Thruxton Round 7
Dickies British Supersport
Round seven of the Dickies British Supersport Championship took place this weekend at Thruxton Circuit in baking hot conditions. Ben Currie secured another fantastic win in the opening Sprint race on Saturday and crashed out of race two. His team-mate James Westmoreland was forced to retire from race one and came from the back of the grid in race two to finish fourth in the feature race.
Ben Currie had been struggling throughout the practice and qualifying sessions to find a set-up that suited the ultra-fast circuit. He ended up qualifying for race one in seventh place, he got a steady start and held his position after the opening lap. Thruxton always produces some amazingly close racing and this was no exception. He swapped positions on nearly every lap and was in amongst the front runners for the whole race, the slip stream affect worked in his favour and he was able to take another win for the Gearlink Kawasaki team.
He started from fifth for race two and he got a great start and led after the opening lap. He was in a battle with the GP2 riders of Josh Owens and Kyle Ryde. It was again became a seven bike scrap for the Supersport win, on the penultimate lap Ben tried to make a pass on the brakes on GP2 rider Kyle Ryde but both riders unfortunately crashed out.
James Westmoreland had been flying all weekend and was consistently fast in every session. He ended qualifying on the front row in second place. He got a fantastic start and led after the opening lap but he was hit with electrical gremlins on the second lap and was forced the retire.
He was placed on the back of the grid for the feature as his opening lap time in race one was from a standing start. He got an unbelievable start and made up ten places on the opening lap and he was soon hunting down the race leaders. He set some amazing lap times and joined the freight train of riders. He rode exceptionally well to finish the race in fourth place.
Ben Currie – “There were huge positives to take out of this weekend, one being we took a gritty win in race one on Saturday that we didn’t see coming, We were then in a commanding position to potentially do the double in race two.
Unfortunately I made a mistake and crashed out and I was lucky to get away unscathed from injury. Sorry to Kyle and hope he heals up soon. Thanks always to the Gearlink Kawasaki team for all their hard work this weekend and I look forward to Cadwell.”
James Westmoreland – “Honestly a really mixed weekend, from the start of the weekend I knew we had a good set-up and I was capable of winning both races. I knew that I could win and managed to qualify on pole. I was leading the race and sadly the bike broke on my first flying lap.
I was a little worried about race two as I was last on the grid but I had belief that I could still come through the pack and win. I came from the back, I gave it everything and I couldn’t have ridden it any harder and managed to get up to fourth when the race was red flagged. I still believe if it had gone the race distance I could have won, I was only 0.8 off the win. I think it’s the best race I have ever ridden, I’m very proud of the way I rode. Looking forward to Cadwell and I hope we can keep the momentum going.”
Bennetts British Superbike
In the Bennetts British Superbike class Fraser Rogers continued to make good progress on the Gearlink Kawasaki. His lap times improved all weekend despite the very hot conditions and he managed to qualify in 21st place for the opening 20-lap race. He rode a good race in race one and finished in 17th in race two he started from 21st again and was riding well but had to avoid a fallen rider and this put a hole in the radiator so the bike was running to hot and he was forced to retire.
Fraser Rogers – “It’s been a good weekend for myself and the team on the Superbike. I’m starting to get comfortable with the bike and we’re making good progress, taking steps forwards every time. From where we are now to where we were when we first started it’s a huge improvement. Although the time sheets don’t show the effort and progress we are making, the times are getting closer and this weekend we were less than 0.2 from making it into Q2.
In the race we were less than a second off. Race one was good but we made the wrong tyre choice which cost us in the closing stages. I got a really good start in race two and was right in the mix but I got caught up in a couple of peoples crashes which cost us time and also some damage to my bike so I was unable to finish.
I can’t thank the whole team enough for their efforts and I can’t wait to get to Cadwell to continue what we’ve been doing. I’d like to say a huge thanks to all my sponsors especially Simon Whatley from SRS Rail Systems without who I wouldn’t be on the bike also Swindon Karting Arena.”
Team Manager Michael de Bidaph – “In the Supersport class Westy had the pace from the start of the weekend and it looked like he was capable of doing the double. He rode exceptionally well, unfortunately the bike let him down in the Sprint race and he was forced to start from the back of the grid for the feature race on Sunday. His form on Sunday was incredible to come through the pack like he did to finish fourth and his lap times were fantastic. I hope this will carry on for the rest of the season.
Ben struggled to find the right set-up all weekend but he did not give up however and came our fighting in the Sprint race. He rode a mature race and fought to the end to take the overall win. He was looking strong again on Sunday but sadly he made a mistake and he crashed out taking Kyle Ryde with him.
I’m really happy with Fraser’s progress this weekend. The positions do not reflect the effort and hard work he continues to put in. This was only his third round and I’m very sure there is more to come from him. He is a pleasure to work with and we hope he can get the results he deserves towards the end of the season.
I would like to finish by saying a big thank you to Stuart Higgs for the wonderful tribute announced this weekend with the Norma de Bidaph Trophy. I know Norma will be saying “I can’t believe that they have done that for little old me” as she never regarded herself anyone special.”
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