13-year-old Joshua Whatley has signed to race for Mark Keen’s KRP Racing for 2019.
Josh Whatley said, “Mark [Keen] is really good to work with. He is really understanding and if there is a little problem he always sorts it out straight away. He always has a little extra to give so I can relax about the bike and focus on racing it. We’ve got a couple of tests in Spain before the season starts and I’ve got the Colin Edwards Camp in February to help get me ready for the season.”
Whatley will race in both the European Talent Cup and the British Motostar GP class in 2019. He completed his rookie season in the ETC in 2018 riding for Hector Faubel’s FAU55 Racing. During the season he scored nine points against some of the best up and coming young riders in motorcycle racing. In the first race at Valencia he scored an impressive ninth place finish.
Whatley also raced in the inaugural British Talent Cup. The standard Moto3 championship organised by Dorna Sports as part of their Road to MotoGP programme, saw the youngest competitor finish fourth out of twenty-three riders by the end of the year. He stood on the rostrum three times with a second at the opening round at Donington Park, another at Snetterton and then again in the final round at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia.
During 2018, Whatley also made two wildcard appearances on Mark Keen machinery in the BSB British Motostar standard class. In his first ever Motostar race he took victory on the Silverstone National circuit beating the eventual championship winner Victor Rodriguez by 0.111 seconds. In the second race he finished fourth but was only 0.245 seconds behind the race winner in a superbly close race.
In 2019 Whatley will race on a KTM GP spec machine in the UK whilst once again lining up as one of the youngest competitors in the European Talent Cup.
Joshua Whatley will be 14 in September 2019 and the hope is that he will then compete in the final two rounds of the Moto3 Junior World Championship. The experience of riding the open class bike in the BSB championship should prove very useful.
Mark Keen said, “Myself and the team at KRP are excited to be working with Josh, for me currently one of the most exciting young British talents.
Having worked together last year at a couple of BSB’s we instantly formed a strong working relationship and I was very impressed with Josh’s very strong desire to win. 2019 will be all about preparing Josh for a
full onattack of the J uniorworld championship in 2020 thereforetaking three separate championships keeping us all busy”