The LG Arena in Birmingham was the venue for round three of the 2014 Garmin Arenacross series where MBO Sport Yamaha team riders Kristian Whatley and Daniel McCoy acquitted themselves very well by finishing second and third in the main event amongst a very talented international field of riders.
Both team members were well on the pace from the very start of qualifying and went into the evenings heats with Daniel second and Kristian fourth but only separated by sixteen hundredths of a second.
The teams good form carried on into the heats with Daniel winning his first heat with Kristian third, while in there second heat it was an MBO Sport Yamaha one and two with Kristian crossing the finish line just ahead of Daniel.
After the heats Kristian said, “I didn’t have the best of starts in heat one and got punched off a little bit in turn one. I came back to forth but was gifted third when Steven (Clark) fell off, but that’s racing. We had made a couple of changes to the bike setup and it seemed to be better in race two as I got the jump on everyone and rode my own race for the win”
While Daniel added, “Heat one for me was great as I had first gate pick and got a decent start but had a silly crash a little way in, but when Steven (Clark) came off I got the win. In my second heat I got another good start but got caught up in the first turn. I managed to get into second before the end of the race which will give me a good pick on the gate come the main event”
Success in arenacross is mainly about the starts and the MBO Sport Yamaha team riders couldn’t have done it much better as they powered there way up the first straight at the start of the main event of the evening in first and second places.
But in the first turn, when things start to get a bit tight the pair ran out of space and a slight bump made Kristian go wide letting Daniel and Frenchman Fabien Izoird through and into the lead.
For lap after lap Daniel did all he could to hold off Izoird while Kristian regrouped and tried to close the gap on the leading pair.
With four laps to go the series leader Izoird finally found a way past Daniel and dispite Daniel’s attempts to re-pass him went on to claim the win by the narrowest of margins.
Kristian was third and said after, “I have been working on my starts all week as I don’t think they where that good for the first two rounds and it seemed to have worked as I got the holeshot in the main. Dan came up the inside of me into turn one and I had to let him go or I would have gone down and so ended the lap in third. I then made a couple of mistakes trying to chase the boys down and it was all starting to get a bit messy. I ended up stalling the bike on lap four or five laps in and they were just pulling away from me. I managed to get the bike going again by bump starting it in the corner and finished third. Its good championship points in the bag, and we must keep moving forward”
Daniel said from second place on the podium, “I had a great start and led for most of the race but then I seem to lose traction on the front end and I didn’t want to go down and waste all that effort. But second is good, as consistency will win the championship and let’s see where we go from here”
Daniel is now second in the series, just fourteen behind the leader Izoird, while Kristian is in fifth but still in the hunt as the series moves to the Echo Arena in Liverpool next Sunday afternoon.
* Photographs by Numo Laranjeira.