Quattro Plant Kawasaki’s Luke Mossey got his British Superbike Championship season back on track on Sunday with the 24-year old claiming two top seven finishes, including a best of fifth, at the penultimate round of the series at Assen in Holland.
With a strong qualifying performance giving him fourth place on the grid for the opening 18-lap race, a good start by Luke immediately put him in the top three and just a lap later, he took over in the lead although the leading six riders were all running in close formation. At half race distance, Luke found himself shuffled back to fourth as the leading three riders edged away and in the closing stages of the race, a sort out in the positions saw Luke come off worse and cross the line in seventh place albeit just five seconds off the race win.
Fourth on the grid for race two, the Cambridge rider was again in the mix throughout the 18 laps in what proved to be an incredibly close race where, at one stage, just 1.5s covered the top nine riders. Sixth at the end of lap one, Luke fought his way through to third on lap six but such was the closeness of the racing this had become sixth a few laps later. With two laps to go though, he moved ahead of James Ellison and fifth place was the outcome at the chequered flag.
Team-mate Filip Backlund again found the going tough and could only place 25th after a frenetic qualifying session on Saturday. However, lapping at almost an identical pace in the opening race at the Dutch circuit, he eventually came home in 23rd place. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to improve upon this in the second race later in the day and, after a slightly sluggish start saw him slip back to 29th, he completed the 18 laps in 25th place.
There were also two races at the Dutch venue for the Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship and Ricky Stevens/Ryan Charlwood took two excellent second place finishes to maintain their Championship lead. It was Tim Reeves and Gregory Cluze who grabbed the race wins but Ricky and Ryan lead them by a healthy 47 points going into the final, double points round at Brands Hatch in two week’s time.
Luke Mossey: “The first race didn’t go to plan really and the soft front tyre we’d chosen went off with five laps to goand so I had to settle for seventh. In race two, we were part of a massive dog fight with all of the Showdown contenders and we ended up fifth which I was pretty happy with. I think we have shown what we’re capable of and that we deserve our place in the Showdown so I’m looking forward now to the last round in a couple of weeks.”
Filip Backlund: “I really enjoy racing at Assen but this weekend has been tough without doubt. I felt good on the bike and gave it my all throughout but I didn’t have the pace to get into the points this weekend so I’ll keep working hard and do my best to end the year at Brands on a positive note.”
Pete Extance, Team Owner: “Luke really showed his worth in the Showdown with a superb fourth place in qualifying and then two great rides in both races. He was battling for the podium in each and whilst fifth and seventh were good results, they were not quite what we’d hoped for. However, they were both fantastic races and Luke can be pleased with how he rode.”
“Filip didn’t quite get into the points this weekend but he brought the bike home for two finishes whilst Ricky and Ryan had two great drives to take two second place finishes. They have a good advantage in the Championship table and they go to the Brands finale as favourites to retain their title so, hopefully, luck will remain on their side and they can take the top spot again.”
The final round takes place at Brands Hatch, Kent on October 14-16.