The MBO Sport Yamaha team with it’s number one rider Kristian Whatley made the long trip across the Irish Sea to take part in round six of The Maxxis British Motocross Championship at the iconic Desertmartin track run by the hard working Cookstown Motorcycle Club.But things didn’t go quite to plan and Kristian’s riding skills, and the teams resourcefulness were pushed to the limit.
Arriving on Saturday the course was in prime condition, smooth and well graded, but from midnight that night it started to rain and just didn’t stop turning the track into a sloppy sandy energy sapping mess that would test the fitness of the riders and the mechanical strengths of the machines.
Kristian got the holeshot at the start of the first race of three with championship challenger and GP rider Matiss Karro in his wheel tracks, but it all went wrong half way round the opening lap where Kristian crashed out in a big way.
He remounted and set off again way down in twentieth position, then just went for it, ending the race in a respectful forth position.
After the race Kristian said, “I had a good start but half way round the first lap all my lines from qualifying had gone and I had a really big crash over the table top. I got back on the bike in about twelfth place, but later on in the same lap, and when I was pushing hard again, the same thing happened and I crashed again. I then started to change my racing lines and it all came together and I was able to pass lots of the other riders, but the start was a bit amateurish on my part, that’s a fact”
Track conditions were worse for race two with the deep muddy sand just off the racing line putting the high powered racing engines under a great deal of strain, with many riders dropping out with overheating and broken engines.
Kristian didn’t get the best of starts and rounded turn one in seventh while the on form Karro once again led.
It was a struggle for any rider to find room in the conditions to affect a pass and by half race distance, and with the Yamaha engine getting hot as the muddy sand stuck to the radiator, Kristian with a large gap to the next rider behind him nursed the bike home to a safe seventh place.
Kristian said after, “I had a reasonable start in about seventh and was OK with that, but I made a couple of mistakes in the early part of the race and then the bike developed a bit of a problem and I had to nurse it home, but still in a good points position”
With valuable points at stake and as the engine had overheated slightly the MBO Sport Yamaha team mechanics did an engine swop between the second and third races, just to give themselves time to check it out properly before the next event.
Kristian got the holeshot with Karro just behind him and the two fast riders pulled away from the chasing pack till with five laps to go Karro managed to find a way past to snatch the win from Kristian.
After racing was over for the day Kristian said, “I got holeshot and rode my own race till Mattis (Karro) came past me. I stayed with him ready to take advantage of any mistakes he made and be safe”
Kristian was third overall on this most taxing of days behind GP riders Karro and Tanel Leok, but still retains the red series leader plate going into round seven at Hawkstone Park on the 11th of August.
1 Matiss Karro
2 Tanel Leok
3 Kristian Whatley (MBO Sport Yamaha)
4 Jamie Law
5 Brad Anderson
6 Shane Carless
7 Jonathan Barragan
8 Scott Elderfield
9 Matthew Moffat
10 Dorren Coutts