Whatley, Barr and Irwin talk Blaxhall!
Buildbase Honda Racing’s Kristian Whatley climbed back onto the podium at round six of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean at Blaxhall on Sunday with his best result of the season.
The former champion ran 4-3 in the Suffolk sand on his CRF450R to narrowly defeat team-mate Graeme Irwin and take third overall on the day. During a tough season where he’s struggled with set-up the relief was obvious.
“Today’s been much better,” he said. “Through the week I went suspension testing with Steve from Multitek and it’s just totally changed my mood. I’m back to who I am. I feel so much happier and so much at home and today’s been easier.
“My starts weren’t great today but I could blitz the guys who weren’t as fast as me in the first few laps. In the second race I was making moves and felt really strong so I put the hammer down.”
Kristian’s team-mate Graeme Irwin mirrored his performance with a 3-4 scorecard to narrowly miss out on a podium finish.
“All-in-all it wasn’t a bad day,” he said. “There are a lot of positives. The track was quite difficult – it got really rough and choppy – and I don’t think I found the lines, today was just not my day. I’m still fourth in the championship but I lost some points to Jake [Nicholls] which isn’t very good. It’s going to be difficult but I still want to be third so I need to keep working hard and I’ll be strong.”
With Lewis Trickett sidelined with a back injury, Martin Barr was the team’s sole MX2 rider and the Irishman had a tough day on his CRF250R after a series of crashes and bad starts.
“I’m disappointed,” said Martin. “It’s been very poor. In race one I didn’t make such a good start and on the first lap two riders crashed in front of me and I got caught up on both of them. Then on the second or third lap I crashed and the bike landed on top of me and I couldn’t get it off. It took forever – I completed that lap in 34th and had a lot of work to do and got back to 17th which was pretty poor to be honest.
“I had another bad start in the second one and gave myself a lot of work to do but I got back to sixth at the end but no excuses. It was me today, I just didn’t ride very good. But I’ve not given up – I’m going to go away, regroup and come out swinging…”
Team owner Dave Thorpe was keen to draw the positives from the meeting.
“It was a huge disappointment for Martin but for Kristian and Graeme I’m happy – I think most people would take third and fourth. All three of them did their very best and you can’t ask any more than that.
“Martin had a bit of a nightmare. He qualified fourth which was okay but didn’t get the best start in the first race and had to work hard in the first few corners. He got caught up in other people’s misdemeanours which dropped him further back, then he made a small mistake and the bike landed on top of him and he couldn’t get it off. It was a tough race for him.
“In his second race he again didn’t get the best start but pushed his way through. It wasn’t a great day for him but not through lack of effort. He really tried his heart out.
“Kristian and Graeme were second and third in qualification which was great and they rode really, really well in both races. Graeme slightly had the upper hand in the first race and Kristian reversed that role in moto two. They’re still a bit wanting on the pace of Tommy [Searle] and Jake [Nicholls] – especially in the first half of the race – but in the second race for the last six laps Kristian was the fastest man.”