The AP Kawasaki team enjoyed a good day’s racing at Brands Hatch today with all three riders scoring strong points in the opening rounds of the Metzeler National Superstock 600cc and 1000cc championship races.
The highlight was a superb fourth place for Josh Wainwright in the 600cc category whilst Freddie Russo and Patrick Medcalf recorded eighth and 15th place finishes in the 1000cc division.
Starting from a fifth place on the grid, Thamesmead’s Wainwright made a solid start in the wet conditions and was able to consolidate his position in the early stages. On lap 12 he moved up into fourth place and with the race being stopped early due to a fallen bike in the middle of the track, the result was declared to get his season underway in fine style.
Conditions were, arguably, worse for the 1000cc race and a poor start by Brentford rider Russo saw him slip back from his third row start to 20th but he soon got into his stride and worked his way through the pack. Lapping comfortably quicker than the group in front of him, Freddie was up to eighth by lap 20 and only a misting visor prevented him from finishing higher but it was a superb result in his debut 1000cc outing.
For team-mate Medcalf, racing in the rain was a whole new experience but after qualifying from Sunday’s Shoot-Out race, the Australian rode a brilliant race to work his way through the field from 32nd place on the grid to an eventual 15th and a hard-earned championship point.
Josh Wainwright: “That’s exactly what I wanted, a solid result and some solid points. The conditions were tough and it was really greasy out there so I think we were all having some moments whilst it was also a relief to see the race end early! It’s a great start to the season and a good platform for us to build on so we can head to Thruxton in a really positive frame of mind.”
Freddie Russo: “Getting a 1000cc bike off the line’s a bit more difficult than a 600cc and I got it all wrong, which meant I got caught up with the pack going into the first few corners. I was way back and there was hardly any grip at all but I got into a rhythm and slowly began to move forward. I was up into the top ten and closing on sixth place but I started to have problems with my visor so decided to settle for the finish and it’s a great result first time out on the big bike.”
Patrick Medcalf: “Qualifying didn’t go as intended and being in the Shoot-Out wasn’t ideal but I got through to the main race and coming through from 32nd to 15th is pretty pleasing. I can count the amount of times I’ve ridden in the wet on one hand so it was a big learning experience but I tried to keep as smooth as possible and stay out of trouble. I’m happy with the point and whilst the first few rounds will be tough, I’m confident I’ll get stronger as the year goes on so a big thank you to the team and for the opportunity.”
Alan Greig: “It’s been a really good weekend for us and I can’t complain at all. It’s great to have Josh back in the team and, after qualifying well, he rode a really thoughtful, calculating race, bringing the bike home for a great fourth place. With the weather being as it was, it was always going to be difficult for Patrick but coming from 32nd on the grid to 15th was a stellar effort. He’s never seen conditions like this before and it was both tricky and confusing but we couldn’t be happier with his performance.
“Freddie’s obviously encountering a new challenge with the 1000cc machine and he made a dreadful start but he worked his way through the pack and, in front of a lot of friends and family, it was a brilliant result. We had a lot of our sponsors here including Dickies, Britool and Be Wiser, so to have the day we’ve had, and in front of them, is superb and credit must go to the team for working really hard and putting in fantastic amounts of effort.”
Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship (22 laps)
1 Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2 Steve Brogan (BMW)
3 Jason OHalloran (Honda)
4 Adam Jenkinson (Honda)
5 Jimmy Storrar (BMW)
6 Gary Johnson (Honda)
8 Freddie Russo (AP Kawasaki)
15 Patrick Medcalf (AP Kawasaki)
Metzeler National Superstock 600cc Championship (16 laps)
1 Jake Dixon (Yamaha)
2 James Rose (Yamaha)
3 James Lodge (Yamaha)
4 Josh Wainwright (AP Kawasaki)
5 Grant Whitaker (Yamaha)
6 Tom Fisher (Kawasaki)
Image attached courtesy of Jon Jessop: Josh Wainwright in action at Brands Hatch today.