KENNEDY REMAINS FOCUSED AFTER TOUGH OULTON WEEKEND
Oulton 6th-8th July 2012
Good morning all
We’re just back from Oulton Park, and while we still lead the British Supersport Championship we did not unfortunately come away with the results we were after, and clearly we have a bit of work to do in a couple of areas.
The weekend had been forecast for torrential rain the whole weekend, so we prepared ouselves for a wet one…Friday certainly delivered wet conditions, and by the end of the second session, we had good wet settings for both riders, and Jack in particular was confident that he had a good deal of pace in hand to run at the front. To me this was a great relief as we had not been especially happy with our wet settings at Knockhill.
Saturday saw us go directly into qualifying with warm dry conditions, running our settings from the third round. Jack was in Pole position upto about 2 minutes before the end of the session, but his pace had been consistantly faster than the rest of the field. After a timing error was corrected with Billy McConnell we moved to 3rd on the grid, but full of confidence for a Race win.
Race 1 on Saturday afternoon saw Jack move into the lead on the second lap of ten. Although Jack moved clear of Glen Richards and Iddon, he didn’t really capitalise on the opportunity to pull a larger gap, and was caught and passed by Richards in a hard pass into Shell Hairpin on the second to last lap. Late braking by Richards was frustrating Jack’s attempts to re-pass, but on the last corner he ran very wide and Jack moved into the gap on the inside, from where he would undoubtably have won the race. The coming together that followed when Glen tried to recover his line, subsequently leading to them both going down left us extremely upset, as this type of incident has been rare in Supersport. The Eurosport commentary team laid the blame with Richards for an unacceptable move, live on television, but although the incident was investigated by Race Control, it was deemed to be a ‘racing incident’ and no penalty imposed. Jack was extaordinarily professional and restrained in front of the cameras after the incident, which is a measure of this young man’s class! The incident is now behind us, and we will continue to push as hard as we always have to win this championship fairly and squarely! Taylor scored a well deserved 12th place and more championship points.
Damage was light, though smashed engine covers necessitated replacement of the engine, which has since unfortunately been found to have further damage. Sunday morning warm-up went well, and Jack was once again fastest, and felt he would be fine in the race. We opted to run the softer SC0 option tyre for Race 2 because of the 40deg C temperatures, as did most of the field. Although Jack clearly had the pace to pass Richards through Island Bend, he opted to bide his time, but after lap 11 grip started to drop off, and by lap 13 he couldn’t safely stay with Richards and McConnell who’d slipped past a lap earlier, and brought the bike home in third. From a team perspective it wasn’t the best weekend of results, thougn it has not really affected championship aspirations or chances. Taylor continues to add to his points tally, with a 14th place in the second race.
We have a few areas to work on, but you can rest assured we will be back, harder faster and more committed to doing ‘the business’!. Brands in ten days time, so the pressure is on!
Best regards to you, and as always, thanks for the support!