In a weekend that promised plenty, Quattro Plant Kawasaki found results hard to come by at Snetterton at the weekend with British Superbike Championship riders Luke Mossey and Filip Backlund, British Supersport challenger Andy Reid and Sidecar contenders Ricky Stevens/Ryan Charlwood all encountering challenging races.
Having shone in Friday’s free practice sessions, Mossey was hopeful of securing a strong starting position for Sunday’s first race but a spill early on in qualifying on Saturday meant he had to start the race from 28th on the grid and with a lot of work to do. However, a brilliant opening lap saw him move up 13 places to 15th and, for the remainder of the race, he moved forward eventually being rewarded with a fine seventh place.
Race two saw Luke start from the much better position of seventh and the third row and he took full advantage to complete the first lap in sixth place. He was well on course for another strong result but on the fifth lap, a braking issue caused him to run off track and he dropped back to 16th. He fought back though to finish 13th and claim three valuable Championship points.
Team-mate Backlund had a stronger qualifying performance than in recent rounds, making it through to Q2 for the first time this season, and, after lining up in 18th place for the first race, he found himself locked in battle with Alastair Seeley for much of the 16 laps, eventually picking up his first points of the season in 15th. Despite of that, he had to start race two from the seventh row and with another extremely competitive race, he missed out on points on this occasion in 18th.
For Dickies British Supersport Championship contender Andrew Reid, the weekend didn’t get off to a great start when wet weather in qualifying left him down in 20th place for Saturday’s ‘Sprint’ race. However, a strong ride from the Northern Irishman saw him fight all the way up to sixth place and with Championship leader James Westmoreland crashing out, he clawed back valuable points in the title race.
The ‘Feature’ race looked like it would have an even better outcome and with the better starting position of the second row, Andy made it count as he battled for the lead with Tarran Mackenzie. There was nothing between the two Kawasaki riders and Andy took the lead at half race distance but just as he was about to start his 11th lap of 15, a technical problem brought his race to an abrupt, and cruel, end.
Meanwhile, the remaining team members Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood were reunited for the two Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship races with the latter almost fully recovered from his dislocated shoulder sustained last time out at Knockhill. A spin on the opening lap of the first race put them dead last although they regrouped and managed to climb back up to ninth at the chequered flag. However, the reigning champions fought back perfectly in Sunday’s second race and second place was their sixth podium of the season, ensuring they maintained their lead in the Championship albeit by the reduced margin of three points.
Luke Mossey: “I was really looking forward to this weekend as it’s my home round and I was looking forward to two strong rides but although Friday went well, it was tough going from there on in. My crash in qualifying put me on the back foot although finishing seventh after starting from 28th was something to be pleased with. The bike felt good and it put me in a much better position for race two but when I went for the brakes at the end of the straight, there was nothing there and the bar came back to the lever. I had to run off the track but at least managed to salvage a few points. It hasn’t panned out how I wanted it to but I’ll look forward to Thruxton now.”
Filip Backlund: “It’s been an ok weekend for me and I’m pleased to have finally taken my first points of the season. We’ve made progress again with the bike and I made it into Q2 for the first time so we’re definitely moving in the right direction. Of course, I want to finish higher up the results sheets but, overall, it’s been a positive weekend and I’m looking forward to the next round at Thruxton.”
Andrew Reid: “We got caught out by the weather during Saturday’s qualifying session and just as we thought the track was drying, another rain shower came. It put me deep in the pack for the first race but I was pleased with how I rode, coming through to take sixth. I had a good second row start for the second race and everything was going to plan until the technical issue. It’s a real shame but I didn’t lost too many Championship points thankfully and there are still plenty of races still to go.”
Ricky Stevens: “It’s been great to have Ryan back on board this weekend and given the fact it was only two weeks ago that he dislocated his shoulder, he did a sterling job! The spin in race one was unfortunate but we at least salvaged a result and some points and whilst Tim (Reeves) was that bit too strong for us in the second, we’re delighted to have ended the weekend with a runners up spot and still leading the British Championship.”
Pete Extance, Team Owner: “We arrived at Snetterton full of hope for the weekend and in extremely confident mood but it just didn’t go to plan for us. Luke’s crash in qualifying put him on the back foot but he rode brilliantly in the first race to come all the way through to seventh. That gave him a better starting position for race two but, unfortunately, he missed his braking marker at the end of the straight and ran off although he did battle back for 13th. Filip, meanwhile, got his first points of the season in race one and although he couldn’t repeat that second time out, his confidence has been significantly boosted and should set him up for stronger rides from here on.”
“Andy found himself in a similar situation to Luke but, again, rode brilliantly in his opening race to take sixth. The second race was going perfectly and he was on track for his third win of the year until a small seal went in the engine, forcing him to retire. It was left to the Sidecar boys to uphold the honour of the team and they scored another great podium to maintain their Championship lead. We head now to Thruxton where, hopefully, our luck will change for all of the riders.”
The next round of the series takes place at the team’s local circuit of Thruxton, Hampshire on July 22-24.
Pictures by Tim Keeton – Impact Images Photography
MCE British Superbike Championship positions (after five rounds)
1 Shane Byrne (Ducati) 156pts; 2 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki) 152; 3 Jason O’Halloran (Honda) 116; 4 Dan Linfoot (Honda) 111; 5 Christian Iddon (BMW) 104; 6 Richard Cooper (BMW) 94; 10 Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) 68; 25 Filip Backlund (Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki) 1
Dickies British Supersport Championship positions (after five rounds)
1 James Westmoreland (Yamaha) 124pts; Tarran Mackenzie (Kawasaki) 118; 3 Andrew Reid (Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki) 103; 4 Luke Jones (Triumph) 94; 5 Joe Francis (Yamaha) 75; 6 Benjamin Currie (Yamaha) 71
Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship positions (after four rounds)
1 Stevens/Charlwood (Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki) 128pts; 2 Reeves/Cluze (LCR Yamaha) 125; 3 Walker/Hawes (LCR Kawasaki) 111