Well, that didn’t take long. We’re just days into 2017 and sadly we’ve already had a rider/team fall-out and before the pilot had spun any laps in anger.
Former British champion Kristian Whatley was due to debut at the opening round of the 2017 Arenacross Tour in Manchester last weekend for MVR-D Husqvarna. We’d heard rumours beforehand that Whatley may elect to not turn up but we hoped it would work itself out. Unfortunately, Whatley’s fans were left disappointed with his no-show.
In the statement released this evening, a team representative said: “It is with regret that MVR-D Husqvarna has split with rider Kristian Whatley. The Team and rider had differences of opinions that could not be overcome and decided that it was better to go their separate ways.
“The Team would like to thank all of its sponsors for their understanding and continued support.”
There was no mention of a fill-in rider for AX or a new team signing for the Maxxis British Motocross Championship, so we can expect a further announcement soon.
In an interview with Dirt Bike Rider at the end of last year, Whatley was upbeat about his new team and the opportunity to have another crack at the Arenacross title. He was keen to learn from his 2014 AX debut and had planned to get his head down and do “plenty of supercross/arenacross laps.”
Just a few months into a one-year deal and with no racing for the team, it’s got to be a disappointment for Whatley, who had missed a chunk of the 2016 season, citing personal issues. He had sounded determined to come into 2017 strong. “There are a lot of doubters out there and a lot of people I need to show. It’s a new chapter,” he said when the MVR-D Husqvarna deal was announced.
Whatley has yet to comment on the split so this story isn’t done yet. Keep it locked to Dirt Bike Rider for more later.