It looked like on paper that this years Maxxis British Motocross championship was going to be the best and most competitive in many years, but Kristian Whatley and the MBO Sport Yamaha Team showed last Sunday at Landrake in Cornwall that although opposition is tough they are not going to have the championship they have worked so hard to get, taken away very easily as the team were well on the race pace with Kristian on the podium again.
It was a treat to have some nice sunny dry weather as Kristian qualified fourth but within a second of the leader GP rider Shaun Simpson, but come “superpole” time, Kristian qualified fourth giving him a good gate pick for that all important start.
In the first MX1 race Kristian followed Jake Nicholls into turn one as the pair of fast riders set off at a great pace leaving the rest to squabble over third place.
All though Kristian was riding the same speed as Nicholls on the tight rutty fast track he couldn’t find a place to effect a pass and had to settle for a safe second place.
He said after the race, “I had a good jump at the start of the first race and was second going into the first turn behind Jake as the pair of us managed to open up a bit of a lead over Shaun. I just couldn’t find away past Jake as he was riding so well and had to settle for second”
Things didn’t go to plan for Kristian in race two as he tangled with another rider in the opening part of the race and ended the lap in eighteenth and with a lot of work to do to get some good championship points.
He powered his way back up the pack to third by the half way stage but a simple mistake like stalling his Yamahas engine dropped him back down to seventh with only three laps left in the race.
As Shaun took his first win of the year, Kristian finished fifth behind two GP runners and two ex-British champions.
He said after the race, “I had a good start but got it all wrong going up the start straight and dropped back to about twentieth. From then on I pushed hard and managed to make my way back up to third behind Jake again, but then stalled the bike in a turn and ended up fifth”
The third and last MX1 race of the day was more straight forward as Shaun got the holeshot from Jake and Kristian and with the track getting more rutted and becoming one line Kristian had to wait for an opportunity to pass Jake, which he did with five laps to go.
He closed in on Shaun very quickly but run out of race time before he could make a pass.
Kristian said after racing had finished for the day about the last race and the rest of the year, “I gated third in the last race behind Shaun and Jake, but half way through the race I was feeling comfortable on the bike and Jake was making some mistakes so I capitalised on that and passed him in to second. I closed the gap on Shaun and if the race had been another couple of laps longer perhaps I could have challenged him for the lead. I think the scene is set now and this years championship and it will be a fight between us three”
MBO Sport Yamahas second rider is the young Lewis Trickett riding in the MX2 class and he acquitted himself very well to the task handed to him by getting a thirteenth place start in the MX2 first race and finishing a creditable ninth.
In the second he started in twelfth and finish seventh, just behind Neville Bradshaw and his best race came in his last outing where he gated fifth amongst the top runners and held that position till the end of the race giving him a fine eighth overall.
1 Shaun Simpson
2 Jake Nicholls
3 Kristian Whatley (MBO Sport Yamaha)
4 Elliott Banks-Brown
5 Brad Anderson
6 Alex Snow
7 Jamie Law
8 Gert Krestinov
9 Nathan Watson
10 Graeme Irwin
1 Mel Pocock
2 Matiss Karro
3 Steven Lenoir
4 Neville Bradshaw
5 Bryan Mackenzie
6 James Dunn
7 Adam Sterry
8 Lewis Trickett (MBO Sport Yamaha)
9 Jason Dougan
10 Lewis Tombs