It has been a career year for Kristian Whatley. Three championships contested, three championships won. It doesn’t get much better than that!
At Farleigh Castle Whatley put an exclamation point on why he was crowned British champion. Two wins (that clinched the championship) and a heroic last to sixth ride to pull off the overall win cemented Whatley as one of Britain’s leading talents.
The old school Farleigh track suited the old school style of Whatley perfectly and even an in form Matiss Karro had nothing for the MBO Yamaha rider. The lines and corner speed Whatley had where breathtaking and he looked completely in control and unhurried at all times despite being the fastest man on the track.
Whatley has long been touted as the next big thing in British motocross, his talent is undeniable and in 2013 Whatley finally put all the pieces of the puzzle together. This was the year that Whatley really showed everyone, including the doubters, just what he can do on a bike.
MX Vice caught up with the new MX1 British champion to get his take on a remarkable season.
Big pressure today but you pulled it off, you were flawless in the first two motos!
Yeah there was pressure but I tried not to let it get to me and get some good starts which is what I achieved and it made my day a lot easier. It’s been a tough year and I am glad to get it over with.
What did it feel like when you crossed the line as British champion?
Aw it was just like a sigh of relief. I have been leading all three championships and it is so good to get the three championships. I don’t think there are many people that have done that. It has been a tough year with ups and downs but we’ve done it.
Your last race today was maybe you best ride of the day. Down the first turn, had to go into the pits and still came back to sixth… it was a phenomenal ride.
Yeah that was a bit of a tough one. I collided with Aubin in that first turn and it pulled front calliper off and I went in (to the pits) and managed to chop it off. So I went round the whole race with no front brake! I was happy with it, it was probably the best race of the day really and it was hopefully exciting for people as well.
You had some good lines today – your forte. And you had no problem passing people in that last race
Yeah inside, outside! That’s why I enjoyed this track because there are so many lines. I like the more natural tracks, there are more lines and it suits me – it’s good.
Where you disappointed not to be going to the Nations or what are your thoughts on it?
I wasn’t disappointed. If I did get picked to do it and got hurt then it would have been a bit of a bummer for this series. So it was nice to get all three championships done and look towards it next year.
When I interviewed you at the start of the year after Fatcats you seemed surprised you did so well, how long did it take to really believe you could win this championship?
Yeah I didn’t know what to think after last year – I’d had such a bad year. So this year has been pretty phenomenal for me. I have some good people behind me and it has obviously showed.
So next year, same team, same goals?
Yeah I guess. There is one new championship so we will see who the riders are in that one but yeah same goals and I will work a little bit harder over the winter and try and get better for next year.
Have you any plans for GPs next year?
Possibly, maybe the British GP and a couple of others, but that is going to have to come out of my pocket as I am not going to be contracted for that.
Your speed especially today is on GP level, but I guess it is getting GP teams/people to recognise it?
Yeah well I think people recognise but there isn’t enough money it. There is no point me going to World’s and getting shillings for it when I can come over here and go back at night to my own house, enjoy riding and not flying all the time.
Interview by Jonathan McCready
Article by Elliot Spencer