Kristian Whatley is no stranger to a bit controversy and rumours, so it would stand to reason that his no-show at round one of the Bridgestone British masters at Culham would start the rumour mongers chatting with loads of conflicting stories. One said that he had an injury that would see him out of action for a year and another one said that he had had an argument with team boss Rob Hooper. So MotoHead trapped Rob to find out what’s going on with the talented Whatley.
MH: Rob, why is Whatley a non-starter today, and have you two parted company?
Rob: No, definitely not. Everything is fine with Kristian and we will be testing in the coming week ready for Blaxhall. He’s gone practising today. His confidence is low after last week at Canada Heights and he wanted to take a bit of time to recompose himself. He will be fine.
MH: So, what happened at Canada Heights as he didn’t look comfortable on the track and his usual smooth self?
Rob: It was almost a year since he had that bad crash and broken leg at that venue and he looked like he just wanted to get out of there at the end of the meeting in one piece. And I am sure that it didn’t help that race one was held up for another rider to be attended to, for the same injury. But it will all be OK.
A crash like Whatley had and all the time away from racing must take a toll on fitness, riding sharpness and confidence. Plus, teams, fans and Whatley himself always have great expectations every he goes onto the so when you don’t perform as expected, confidence takes a bit hit.