KENNEDY SHOWS ‘TRUE GRIT’ TO MAINTAIN CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AT BRANDS

 

RACE REPORT: BSB ROUND 7 AT BRANDS HATCH

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It would be fair to say that as a team we came away from the last round at Oulton Park without

the results that we felt we needed, and with concerns about the increased pace that the Smiths

Triumphs seemed to have found.

The ten days between Oulton, and our setting off for Brands saw some long hours put in by

myself and Paul Truesdale, our Engine Builder, and Jack’s mechanic. I spent a lot of time going

over data from the two races to try and isolate any areas we could improve upon. Jack came up

to the ‘Race Kitchen’ to discuss what we’d seen on the data and to strategise the Brands Hatch

weekend.

The BSB organisers had chosen to run the Brands Indy Circuit for the first day of this meeting,

giving us an opportunity to do some much needed experimentation with tyres. Taylor seemed to

have come along quite well too since our first outing which was good to see.

On Saturday in the first session we were further back time-wise than I was happy with, although

we completed our tyre testing. Some judicious changes to Jack’s bike saw us step forward well

in pace, placing comfortably in second in qualifying. Had the session not been red-flagged with

6 minutes to run because of a long oil slick left on the racing line by Glen Richards, we would

almost certainly have had pole. Taylor qualified a little disappointingly in 20th.

The shorter ‘sprint’ race, which is Jack’s stronger race, was led by him from the first lap, with

Richards taking the lead briefly mid race, but Jack slipped up in terms of race-craft on the

second-last turn of the final lap, leaving the door open for Richards who made a block-pass and

led Jack over the line. Not the result Mar-Train Yamaha needed from Jack for his championship

chase. As Jack had posted the fastest lap of the first race, he would be on Pole for Race Two.

Taylor’s result was once again in the points in 14h, 20seconds off the leaders. Changes we

made for Taylor after warm-up left him much happier with the handling.

Race Two was once again led by Jack with Richards in hot pursuit, till lap nine when Richards

passed for the lead. Jack was still comfortably on Glen’s pace, when a red flag again came out

for Luke Jones who had fallen. The team were truly slick in the pit after the red flag, getting both

riders ready for a short six-lap sprint race in good time. As in the first part of the race, Jack was

much more aggressive in defence of his line and lead, but Richards was eventually able to pass

into Paddock Hill Bend leading into the final lap. Jack set himself up to re-pass into Druids, but

fearing a repeat of the Oulton incident opted to bide his time and make his pass on the back

straight where the R6 had a clear advantage over the Triumph, and then led through to the

finish, and his fifth win of the season. Taylor once again finished in 14th but had issues with a

bad tyre from Pirelli.

We have come away from Brands Hatch with the same points lead that we arrived with, which in

retrospect is a good result for us, especially as Richards had spoken in the press about his

intention to take the championship lead at Brands Hatch. It appears that the championship

challengers are going to be Jack Kennedy and Glen Richards, though the likes of Billy

McConnell and Christian Iddon will no doubt be making their presence felt. The early season

challenges from Sam Warren and Ben Wilson appear to have lost most of their momentum.

Supersport once again seems to provide far and away the best racing in the BSB programme,

and we are delighted to be right in the mix of it with your support!