James Rispoli recorded his best performance of his rookie MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season at Snetterton last weekend, fighting within the top ten before scoring his first points of his campaign for the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha team.
After working through various improvements throughout free practice and qualifying, the team made a breakthrough during the morning warm up session, making a small gain that put them closer to their rivals.
Starting 22nd on the grid, Rispoli skilfully avoided some of the opening lap dramas to be within the top ten battle throughout the first half of the race before a lack of grip towards the end of the race meant the American contender finished 13th and his first championship points.
An improved lap time in race one put the 24-year-old 17th on the grid for race two and again he made some determined moves at the start of the race to climb up the order. However despite changes in a bid to improve tyre longevity the issue continued, forcing him back to 19th in the closing stages before the race was red flagged.
Rispoli said: “The weekend overall ended well and we can’t be too mad about anything. In the middle of the weekend we struggled again a lot and went in a bit of a circle trying to make the motorcycle work. But in morning warm up we threw a bit of a science project at it and came out better than what we had in qualifying so we knew we were on to something.
“In race one we kept the same thing and we were improving. We did gain a bit from other riders’ misfortune but in the race we ran within the top ten so for me that was a huge positive. We still have a lot of work to do and figure out exactly what we need to get the chassis right and find some more horsepower. Everybody wants to step up again and the team is working hard before Thruxton to compete at the next level.
“It was really nice to be back battling at the front with the guys I know I should be up with week in week out after the last few races which were really tough.
“Race two we qualified better so that meant we didn’t have to try and fight for so many places, but I made a good start and made some great passes and it felt good to make some lunges on some good people again.
“To battle with those guys again was a great boost for my confidence and once again we had some tyre issues at around the tenth lap and that was the biggest problem so we need to look at that again when we get to Thruxton. Overall I am pleased with the weekend and we definitely made progress and that is what we want to achieve every time we are on track.”
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