The AP Kawasaki team enjoyed a good day at Thruxton in Hampshire with another decent points haul at round two of the Metzeler National Superstock 600cc and 1000cc championships.
The best result again came from Thamesmead rider Josh Wainwright in the 600cc category with sixth place whilst Brentford’s Freddie Russo and Australian Patrick Medcalf recorded 11th and 19th in the 1000cc division respectively.
With a brilliant second place in qualifying, Wainwright made a great start to the 14-lap race and slotted into second position before briefly being shuffled back to fifth. As the race progressed, Wainwright battled back up to third but a missed gear on lap seven which dropped him back to eighth although he fought back strongly and climbed up to sixth just over a second adrift of second place at the chequered flag. The result saw him consolidate his fourth place in the championship table.
In the 1000cc race, Russo slipped back from his 10th place starting position to 14th at the end of the first lap but as he got into his rhythm he was able to move forward. Picking off riders in front of him, Russo almost made it into the top ten at the end of the 15-lap race but had to settle for 11th although the five points saw him move up to eighth overall after two rounds of the championship.
For Medcalf, he was encountering the high-speed Thruxton circuit for the first time and his cause wasn’t aided by mixed conditions in qualifying which kept him down in 28th place on the grid. Nevertheless, he put in another strong ride and was rewarded with 19th place, only five seconds off another championship point.
Josh Wainwright: “The race was going so well for me and after a great start, I was exactly where I wanted to be but as I was changing down for Campbell, I went down to first gear instead of second and the whole bike locked up and I had no option other than to take to the grass. I managed to rejoin in eighth and got my head down and reeled the group in so to come through to sixth and get some more good points is very pleasing. The bike’s great and the team are mega so it’s been a great start to the year.”
Freddie Russo: “Thruxton’s one of those tracks where you’re unable to test so it was always going to be a bit uphill so I guess today was the best of a bad job. We made a lot of changes to the bike for Q2 but the rain meant we couldn’t use them and so we ended up using someone else’s settings from last year, which didn’t quite work out. I was sideways a lot during the race and there wasn’t a lot of grip but it was the same for everyone so it’s another solid result. I was hoping for a top ten and only just missed out on that so we’ve got plenty to build on and can make more of an impression as the season wears on.”
Patrick Medcalf: “The circuit’s great but it’s hard to get your head around as a newcomer and losing Q2 to the wet conditions hurt me a fair bit. The race went well although it was hard to find a good rhythm but I kept chipping away and coming through to 19th after being 28th on the grid is pretty pleasing. We’ll keep battling away, work on the positives and eliminate the negatives and look for some good track time at Oulton.”
Alan Greig: “It’s been another good weekend for us and although I felt Josh was pushing a bit too hard, when he rejoined the race, he regrouped well and rode smoother and quicker. If there had been a couple more laps he could well have got on to the podium. Two top six finishes in the first two rounds is great and he’s already handily placed in the championship table.
“Freddie’s been struggling this weekend with a lack of data but he’s learnt a lot in a short space of time and he was still able to put in a very impressive ride. He’s a bit disappointed that he wasn’t able to find a better set-up but joint eighth in the championship is a fantastic effort. Likewise for Patrick who came through well for 19th. It’s another new track for him and, arguably, one of the toughest to learn so it was another strong ride and has built up his confidence that little bit more.”
Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship race (15 laps)
1 Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2 Howie Mainwaring (BMW)
3 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)
4 Victor Cox (Kawasaki)
5 Jonathan Railton (Kawasaki)
6 David Johnson (BMW)
11 Freddie Russo (AP Kawasaki)
19 Patrick Medcalf (AP Kawasaki)
Championship standings (after two rounds)
1 Farmer 50pts
2 O’Halloran 32
3 Mainwaring 24
4 Jenkinson 22
5 Brogan 20
6 Cox 20
8= Russo 13
Metzeler National Superstock 600cc Championship (14 laps)
1 Tim Hastings (Kawasaki)
2 James Rose (Yamaha)
3 Jake Dixon (Yamaha)
4 Johnny Blackshaw (Triumph)
5 Ben Burke (Yamaha)
6 Josh Wainwright (AP Kawasaki)
Championship standings (after two rounds)
1 Dixon 41pts
2 Rose 40
3 Hastings 31
4 Wainwright 23
5 Lodge 21
6 Whitaker 18
Images attached courtesy of Jon Jessop: Freddie Russo (55), Josh Wainwright (5) and Patrick Medcalf (31) in action today at Thruxton.