Gert Krestinov and Kristian Whatley raced to third and fifth respectively overall aboard their Buildbase Hondas at the third round of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship held at the undulating Canada Heights circuit in Kent. Recent revisions to the hillside track, which was in prime condition, and that overlooks the M25 meant that overtaking was difficult as a clear and single racing lined developed throughout the day.
The meeting opened well for the official MX1 Honda UK team with Whatley qualifying in second spot and Krestinov earning fifth position for his concerted effort during the morning timed session. With both riders having gained good gate picks ahead of the day’s three twenty minute plus two lap sprints, all was in place for some solid results and the opportunity to collect some more valuable championship points.
Unfortunately Whatley was unable to pick up from the speed and potential he had showed in qualifying and rode a disappointing opening race as he struggled to fight his way up the order after a poor start to end the first sprint in seventh spot. In contrast Krestinov converted a good start into an excellent thirds position as he overcame Brad Anderson during the closes stages of the initial race.
Race two was to see Whatley taste more frustration. Kristian had been hard on the rear wheel of eventual overall winner Shaun Simpson for the early part of the race and had really been putting the reigning champion under pressure before the race was black flagged at the nine-minute mark.
Short of the require distance to declare a result race two was re-run and whilst Whatley failed to make such a good start at the second time of asking he charged into a comfortable second place before he then crashed on the final lap to eventually demote himself to fifth spot. Again Krestinov was strong throughout the race and steadily worked his way through the pack to claim a superb runners’ up spot come the flag.
The third and final encounter of the day proved to be the best showing of the meeting for the Buildbase Honda team as both riders fought their way up the order to take third and fourth places as they crossed the line with Whatley being followed home by Krestinov on this occasion. These set of final results were enough to put Krestinov in third position overall whilst Whatley finished the day in fifth spot when the three races were taken into account.
Reflecting on the day Buildbase Honda MX Team Manager David Thorpe said. “Gert has ridden three strong and consistent races on a track that is notoriously difficult and that has claimed many casualties over the years. He can be pleased with his day and to reach his goal of being on the podium overall.”
“For Kristian it has been a disappointing day. In race one he was disappointed with his own performance and then was disappointed when the second race was stopped just when it looked like he had Shaun (Simpson) under pressure.. He will also have been disappointed to of crashed on the last lap whilst holding a safe second place in the re-run. Finally he will have been able to have climbed to third in the final race on track that was hard to have overtake on.”
Gert added his own comments. “Overall I am pleased with how the day has gone, three good results and to be on the podium at the end of the meeting was my main goal, so I can say I have done my job well today. My starts were good which was important today as it was difficult to pass out there, but my speed has been good to. Now I hope I can build on this result at the next rounds.”
The final word went to Kristian. “It’s been a tough and disappointing day pretty much from start to finish. Bad starts haven’t helped and have made things difficult. Race one was just poor and race two was a real shame, as I was right on Shaun (Simpson) until it was stopped. Crashing on the last lap of the re-run was real bad and race three was at least some kind of consolation. I really need to be better form for the next round if I am keep Shaun under pressure for the title.”
Image by Nuno Laranjeira