Hi everyone and welcome to Dan’s final blog and round up of this season. It’s all come down to the final races of the season, 3 races, 20 laps each around the Brands Hatch GP circuit. Unfortunately none of the J&S riders were involved in the final showdown but here’s hoping that next season the luck changes of the supported J&S riders.
It was mixed conditions for Friday and Saturday for free practice, which saw both Ben Currie and Joe Francis solidly inside the top 10 in all 3 sessions!!
In qualifying it was a case of whoever timed and read the conditions the best, posted the best lap time. A drying track and riders looking for a clear track to set a fast lap time meant that some big names missed the cut and didn’t progress into either Q2 or Q3.
Billy McConnell missed out on the cut in Q1 and started the first race in 24th place, Josh Owens 1 place behind in 25th. Joe after showing good pace during the practise sessions missed out only by 0.3 of a second and started the first of the 3 races in 20th position. Ben Currie made it into Q2 and placed a time fast enough to start the first race in 14th place but this meant he missed out on a place in Q3.
The first of 3 races took place on Saturday afternoon and was cut short and had to be restarted after Joe Francis had a bike problem after his bike blew up and took down 2 other riders. It was a shame for Joe who was showing good pace all weekend. Ben made a good start and was in the points scoring places for a long period of the race, but slipped back to 16th place after suffering with a brake problem and just missed out on scoring any championship points.
Billy finished the race in 21st place with Josh Owens behind in 22nd position.
The 2nd race on Sunday disaster struck both Ben and Josh as they both registered a DNF. Ben had to retire on the opening lap, with Joe stopping in the pit lane at the end of lap 7. Whilst Billy got the better of Josh Owens by coming home in 22nd and 23rd places.
The third and final race of the season and the luck for the J&S backed riders didn’t really change as Ben Currie, Joe Francis and Josh Owens all suffered DNF’s and not the way any of them wanted the season to end. Billy McConnell flew the flag in the last race and just missed out on scoring points with a 18th place finish.
A very mixed season in the Superbike class for all the J&S associated riders, with debut seasons in the class for Ben Currie and Josh Owens, a new bike to learn halfway through a season for Joe Francis and then finally Billy McConnell stepping back up to the class for the last few rounds of the year. Glenn Irwin had a change of teams from Kawasaki to BMW but unfortunately didn’t have a ride for the final 2 rounds.
In Supersport and GP2 Ross Twyman was looking to carry on his good form and past performances form the previous round at Donington Park. In qualifying Ross set a time of 1.35.293. This was fast enough for him to start 12th overall and was the 2nd fastest GP2 bike. The first of the 2 races was a shorter ‘Sprint’ race
The second race on Sunday was the longer ‘Feature ‘ race where Ross crossed the line in 11th overall and was the 2nd GP machine to finish, another podium and a great way to end the season.
This was a great end to the season for Ross who had mixed fortunes on the Kawasaki 600 bike in the Supersport class, but was giving a second chance and a fresh start on the GP2 Nova racing bike. 4 round brought Ross 3 podiums, 1 of which was a race win at Donington Park. A fantastic way to round of 2019 and perfect way to show team managers what he’s capable of.
Superstock 600 and the final round saw Taylor Moreton and Louis Valleley lining up for the last time this year. In qualifying it was Louis who got the better of the conditions and timed his lap better and set a time to put him 12th on the grid. With Taylor a few rows back in 29th place. In the race Louis came home in 7th place with Taylor coming home in 14th.
Although neither Louis or Taylor made it onto the podium during the season the points scoring by both riders has been really consistent, with Taylor scoring points in all but 4 rounds and Louis scoring in all rounds apart from 3. It’s been a good season for Taylor considering that it was his first season on a new bike and in a new class. As for Louis lets hope he carries on his good form for the 2020 season.
The final class we will focus on is the Superstock 1000. We had the Aprilia IN Competition riders of Lewis Rollo and Levi Day, along with Kawasaki rider Joe Collier.
Qualifying and it was Levi Day who was the highest placed rider with a time fast enough to put him 11th on the grid with Joe Collier a row behind in 14th place and Lewis Rollo another row back in 16th place. The times were so close that 10th place all the way down to 20th were all covered by 1 second!!
In the race it was Joe who got the better of Levi Day by 0.031 to finish in 6th place with Levi in 7th. Lewis had a hectic race after stalling his bike on the grid and making his way through the field and up to 5th place he was given a ride through penalty and managed to finish in 18th place.
A mixed season for the J&S backed riders, Joe had a frustrating time on the new ZX10R and sometimes found it hard to feel comfortable on the new bike, whilst Lewis only missed out on scoring points in 4 of the rounds but also claimed his first race win in the Superstock class!! Team mate Levi also had a solid season and scored points in all but 3 rounds.
Also special mention to Ethan sparks a J&S supported rider in the cool fab British minibikes championship. He managed to finish 2nd place overall in the AC40 pro championship with 19 podiums and 3 race wins .
Well that’s it for this season from me, I hope you have enjoyed reading about our supported riders. It’s been a season of up’s and down’s, team changes, a couple of race wins and a few podiums and also a fair few injuries and even a road racing debut for the Frank Thomas airbag suits!!. But all the backed riders made it to the end of the season safe and sound, so that’s always a positive. Anyway here’s hoping for a more successful 2020, and don’t forget to keep checking all our social media and this blog for any news on who maybe in the J&S line for the 2020 season.
So until then thanks for reading, and it’s not long until it all starts again in April 2020!!!
Until next time,