Kristian Whatley will race for the Apico Husqvarna team this season, Dirt Bike Rider can reveal.
The 27-year-old former British champion, who dramatically split with the MVR-D Husqvarna team on the eve of the 2017 Arenacross Tour, agreed a deal late last week after meeting with Husqvarna UK Brand Manager David Edwards.
“I’m definitely going with the Apico Husqvarna team and that’s pretty cool,” said Kristian. “David Edwards wanted to keep me on a Husqvarna because I’m one of their top riders and I’m happy to stay as well. I really love the bike and am riding it really good.
“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. I’m really grateful for the ride and everything that’s being put into place at such short notice.
“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’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. I really get on well with Steve and for me he’s the best technician in England.”
Whatley’s primary focus will be on attempting to regain the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship he won in 2013. He’ll also contest the MX Nationals and makes his debut for the team at the opening round of the Michelin-backed series at FatCat on March 4/5.
“I think it’s going to be between me, Tommy [Searle], Jake [Nicholls] and Graeme [Irwin] this year,” he added. “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 can’t wait for it.” Apico Husqvarna boss Sean Burrows is looking forward to Kristian joining his son Matt and Jamie Law on the team.
“Adding Kristian to the team is an exciting prospect for us all,” said Burrows. “I am sure at Apico Husqvarna we can provide him a bike to exploit his natural talent. “Kristian is a proven title contender in the MX1 class and I hope by working together we can achieve great things.”