sections allowed a chance to make up some ground. I hooked up with Charlie Mullins on his new KTM during the middle stages of the race and we moved towards the front. Charlie then had bike problems and I was back to riding by myself.

The lead bunch of Thad Duvall, Stu Baylor and Russell Bobbit were pushing each other hard and I was having a hard time bridging the last gap after getting up to 4th.

I was having a lot of fun on the track and the conditions were near perfect. After racing for a couple of months in NZ in the mostly fast grass track conditions, I was really loving some tight rough trees to weave through. The YZ was working great and the settings we came up with last year with Factory Connection are still spot on. We have also tested some new combinations of the FMF exhaust system and have made some progress with power delivery.

4th was where I would finish up after failing to put a dent into the lead freight train late in the race. Disappointed with the result but really enjoyed getting back into some racing. The progress Scotty, my new mechanic, and the team have made in the week we have been back state side has been impressive.

1st   Thad Duvall
2nd  Stu Baylor
3rd   Russell Bobbit
4th   Paul Whibley
5th   Mike Lafferty

Paul Whibley is supported by: AmPro Yamaha, Monster Energy, Shoei, Sidi, Smith, G2, CTi, Moto SR, Vortex Ignitions, EC3D, Bush Riders MCC, Sargent Motorcycles, Yamaha NZ, Rosscos Start Up services.

The AmPro Yamaha Team is supported by: FMF Kenda Yamalube Asterisk Cannondale CV4 Cycle Gear E-Batt EBC Brakes Factory Connection Fastway Gaerne GYTR IMS Jonny Signs Leatt Brace Matrix Racing Products Motion Pro MSR Pro-Clean Rekluse Scott Shoei Slavens TM Designworks Twin Air Wiseco ZipTy Racing

Moto-Media has since received the following report from KTM Racing: 

KTM support rider Steward Baylor and FMF/KTM Factory rider Russell Bobbitt were in top form at the opening round of the AMA East National Hare Scramble Championship Series in Elko, GA where they finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Although the weather was nice on race day, rain from the week prior had soaked parts of the 11 mile course and left large mud holes throughout the trail. Both KTM riders started the 3 hour race within the top five off the line. Bobbitt quickly moved his way up into the top three with Baylor right behind him. Thaddeus Duvall was the early leader with both KTM riders in tow.

The three top riders battled through each lap of the 8 lap race. Bobbitt led for a majority of the race before making a mistake and handing the lead back to Duvall. Once Bobbitt was in 2nd, he received pressure from Baylor. The two riders swapped positions multiple times before the finish. At the end of the race, Duvall took the win with Baylor finishing about 20 seconds back and Bobbitt right on the rear wheel of Baylor.

"I was excited to come out to this race since I am a local Georgia boy," commented Bobbitt. "I'm bummed I couldn't get the win today, I just made too many mistakes at the end and got a little tired in the last half hour. Overall, I feel this race is good for my conditioning and it's great to see where I stand amongst top competition."

Bobbitt's teammates, Cory Buttrick and Charlie Mullins, also joined the competition finishing 7th and 8th respectively. Buttrick raced within the top ten all afternoon until he suffered a few set backs later in the race while Mullins was shooting for a top five finish before an obstacle broke his brake line early in the race and he lost a lap going back to the pits to fix it.