Superb weekend at Thruxton for Quattro Plant Kawasaki
Bournemouth-based Quattro Plant Kawasaki enjoyed a superb meeting at their local circuit, Thruxton, at the weekend with Luke Mossey excelling in the MCE British Superbike Championship races and Andrew Reid and Ricky Stevens/Ryan Charlwood taking two wins apiece in their respective British Supersport and Sidecar Championships.
Mossey was strong throughout the three BSB practice sessions once more, consistently running inside the top three, and he converted his fine form into an excellent qualifying position this time around to line up in fourth and on the second row for Sunday’s opening 20-lap race.
The Cambridge rider started strongly and was running in sixth place when the race was red flagged and restarted over twelve laps. It was a similar story in the restart though and by lap five he was running in fifth. Indeed, he got stronger as the race wore on and once he overhauled Jason O’Halloran, he moved into third and he comfortably held onto the position for his second podium of the season.
It was a similar story in the second race later in the day when slight rain saw the start delayed and shortened in distance to 18 laps. A solid start put Luke in seventh place and although he couldn’t replicate his podium position, he overcame a clutch problem to take fourth and although he only moved up one place to ninth in the Championship table, he closed the gap to sixth to just 12 points.
For team-mate Filip Backlund, it was again a challenging weekend but both he and his team made improvements throughout and he started the first race from 19th on the grid. It didn’t look like he’d make it into the points as he slipped outside the top twenty but the stoppage played into his hands and in the restart he continually moved forward to take another Championship point in 15th. The Swedish rider then followed this up with 18th in the second encounter.
There was joy for Dickies British Supersport Championship rider Andrew Reid though and after a few disappointing outings recently, the Northern Irishman got back to winning ways with a superb double victory in the two races. Saturday’s ‘Sprint’ race saw the Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki rider take the lead on the ninth lap before edging away to take his third win of the season and he then made it four in Sunday’s ‘Feature’ race.
Starting from the second row of the grid, Andy moved into the lead early on but on the 12th lap, he dropped back to second and had to do the hard work all again. Fighting back, he regained the lead on the 14th of 16 laps to take a superb double victory and move back up to second overall in the Championship.
For sidecar team members Stevens and Charlwood, it was a more than successful weekend and, keen to extend their advantage in the Championship, it all started perfectly with their first win of the season in Saturday’s opening eight-lap race. The duo had already claimed pole position and after taking the lead on the fifth lap, they held on to claim their first win of the season.
The second race later in the day again saw them come from behind, this time taking the lead on the sixth lap after being thwarted by Tim Reeves on earlier attempts. That just left Sunday’s third race to negotiate but an overtaking manoeuvre by Reeves on the opening lap put them on the grass and although they rejoined the race, climbing as high as seventh, a technical issue put them out on the fourth lap. The results mean they’re now back in second overall albeit just eight points adrift of Reeves.
Luke Mossey: “I knew we had good pace all weekend as right from the first session we were running close to the front. It was clear the harder SC1 tyre was what we’d be using in the races even though the last ten laps would be loose. I saw Jason coming back to me as there was plenty of smoke coming off his tyres and I was delighted to get my second podium of the year. The second race was very similar except for the clutch problem that meant I had to adjust it during the race. I was happy with my choice of tyre again and delighted with my results so to have my best weekend of the year at the team’s home round is fantastic.”
Filip Backlund: “In one way we made further progress this weekend, particularly in qualifying, the bike is good and the team are working hard but I need to go quicker and find that little bit extra myself. I’m losing too many places in the first few laps and whilst I can fight back in the second half of the race, I’ve already lost too much time so instead of tenth, I’m battling for 15th. It’s taking me too long to get going and I’m easing myself into the races instead of going for it from the word go. There are too many good riders in BSB so I can’t afford to do that. I’ll keep working hard and the goal for Brands is to be sharper and stronger and have the mindset to get into my rhythm a lot earlier.”
Andrew Reid: “I dug really deep for this round and after the disappointments of late, it’s fantastic to win again. When I was sat on the line on Saturday, I knew I needed the win no matter what and that was my approach throughout the race. I had good pace throughout, especially when the tyres started to lose their grip, but it was really hard work with the heat. Our race pace was stronger than our single lap pace but in the second race on Sunday there wasn’t much grip out there and there was nothing left at the end. It’s four years today since my Dad passed away and I dug even deeper so the second win’s for him. It’s an emotional day but it feels good to be back on top.”
Ricky Stevens: “It’s been a mixed weekend for sure and whilst I’m over the moon with the two wins on Saturday, I’m disappointed with the outcome of Sunday’s race. Saturday couldn’t have gone any better – the bike was working well, our lap times were strong and consistent and on each occasion, we came through to take the lead, pull away and win the race. I felt the move Tim made on Sunday was very harsh, to say the least, and it’s certainly took the edge off the weekend. Fortunately, we were able to keep control but grass got sucked into the radiator and the engine overheated and then expired. We’re gutted to have lost the lead in the Championship but pleased to give the team their first sidecar victories.”
Pete Extance, Team Owner: “It’s been a fantastic weekend for all the team and sponsors with two wins in Supersport, two wins in the Sidecars and a great third and fourth in the Superbikes with Luke. Andy gave Kawasaki their first ever win at Thruxton in the Supersport class and with all the Championship positions looking good, we’re very happy. Well done to all the riders, staff and hospitality crew for an unforgettable weekend. We’re all looking forward now to the next round on the Brands Hatch GP circuit.”
MCE British Superbike Championship Positions (after six rounds)
1 Shane Byrne (Ducati) 181pts
2 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki) 166
3 Jason O’Halloran (Honda) 146
4 Michael Laverty (BMW) 135
5 Dan Linfoot (Honda) 118
6 James Ellison (Kawasaki) 109
9 Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) 97
26 Filip Backlund (Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki) 2
Dickies British Supersport Championship Positions (after six rounds)
1 Tarran Mackenzie (Kawasaki) 154pts
2 Andrew Reid (Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki) 153
3 James Westmoreland (Yamaha) 153
4 Luke Jones (Triumph) 104
5 Benjamin Currie (Yamaha) 91
6 David Allingham (Yamaha) 85
Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship Positions (after five rounds)
1 Reeves/Cluze (LCR Yamaha) 186pts
2 Stevens/Charlwood (Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki) 178
3 Holland/Watson (LCR Kawasaki) 155