Gearlink Kawasaki – Brands Indy – Round 2

Gearlink Kawasaki
Brands Hatch Indy – Round 2
Dickies British Supersport
It was a very busy weekend for the Gearlink Kawasaki team at round two of the Dickies British Supersport Championship at Brands Hatch. The team had three Supersport races after the cancellation of race one at Donington. Ulsterman Andrew Irwin and Australian Ben Currie were eager to maximise on points in the three races. Andrew gained a second, DNS and 6th in race one and Ben had two fourths and a third.
Andrew Irwin was looking strong throughout the weekend and was setting consistently fast laps time, he was able to qualify in third place for race one on Sunday. He got a fantastic start and was second after lap one just behind Tarran Mackenzie. The pair soon broke away from the chasing pack and Andrew was unable to find a good passing place but secured his second consecutive podium of the year with a strong second.
He was placed on pole position for race two later in the afternoon and he was once again keen to go out and push hard. Just as the race got under way the rain started to fall and despite gaining the hole-shot he crashed on the exit to Graham Hill bend, shortly followed by three more riders and the red flag was brought out. Despite the valiant efforts of the Gearlink Kawasaki team they were unable to fix his bike for the re-start.
For the main race on Monday, Andrew had to start from the back of the grid in 29th position. He got a fantastic start and had made up about ten places but a crash on the opening lap at the final turn caused the red flag to be brought out. On the re-start he gained another superb start and worked his way up the field riding exceptionally well to finish in a fantastic sixth place.
Ben Currie was also riding really well over the weekend and was setting some fast lap times throughout the weekend. He started race one from 7th place after being only 0.5 off the pole-sitter. He got a strong start and was locked in a battle with Keith Farmer for the final podium slot. He pushed hard but ended up in fourth, 0.3 behind Keith.
For race two he started from sixth on the grid and was fortunate to avoid the crash that caused the red flag. On the re-start he was once again locked in the battle for the podium with Keith Farmer and David Allingham. He fought hard and finished in fourth just 0.6 from the podium place.
He started from seventh for the main race on Monday and gained another good start rising two positions after lap one. Once again his lap times were consistently fast and despite riding a fairly lonesome race he managed to secure a fantastic podium place in third, he now lies in third place in the overall Championship standings.
Ben Currie – “I’m happy with the weekend to be honest, we worked hard and we gained some good solid results. The team worked hard to get the Gearlink Kawasaki to suit my riding style and I wanted to get a bit closer to the times Andrew was setting.
To be up there and able to mix it with the front guys with two 4ths and a 3rd is a real credit to the team, they never give up trying to move forwards. I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the team for supporting me like they do. We have the test at Oulton this week and then onto round three, which I am looking forward to as I secured a win there last season.”
Andrew Irwin – “The weekend was so up and down, I was fast from FP1 and for the rest of the weekend. I was really comfortable in race one and felt I could run with Tarran at the front and I felt pretty comfortable, I lost a bit of ground on the final two laps so I wasn’t able to make a pass.
Race two was my own fault; I was just far too eager in the dodgy conditions and crashed out at turn three. I should have known better than to make that mistake but it is something to learn from. Due to this I was placed at the back of the grid in 29th position and I felt like I made the most of a bad situation.
I fought hard from 29th to sixth, fifth was in my grasp. I am now looking forward to the Oulton test on Thursday where we have some things to try, which should give us a better feeling.
I would like to say a huge thank you to Gearlink Kawasaki team, the team sponsors and my personal sponsors.”
MCE British Superbike
James Westmoreland worked really hard this weekend on the Gearlink Kawasaki Superbike and they made some good progress forwards in the right direction. Despite a technical problem which hindered their progress on Sunday, Westy was 17th in race one and sadly crashed out of a points scoring position of 15th in race two.
James Westmoreland – “In one way I am disappointed but in another way I am quite positive about how the weekend went here at Brands. Sadly I had a technical problem on Sunday which really caused us some problems as we lost valuable track time.
The first race wasn’t great; we’d made some changes but gone in the wrong direction. However, the Gearlink Kawasaki team made further changes for race two and they were so much better. I was riding well and I felt really comfortable on the Kawasaki, I was in amongst a good bunch of riders and we were having a good battle. Sadly I tucked the front into Driuds, a corner I had been struggling with all weekend and that was my race over.
I’m feeling pretty pleased though as we are moving in the right direction and I am just sorry for the team for not getting some points. Roll on Oulton.”
Team Manager Michael de Bidaph – “It was a mixed weekend for the team at Brands this weekend. Both Supersport riders were having a fantastic weekend and their times were strong. Andrew rode a fantastic first race and was able to stay with Tarran (Mackenzie) up at the front. It was really unfortunate when the rain came down in race two whilst Andrew was leading as this caught him out and we were unable to get the bike fixed in time. He crashed in warm-up due to a technical problem and had to go into the main race after two crashes and start from the back of the grid, to finish in sixth is very impressive.
Ben was quietly going about his business and as he progressively got faster throughout the weekend he was able to get three really consistent results. This now sees him sitting in third place in the Championship standings. His confidence with the bike and also the team is growing each time he is out on track and his consistency is fantastic and was rewarded with a podium today.
I’m happy with how much we have managed to move forwards with James on the Superbike, he is a real team player and has really dug deep this weekend. We were plagued with an electrical problem all of Sunday and this really hindered his progress, he struggled in race one but found some really good pace during the second race. We are sure this will continue to improve as the season goes on.”
2017 BSB Calendar
29th April – 1st May
Oulton Park
16th – 18th – June
30th June – 2nd July
Snetterton 300
21st – 23rd – July
Brands Hatch GP
4th – 6th – August
18th – 20th – August
Cadwell Park
8th – 10th – September
Silverstone GP
15th – 17th – September
Oulton Park
29th Sept – 1st October
Assen TT Circuit
13th – 15th – October
Brands Hatch GP
Twitter – Gearlink Kawasaki
Pictures by Jon Jessop Photography


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