The next round of the British National 600 Superstock Championship took place at an extremely sunny Thruxton this weekend. Friday morning’s practice session started off as a success. The sun was beaming on us and we were all eager to get out there to see what we can do. The practice brought a 5th and 6th place which was completed on old scrub tyres and post crossing the chequered flag there was no tread at all on the right hand side. It is one of the most abrasive circuits on the calendar and not to mention the fastest which was a great thrill when the bikes began sliding on the power.
During the first qualifying session of the weekend we set out on old scrub tyres in order to keep within our annual budget. Unfortunately, the heavily abrasive circuit along with the 42 degree ground temperature left us with a huge challenge to overcome when having to compete against other teams going for the new rubber option. Kurt managed to pull a 12th place position out of the bag putting him in a strong position ready to take on Q2, however, Matt struggled to piece together each sector in the same lap leaving him further down the grid in 21st.
Saturday brought our second qualifying session of the event and new rear tyres it was, with a special thank you to Steve from Chase Accident Repairs. We knew that there was a small window of opportunity to secure a fast enough lap time that would be competitive so early in the session whilst the tyre was new. Kurt waited to go out on track on his own where he spent a lap to settle down and the second launched him straight to the top of the screen in P2. Matt was short to follow suit, putting down a time which hit an early P12. We both continued to improve on these times but each additional lap of tearing up the tread meant we were fighting a losing battle. Towards the closing stages of the session, both lads were pushed down the grid bringing the session to a close with Kurt’s final qualifying position of 8th, only 0.46 seconds off pole position. Matt finished 0.88 seconds behind Kurt, putting him in 20th place on the grid as this is one of the most competitive championships in the series.
A 12:35 race on Sunday got the team on edge to get stuck in from the lights out and It was a perfect day for it at the Thruxton circuit. As the lights went out, Matt battled his way through the pack of riders to make up as many positions as possible whilst the field was close. Kurt fought to hold his 3rd row place as everyone entered the first series of turns to begin the 14 lap race. As Matt turned into turn 2, Campbell, he was involved in carnage resulting in him being taken down by a fellow competitor Sam Lambert. Although this was an unfortunate end to Matt’s race, Sam showed great sportsmanship making sure Matt was unhurt and walking him off the circuit. From this point all eyes were on Kurt as he was involved in a 12-man battle for the podium. Every lap the riders were dicing for the highest positions they could grasp taking advantage of the huge straights and slipstreaming opportunities. On lap 9, in the closing stages of the race, Kurt out braked and overtook the current championship leader, doing so he lost the front end due to entering the final chicane far too fast, bringing his race to an abrupt end from 7th place. Although it was a tough end to the weekend, Kurt still sits in a strong 9th place position in the championship and Matt in 18th.