Rob Hooper’s Yamaha team has made the move to stand down their MX1 racer Kristian Whatley from racing action in the short term, in a bid to rejuvenate the rider’s ailing fortunes.
Whatley, who entered the 2018 season off the back of a serious injury which he suffered at the beginning of 2017, was expected to improve as the season went on, but after a promising first round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championships at Culham back in April, he has struggled with various misfortunes.
The decision wasn’t an easy one for team boss Rob Hooper, but one that he felt he needed to take saying: “Kristian is really struggling, and unfortunately in his current frame of mind and fitness he isn’t doing his, or our team’s reputation any good by being out there at the moment. I spoke with Kristian at length and we both decided that this was the best way to go for the time being.
“We always stick with our riders 100% and we feel we are supporting Kristian more by taking the pressure off of him and giving him the opportunity to build himself back up again. We are aiming for him to ready for the Sherwood round of the MX Nationals, which would have given him a month away from the race track.
“We have organised a practice bike for him so he can be getting plenty of bike time, and he has taken medical advice on the illness that has been sapping his energy in motos, so we hope we can start the building process again with him come July.”
In stepping Kristian away from the race scene, it will mean he will miss the Patchquick Trophy, the Preston Docks round of the Bridgestone British Masters, and the Maxxis British Motocross Championships round at Desert Martin in Northern Ireland.
The team will be present this Wednesday at Little Silver in Devon for the famous Patchquick Trophy meeting, where Ryan Houghton will be the team’s lone representative.
Photo by Ray Archer.