Buildbase Honda riders Kristian Whatley and Gert Krestinov closed out the 2015 Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship in style by both finishing on the podium at the finale of the series held at Fatcat Moto Parc. Whatley went 1-2-2 to take second overall whilst Krestinov produced three top five placings to secure third spot on the day.
Conditions at the sandy circuit near Doncaster could not have been better for the eighth and final stop of the 2015 domestic tour, with the last racing of the season taking place in glorious sunshine and with temperatures in the twenties. Buildbase lead rider Whatley signalled his intent to close out his injury interrupted campaign on a high as he snatched second in qualifying, and came within a fraction of a second of taking the top spot. Gert reinforced his teammate’s performance as he ended the time session in seventh position.
Whatley made the most of his prominent gate pick as he took the holeshot in the opening twenty-minute plus two-lap sprint. From his immediate position out front Kristian never looked back and soon carved out a healthy lead to totally dominate the first race and even though he slowed on the last lap he still took the flag over eight seconds clear of the recently crowned British Champion Shaun Simpson. Krestinov had to work much harder for his eventual fifth spot as he fought his way up the order from his initial position just inside the top ten.
Simpson returned the favour on Whatley in race two as he hit the front early on this occasion and managed to carve out a good advantage by the time that Kristian had finally found a way around his soon to be teammate Graeme Irwin. It was only four laps from the end that Whatley was able to move into second place to keep himself in contention for overall honours with one race to go. Krestinov found himself embroiled in a three-way scrap with Brad Anderson and Tanel Leok for most of the second moto and rode brilliantly to claim fifth come the flag.
The third and final race of the day saw Simpson, Whatley and Krestinov sprint into the first turn pretty much side by side as this trio moved clear of the pack in what was to develop into an interesting closing encounter. By half distance Simpson and Whatley had edged clear leaving Krestinov to ride to an excellent third spot on what was his final outing for the Buildbase team. Kristian pursued Simpson hard during the closing laps but saw his efforts to overhaul Shaun thwarted as a backmarker caused him to lose valuable seconds on the race leader, which he was unable to recover.
Second and third spots respectively for Kristian and Gert in the third sprint were enough for the Buildbase pairing to secure the same positions overall in what was a strong and excellent way to round the 2015 season for the official Honda UK motocross team.
Summing up Buildbase Honda MX Team Manager, David Thorpe said. “What a great way to end the year, both Kristian and Gert have both ridden so well today. Without their injuries who knows just what might have been when you see how strong they have ended the series. Overall it has been another good season for the Buildbase Honda MX team, and its many loyal sponsors who I would like to thank for their incredible and continued support.”
“Finally I would like to say a special thank you to the unsung heroes of the team, our mechanics – Ryan, Willy, Ben and Rob – who have done a great job throughout the season and are a big part of our success.”
Whatley offered his comments. “It was a shame about the back marker getting in the way in the last race as I felt I could have really put Shaun under pressure and could have gone for the overall win. The main thing is that we ended the year strongly and are now in good shape to start testing straight away for 2016, when if I can stay injury free I can put in a real challenge for the title. Finally I would like to thank Dave, Ryan and the rest of the team for this season.”
Finally Krestinov had this to say. “Being on the podium in my last meeting with the team feels great and is the reward that we all deserve for our efforts this year. I have enjoyed my time with the Buildbase Honda squad and would like to thank all involved for doing their best for me this season.”
Image: Elliot Spencer