To win the Garmin Arenacross Tour title will require a very special mixture of speed and consistency and this is where we’re seeing the experience of riders like Frenchmen Fabien Izoird and Cyrille Coulon and Aussie Daniel McCoy beginning to pay off.
Kristian Whatley (MBO Sport ASA Yamaha) can pretty much count his indoor experience on one hand – one finger for each round of the 2014 tour he’s contested so far. And while there’s no doubting his speed his results have been hit and miss.
The 23-year-old’s Main Event finishes – 2-12-3-DNQ-4 – speak volumes. When he’s on it he’s almost always on the podium, when he’s not he struggles.
“Coming into the series I didn’t really know what to expect and the way the tracks cut up and get technical has surprised me,” says Kristian. “But we’ve made some suspension changes this week so the bike should handle even better.
“I feel like I’m putting in some fast lap times but I was struggling in Newcastle with arm-pump – I’m not making excuses but I wanted to get through the afternoon still healthy.
“The triple was huge and I cased it bad in the final but that didn’t dent my confidence – I stopped jumping it because I saw what Izoird was doing which was to double then single and go to the inside which didn’t cost me any time.”
Getting out the gate fast is the name of the game in Arenacross and Kristian’s got the same gameplan for the Motorpoint Arena on Saturday night as he’s had for every round so far.
“Sheffield’s going to be good. It’ll be the same story as it has been at all the rounds – I just need to get the starts, ride smart and try not to make any mistakes. As long as I can get a top three finish in my first heat it should be all right from there.”