Kristian Whatley is marching inexorably towards the 2013 Red Bull Pro Nationals title, moving himself into position to finish the job off early at Hawkstone Park at the end of this month by taking his fifth overall from five starts as the series visited Canada Heights.
But the MBO Sport Yamaha rider’s 1-1-2 card from this weekend doesn’t tell the full story. It certainly doesn’t tell how a rejuvenated Brad Anderson, fresh from his move to Buildbase Honda, looked much more like the Ando of old. And it also doesn’t tell how Ando’s team-mate Nico Aubin – the defending champ – dug deep to take his first moto win of the season.
“I’m pretty much happy with that but that last race was a bit tough and I didn’t want to push it like Aubin – he’s got nothing to lose and I have,” explains Kristian. “I’ve got a good lead now which I’m happy with and I’m aiming to tie the championship up at the next round. I like Hawkstone and there are lots of lines for me to choose from so it should be good.”
With an 86-point lead over Aubin you don’t need to be a mathematician to know that Kristian doesn’t need to dominate at Hawkstone to lift the title with one round to spare.
It’s much, much, much closer in MX2 where defending champ Nev Bradshaw (Putoline Honda) has finally squeezed past Steven Lenoir (Evotech Stevens KTM) to take the red series leader’s plate and with two rounds to go this one is going to go down to the wire.
“Racing the 450s sucks sometimes – Atsuta just messed up my whole final race,” says Nev. “I caught Steven up at the end but it was too late then. But on a positive note I’ve got the red plate and we found some good stuff on the bike. I just need to work towards Hawkstone.
“My plan is always to start steady and get some good points on the board, build a base and work off of that. I’ve got to give it up to my team – they put 100 per cent into my bike and Ben works 24/7 keeping them going.”
Victory in the Rookies class of the Red Bull Elite Youth Cup went to Robert Davidson with a storming 1-8-1-1-1 card although series leader Dan Thornhill consolidated his advantage at the top of the table by finishing ahead of main rival James Harrison.
“Apart from the second race I’ve had really good starts,” grins Robert. “We’ve had the speed all year but we just couldn’t get the starts and this weekend we’ve got them dialled. The series is really good and doing a lot for the sport – it’s really boosting it. I’m now looking forward to Hawkstone – I’ve trained there a lot and feel confident I can go well.”
In the BW85cc class Jordan Eccles topped the podium for the second round in a row but local lad Mitch Lewis maintains the series lead and down in the SW85cc division Dylan Woodcock also made it two overalls in a row as series leader Charlie Cole finished third over the weekend behind Jed Etchells.
With three wins on the Saturday 11-year-old Jack Carpenter 65cc briefly moved into the 65cc series lead. Gary Ashley did enough the following day to keep his hands on the red plate but the overall went to Jack.
“I’ve had a pretty good weekend – three firsts yesterday and I would have won the first race today but I crashed when I pulled the front brake on too hard,” says Jack. “This is my first overall and I’m really happy with it.”
Saturday’s three races for Open class 2-Stroke riders were dominated by Expert series leader Josh Waterman who didn’t put a wheel wrong to claim a clean sweep. Victory in the Junior division went to series newcomer Fraser Curtis.
The following day was the turn of the 125cc 2-Strokes and former GP racer Lewis Gregory extended his Expert lead after three hard-fought races. In the Junior class Rob Holyoake swept to a hat-trick of wins.
The series now moves to Hawkstone Park for round six on August 31/September 1.