A team of three MBO Sport ASA Scaffolding Yamaha riders travelled to the hill side course of Culham next to the river Thames last weekend for round six of the 2014 MX Nationals series and came away with some strong championship results.
The team’s number one rider Kristian Whatley started the weekend well by qualifying second to series leader Nathan Watson.
Kristian didn’t get the start he wanted in the one and only MX1 race on Saturday and rounded turn one buried in the pack in tenth place from where it was always going to be a struggle to make headway on the dusty one line track.
But Kristian never gives up and by the time the race was half over he was in second and was closing fast on the race leader Watson.
With two laps to go Kristian was on the back wheel of Watson, but Watson is a fast young racer and try as much as he could Kristian had to settle for second place.
A substantial amount of work was done on the track overnight and it was in much better racing condition come the first MX1 race on Sunday, where Kristian got the holeshot and stormed to the race win.
Watson had started the race behind Kristian and closed in on him as the race came to an end but was never a threat.
In the third and final race of the weekend Kristian once again got the holeshot and led Watson, his only real challenger for most of the race until, with five laps to go Watson found a faster line on one of the down hills and sneaked through in to the lead.
For the next couple of laps Kristian fought back until some slower back markers got in the way allowing Watson to open up an advantage, which Kristian, try as he may could not close and settled for second place in the race, and second overall.
After racing was over for the day Kristian said, “Qualifying went well as I fished second just behind series leader Nathan (Watson) which was OK and the start straight is pretty even. In Saturdays first race I messed up the start and went round the first turn in about tenth place and with the track so one liney and dusty it took me a long time to get into second place. I was feeling good on the bike and strong and caught Nathan up with a lap to go but couldn’t find a way past. I got the holeshot in race two and went onto the win, but didn’t think my riding was that good and I didn’t feel as comfortable and as strong as I did in the first race. After a good start in the third and final race I got a bit of arm pump, but not enough to slow me down, while in the lead. Nathan managed to find a way past me towards the end of the race and I tried to get the lead back but I had a couple of back markers get in the way which allowed him to get away so I settled for second place. So I was not happy with my performance today and will have to have a think about what to do before the next round”
The teams other two riders were in the very competitive MX2 class with Lewis Trickett making a welcome return to racing after an earlier injury, and Carlton Husband who is racing with the team till the end of the year.
Lewis despite his lack of resent race time was fourth fastest in qualifying with Carlton in twelfth place, but come the first race Lewis surprised a lot of people by leading the pack into the first turn.
GP rider Mel Pocock managed to pass Lewis on the opening lap pushing him back in to second place which he held for three laps till having a fall.
He remounted but his lack of race fitness meant he finished the race in eighth, while Carlton had a mid-field start in twelfth and ended his race in tenth.
At the start of the second race Lewis gated sixth and was keeping pace with Ben Watson for half the race, but once again race fitness caused him to loss a place to Lewis Tombs with three laps to go, and finished the race in seventh place.
Carlton crashed on the opening lap and was in last place crossing the timing strip for the first time, and from then on seemed to struggle to get going again finishing his race in sixteenth place.
Lewis saved the best till last and in race three he followed Bryan Mackenzie round the opening lap and never looked back, ending his race in a very strong second place, eight seconds clear of fourth place man Ben Watson.
Carlton had a better race to as he started in thirteenth place and made steady progress forward and finished tenth. Overall for the weekend Lewis was a very respectful fifth considering the time he has had off the bike, with Carlton tenth.
A satisfied Lewis said after racing was over for the weekend, “I am very happy with my weekends racing as I knew I had the speed from the practicing I have been doing since my return from injury and qualified fourth. I got the holeshot in the first race and felt comfortable on the bike, but I dropped back to fifth and then crashed down to eighth which was a bit disappointing. In the second race I didn’t get such a good start and was down in sixth. I am still not race fit and started to tire towards the end of the race Lewis (Tombs) came past me so I finished seventh. In the last race I gated third but Mel (Pocock) went down and I was left chasing Bryan (Mackenzie). I followed him for a while watching his lines riding the track at about 90% and not doing anything stupid for a strong second place”
The team’s next event will be round seven on the MX Nationals at Preston Docks circuit in two weeks’ time.