Former Maxxis ACU British MX1 champion Kristian Whatley hasn’t had the smoothest of starts to the season after jumping ship from his new MVR-D Husqvarna team but everything seems to have slotted into place for the 27-year-old.
Following his departure from the MVR-D team without even turning a wheel in competition, Kristian – the 2013 Maxxis champion – was snapped up by Apico Husqvarna.
“I really love the bike and am riding it really good,” he said. “I feel like I’m back to the form I had on the Embo Yamaha – it feels like it’s flowing again so hopefully everything’s coming together.
“Nothing’s ever simple in my life but I’ve got my head down, I’m training hard, I feel like I’m riding really good. You know when you’re riding good and you’re in the flow. I haven’t felt like I’ve been in the flow for a few years now and it feels good to have it back. I’m re-energised and re-motivated.”
Fortunately, he’d already got some saddletime in on the FC 450 he’ll race this season before switching teams so knew the bike suited him but, even so, it’s still a last-minute complication he could have done without.
“We’ve had to be on the ball. We’ve got organised and everything’s in place and I’m really happy to be with Apico Husqvarna. Richard Clarke’s helping me out as well with CNC Doors. I’m really grateful for the ride and everything that’s being put into place at such short notice.
“I’ve also spoken with Steve Payne at Multitek and he’s willing to do some suspension for me and help me out throughout the year. He knows what I like, he knows what I want, straight away he can get a good base setting for the bike.”
Kristian’s change of machinery puts him at a disadvantage compared to his main rivals for the Maxxis title but with his confidence running high he’s not stressing.
“I think it’s going to be between me, Tommy [Searle], Jake [Nicholls] and Graeme [Irwin] this year. Definitely. We’re all going to be on the pace. A lot of the boys have already had at least a year on their bikes so they’re a little bit of a step ahead of me but that’s all right as long as I keep knuckling down and get the settings I like on the bike.
“So I’ve got more work to do but I feel fresh and ready for it. I’m going out to win the British championship this year – I feel that good and I feel that positive and motivated y’know. I’ve got a lot of people to prove wrong so I’m going to come out all guns blazing. I can’t wait for it to start. I’ve never been so eager to start.”
Picture: Nuno Laranjeira