The Buildbase Honda pairing of Kristian Whatley and Gert Krestinov took second and fourth places overall respectively at the second round of the 2015 Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship held at the historic Cadders Hill circuit near Lyng, Norfolk. The hard charging duo featured towards the front end of all three of the twenty-minute plus two lap sprints that were held in perfect race conditions and under blue skies.
Whatley who finished as runner-up in last year’s series showed his intent to seriously challenge current title holder Shaun Simpson as he topped the morning qualifying session by almost a second from Tanel Leok, with Simpson close to another second off the initial pace of Kristian. Krestinov confirmed that all was in place for a good overall team performance, as he placed fourth in timed training just behind the KTM rider.
Things looked even better as the first race got underway in glorious sunshine, as Whatley took the holeshot and then powered his way into a commanding lead over the opening four laps, which was in the region of almost ten seconds at one point. Perhaps too aware of his elevated position Kristian then started to ride a little more tense and allowed Simpson to close the lap and eventually pass him during the latter stages of the race. With Whatley still taking a good second place, Krestinov backed this up with a solid fourth spot in the initial encounter having started the race down in seventh.
Race two saw the main contenders side by side down the start straight with Simpson grabbing the initial advantage, though closely followed by Whatley and then Leok. Kristian looked to be making progress in hunting Shaun down, but a big moment for the Buildbase Honda rider took the wind out of his sails and let Leok through a couple of laps later, to leave Whatley down in third place come the end of the second sprint. Again Krestinov rode a consistent and safe race to cross the line in fifth position.
The third and final race of the day proved to be an almost carbon copy of the race before with Whatley having to give best to Simpson and Leok to earn him his third podium finish of the day, whilst Gert again took the chequered flag in fifth spot. These final race results were sufficient to put Kristian and Gert second and fourth overall respectively, on what ended as a rough and tough track for the riders.
Buildbase Honda MX Team Manager David Thorpe summarised the day. “Overall we can be happy, with both Kristian and Gert each producing three good solid race results and some good points on the board at this early stage of the season, which counts for a lot. Gert has shown that he has good speed throughout the races, but we need to work with him to find that extra bit of pace at the vital moments that should put him on the podium in the next rounds.. As for Kristian, again he proved he has got the outright speed to challenge Shaun, now he just needs to believe in himself a bit more to turn that belief into race wins.”
Whatley added his own words. “Second overall is a good result, especially for the championship and perhaps where I expected to be at this point, but with a bit more work and a bit more belief I know I can do even better. I feel good on the bike, so I just need to keep working in the same direction ready for the next round.”
Gert gave his thoughts. “Like Dave said, I have got a good overall race speed, I now need to work to find something more so that I can challenge the leading riders and so I can be on the podium at the end of the day, which is my goal this season. Anyway fourth is still good for my overall championship position.”
Image by Nuno Laranjeira