Find out how the J&S Supported riders got on this weekend at Donington Park with this blog provided by Dan from our Leeds store (BSB super-fan)
Hi everyone and welcome back to another instalment of my racing round up. This weekend the action came from Donington Park but this time on the longer GP circuit. This weekend I was lucky enough to be there and see the action live. Great precautions have been made to make sure that all the people working at the circuit from the trackside marshals, race crews and most importantly the riders and other team members are as safe as can be.
On to the action from the weekend! Nothing much to report about on Saturday as one word sums it up. WET!! Non-stop rain from first thing Saturday morning to all the way through the afternoon it was constant rain. Even when the rain slowed, the visibility was even worse, the low cloud and spray from the tyres of the bikes made it almost impossible to see anything further than a few hundred yards. For example, standing at one end of the pit lane it was hard to see the other end let alone a breaking marker or reference point for the riders.
So very little action on Saturday but there was some in the form of the Honda Talent Cup and young Sullivan Mounsey. No qualifying due to the weather, so the grid for the first race was decided by combined practice times. Sullivan started the first race from 13th on the gird. Slow and steady was the order of the day for the first race, the weather caused major problems for the riders with 9 of the young riders falling victim to the tricky conditions. Sullivan managed to keep the bike on 2 wheels and came home in a fantastic 13th place. The second race on Sunday saw Sullivan start from 11th on the grid due to his lap time from the first race, unfortunately, Sullivan didn’t make the end of the race and recorded a DNF.
Another race that managed to run on Saturday was the Supersport 600 and GP2 cup. Once again no qualifying so combined practice times determined the grid for the first race. Ben Currie lined up 3rd on the grid and a front row start for the Aussie rider. Ben made a great start and was holding a steady position in the top 3 until he lost the front of the bike just at the end of the back straight before braking for the Foggy esses. Ben took a heavy landing and banged his head quite hard when he hit the ground. The second race saw Ben start from 9th on the grid. Once again a great start to the race and he was working his way up to the leading group but the effects of the crash from the previous day took its toll and Ben settled for 7th overall and was the 6th Supersport bike to finish.
Dan Jones in the GP2 cup started the first race from 19th on the grid and made a great start making progress all the time once again Dan showed great patience and maturity to come home in 6th overall and the 3rd GP2 bike to finish. The second race saw Dan start from 7th on the grid, and was in a big group of riders and was hanging on in there with them until the latter part of the race which saw him fall back off the group, Dan crossed the line in 18th overall and was 7th in the GP 2 class.
Superstock 600 saw one race this weekend and the battle of the Irwin brother continued. Once again the combined times from free practice set the grid positions for the race. Taylor Moreton started from 27th place on the grid, with the Irwin brothers top and tailing the front row with Caolan in 3rd and brother Rhys starting from pole. Taylor had a great race and battled hard through the field to finish in 20th position. Lets not forget that he broke his collar bone at Oulton Park and then made it worse at Silverstone! The Irwin brothers made a break (excuse the pun) at the front along with Ben Luxton. Caolan dropped back to finish in 5th place and score a big amount of championship points. Rhys dropped back into 3rd place and then got his head down and reeled in the 2 riders in front of him, he stormed to the front of the field and took the race win by just under a second. His second win of the season and keeps up his record of scoring points in each race.
Junior Supersport actually had a qualifying session which saw Zak Shelton just miss out on a top 10 start for the first race by setting a time quick enough for 11th on the grid. The first race saw a total of 11 riders fall victim or the wet conditions, Zak kept calm and was confident with riding on the wet track surface and finished the race in a fantastic 4th position and just off the podium. In the second race, Zak started from 4th on the grid, different conditions and a dry track for the last race of the season for the Junior Supersport riders. Zak finished the last race of the season inside the top 10 with a 10th place finish.
Zak finished an incredible 5th in the championship with one 3rd place finish to his name for the season, Osian Jones finished 8th overall and took one race win throughout the season.
In Superstock 1000 we had Billy McConnell and Lewis Rollo riding. This weekend also saw a guest rider racing on the second IN Competition Aprilia who was Johnny Blackshaw wearing a Frank Thomas suit supplied by J&S. Johnny isn’t just a rider. When he’s not on the bike he’s actually a crew team member in the Aprilia garage!! Combined times once again set the grid for the first race. Johnny started from 28th on the grid and grew steadily in the race to come home with a points finish on his first race for the team this season, he finished in 14th place!! Lewis Rollo started from 11th with Billy McConnell ahead in 7th place. At the start of the race, Lewis made a great start and forced his way to the front of the field to lead the race, and pull out a 3-second lead. Meanwhile, Billy was slowly building up the pace and picking off riders one by one. Then final few laps of the race saw all the action. Billy was reeling in Lewis and down to the final lap, it went. The gap was closing with each corner that passed. Then down to the final part of the lap and with only a few corners left of the race, Billy made his move and overtook Lewis and took the race win away from the young Scotsman. Lewis did a great job by leading the race and gapping the field. It turned out to be a 1-2 finish for the J&S backed riders with Billy just getting the better of Lewis.
The second race saw Johnny start from 16th on the grid but would finish just outside the points in 19th place, Lewis would start from 5th on the grid, with Billy starting from pole after setting the fastest lap time in race 1. Lewis would finish in the top 10 with an 8th place finish, Billy on the other hand would finish in 5th place just off the podium.
The final class is the Superbike class with all still to play for in the championship race. Again no qualifying times due to the horrible weather conditions, that bad that the race on Saturday was cancelled which meant 3 races on Sunday for the Superbike riders. On to the first race of a packed Sunday. Sadly no Josh Owens this weekend after suffering a nasty crash in the free practice session. He damaged his back and didn’t want to risk and more damage to the injured area. Graeme Irwin would start from 21st on the grid and gained 5 places and just missed out on a championship point by crossing the line in 16th place. Joe Francis started from 16th and dropped back to finish in 17th. Hector Barbera started from the second row in 5th place and fell back through the pack to cross the line in 22nd place. Luke Mossey started from 11th and held that place by the end of the race and finished in 11th. But the big story was Glenn Irwin starting from 2nd on the grid but in the race, he crashed out after tucking the front at the final corner early on in the race so recorded a second DNF.
The second race of the weekend saw Hector record a DNF with teammate Luke Mossey finishing in the top 10 with a 9th place finish. Joe Francis had a great race and came home in 10th to gain his first top 10 finish of the season!! Graeme Irwin also scored his first point of the season by coming home in 15th place, meanwhile, Glenn Irwin would cross the line in 7th.
The third and final race of the weekend again saw Hector put a DNF next to his name to round off a disappointing weekend for the Spanish rider. Teammate Luke Mossey came home in 9th place again with Joe Francis following suit with another 10th place finish. Graeme Irwin missed out on adding to his points tally by coming home in 19th position. His brother Glenn rounded off his weekend with a 2nd place finish and got his title challenge back on track to close the gap to Josh Brookes on the Ducati.
That’s all for now. The riders now head over to Brands Hatch for the final 3 races of the season. Only 19 points separate the top 4 riders in the championship so all eyes will be on them the next time out. Let’s hope for better with for the next round which takes place over the weekend of 16-18 October.
Please see the gallery below for exclusive behind the scenes shots from the BSB at Donington park and our supported riders:
Until then thanks for reading and stay safe.