Cox second at Donington ParkVictor Cox scored his best ever finish in the Metzeler National Superstock 1000 Championship when he finished a excellent second in Round 10 of the series at Donington Park on Sunday. It was a good weekend for the team with Conor Cummins finishing in 14th place for another points score.
Cox had once again been impressive in qualifying. He was well on the pace throughout the first session and quickest through the Sector One speed trap, with his last lap of 1m:33.57s placing him third quickest and the top Kawasaki rider. A more subdued 17th in the second session did nothing to harm Victor's combined qualifying and he again found himself in a now familiar front row position on the grid with his Ninja ZX-10R still the top placed Kawasaki.
The race got underway in dry conditions, as the pack swept through the Craner Curves Victor had settled nicely into fifth and as they went down the Hangar Straight he was up to fourth. Things improved further for him at the end of the lap as Adam Jenkinson ran wide at Goddards allowing him through to third. Positions were changing back and forth in the early stages of the second circuit and, with Cox in fourth, the safety car came out following an incident at the Melbourne Loop. The safety car remained on the track for a further two laps and on Lap 5 they were racing again with Victor determinedly defending his fourth place from Adam Jenkinson. On Lap 6 a group of five riders, including Cox, had edged a slight gap on the rest of the field. Victor was still in fourth as they went on to their seventh circuit, but on the approach to the Melbourne Loop Jenkinson got through on the inside to relegate him to fifth.
Jenkinson began to pull away very slightly and Victor was now coming under a bit of pressure from Luke Quigley. On the ninth lap, the safety car again made an appearance for three laps and as racing resumed Victor set about catching the four riders in front and there was drama to come at the end of the penultimate lap. Race leader Richard Cooper led into Goddards, but behind him Howie Mainwaring had gone in a bit hot and he parted company with his bike. Adam Jenkinson also went down as Tristan Palmer took avoiding action. Victor meanwhile didn't need a second invitation and seized his chance to move into second. However with one lap to go he still had some work to do as Luke Quigley and David Johnson were battling hard for the final podium place just over a second adrift. Cox though wasn't going to let this opportunity slip and with great composure he held on to bring the Ninja ZX-10R home in second and the highest placed Kawasaki in the race, his delight apparent as he crossed the line. He was again fastest through the Sector 1 speed trap and also quickest through the second sector, whilst his second visit to the podium this year moves him another two places up the championship table to seventh.
Victor Cox: 'When the safety car went in for the second time, I lost a bit of ground on the riders in front and I was trying to catch them up. I had closed the gap a little and I could see the three coming together at Goddards and I just made the most of it. The team have been fantastic and have worked great all weekend.'
Conor Cummins' determined riding of recent weeks was finally rewarded when the Manx ace finished back inside the points and his, and the team's efforts, throughout the three days of action saw them take 14th place and two well earned Championship points.
With another different circuit to tackle on the new ZX-10R Kawasaki, Conor steadily improved his pace over the two days of practice and qualifying around the 2.5-mile Leicestershire venue and after placing 26th in the opening qualifying session on Friday, he was able to reduce his time considerably during the second and final session the next day. Indeed, a time of 1m:35.17s saw him take almost a second off his time and it promoted him up to 23rd on the grid, good enough for a sixth row start.
Sunday's 15-lap race was the final race on a busy schedule but it finally got underway at 5.35pm and a good opening lap resulted in Conor moving up the order to 21st place. When the safety car pulled in at the end of lap 4, Conor began to put pressure on those riders in front of him. Indeed, on lap 7 he jumped up to 19th and this became 17th two laps later when Leon Hunt and Joe Burns disappeared from the action. In a race of high attrition and the safety car again deployed from laps 10-12, it meant a three-lap dash to the flag for the remainder of the 40-strong grid. With further incidents taking place out on the circuit, Conor was promoted up the order to 14th and it was here where he finished, less than three seconds off a top ten finish.
Speaking later, a pleased Conor said: "It started off as a really tough weekend but I really enjoyed the race and to come away with more points is really satisfying. I really struggled to get the bike set up during practice and the suspension was causing me a number of issues, being too soft on the front and too hard on the rear. I was running wide going into the corners and struggling for grip on the exits so it was hard on both counts but we made improvements all the time and after final qualifying we were a lot closer to where we wanted to be. It was quite windy out there but the bike was working well and I wanted to get points on the board again so I'm glad that I've been able to achieve that once more. Like I say, we were chasing our tails a bit during practice and qualifying but we improved the bike and made progress all the time so I'm really chuffed to have scored points again especially as it was a really hectic race with a lot of the boys being all over the shop! It's been a constructive weekend, one that's had a good, happy ending and that means I can head to the next round at Silverstone with that added bit of confidence."
It's a short break now before the championship action resumes with the penultimate round of the series taking place at Silverstone, Northants on September 23-25. In the interim team manager/rider Ian Lougher will be aiming to add to his tally of wins at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough when he takes part in the Steve Henshaw International Gold Cup meeting at Scarborough this weekend.
Burrows ends road racing season on the rostrumTHE 2011 Irish road racing season came to a conclusion at Killalane in North County Dublin last Sunday and John Burrows and his Cookstown/BE Racing team finished their campaign strongly. Burrows finished top six in all five races he contested and was able to mount the rostrum no less than three times.
With a little luck Burrows could have won the Superbike Championship race on his Cookstown/BE Suzuki GSXR 1000. When Michael Dunlop crashed, Burrows was left in front with a three seconds advantage and he was looking good for the win. However, the race was stopped and had to be restarted. When the action resumed, Burrows fought hard with Ryan Farquhar for the victory but lost out - by only 0.99 of a second. Runner-up Burrows was well clear of Derek Sheils, William Dunlop and Michael Dunlop. The result secured Dungannon's Burrows third overall in the Irish Superbike Championship.
When the Superbike runners came out again for the Grand Final, it was Michael Dunlop who stormed to victory, leaving Burrows, Farquhar and Sheils to fight for second place. Burrows was happy that he lapped quicker than his Tyrone neighbour Farquhar, but it was the Killyman rider who won the battle with Burrows taking third a few bike lengths ahead of Dubliner Sheils.
Burrows finished second on his KBM 650 Kawasaki to Farquhar in the Supertwins race which was held on a rapidly drying track just after a shower of rain. Supertwins Champion Burrows commented: "Ryan and I exchanged the lead in the opening stages but I started getting massive slides as my wet tyres fell apart and it was too risky to push for the win. I took the safe option and settled for second position."
Burrows finished in sixth position in both the Supersport 600 and 250GP events. He said: "My 600 Yamaha wasn't as sharp as it should have been and given the lack of power sixth is as good as I could have hoped for. "I had my first outing on my RS 250 Honda since 2008 and I didn't push too hard. I was happy enough to finish sixth. I just wanted to give the two stroke machine an airing as it's not good for them to be sitting idle for too long. I'd like to thank Bob Patterson for helping me get the 250 ready, there's nobody better at preparing a two-stroke. Of course, I'd also like to thank my whole team for their efforts at Killalane and indeed during the entire season. Without the crew, my results would not be half as good."
Farquhar ends Irish road race season with hat-trick at KillalaneRyan Farquhar finished his 2011 Irish road race season with another haul of wins, this time claiming a hat-trick at the Killalane road races. The meeting went ahead after the removal of a controversial chicane but, when it did, Ryan claimed victories on the KMR Kawasaki's in the Superbike, Supertwin and 450cc races also adding a brace of seconds to his results for the day.
After the problems with the aforementioned chicane, grid positions were decided on Championship positions and so Ryan lined up on the second row for the opening Superbike race although it was only a couple of laps old when it was red flagged after Michael Dunlop crashed out, fortuntaely without injury. On the re-start, Ryan took full advantage and after shadowing John Burrows on the opening lap, he moved into the lead on lap 2 and held the lead until the end for his first win of the day. Next up was the 600cc race and it proved to be an excellent three-way battle between Ryan and the two Dunlop brothers, Michael and William. On this occasion, Ryan was able to push them all the way and although he got the better of William, Michael was able to keep him at bay and so Ryan had to settle for second, just 0.206s adrift.
For the 125cc/450cc race, Ryan started from the back row of the grid but at the beginning of the second lap, he found a way past William Dunlop and, once in front, he was able to gradually edge away, eventually taking the victory by over four seconds. Ryan's penultimate race of the day was the Grand Final and after the organisers delayed the start to allow a rain shower to pass, it again turned out to be a Ryan versus Michael Dunlop battle. Again, Ryan pushed Michael all the way and although he was able to get alongside on a couple of occasions, he didn't quite have the pace to overhaul Dunlop and so again had to settle for second. However, his day ended on a winning note with a comfortable 10.7s win in the Supertwins race.
Meanwhile, there was further joy for the team when Jamie Hamilton rode brilliantly from the second wave to secure second in the Junior Support race, a superb effort in his first outing at the venue.
Speaking afterwards, a pleased Ryan said: "Aye, it's been a good weekend and once all the hassle over the chicane had been sorted out, it was a good meeting and I really enjoyed the races. The problem with the chicane was that the bales were obstructing the corner too much and you couldn't see your apex or through the corner so there was the potential for you to approach way quicker than you should have been and there'd have been no chance of avoiding a crash. It got altered once and then a second time after which myself and Michael had a look at it and it was a lot better. I'd have been happy to race with it but, eventually, the organisers decided to scrap it altogether and, fortuantely, there were no serious incidents on the day."
"I made a poor start in the first Superbike race but Michae's spill gave me a second chance and I made a much better start so once I'd got past John Burrows, I just did enough to keep him at bay and hold on for the win although Michael being out on his 600 made it that little bit easier. I'd done some work on the 600 and it was definitely the best it had been all year so it was very pleasing to beat William and push Michael all the way as I haven't been able to do that as much as I'd have liked this season. In the Grand Final, the track had dried up and I made a good start and was again right with Michael but although I was able to draw alongside him a couple of times, I just didn't quite have the legs to get by but I was happy enough with second. The other two races also went well whilst I was again very impressed with young Jamie. He's approaching everything in exactly the right manner and rode a very mature race, working his way through the pack for an excellent finish. It was my first meeting in Southern Ireland this year and it was great to be back so it was a very good weekend for all of the team."
Brady Wins Manx Grand Prix!!Congratulations to Andy Brady on winning the Senior Manx Grand Prix. Using a Maxton GP10 rear unit and GP30 fork cartridges.
The Northern Ireland racer won a thrilling Senior Grand Prix, adding to the Junior title he won earlier in the week, the first time a rider has won both titles since Craig Atkinson achieved the feat in 2006. The Martin Bullock Racer was pushed all the way by Grant Wagstaffe, eventually crossing the line a mere three seconds ahead of the English racer.
Fantastic Farquhar takes Manx Grand Prix hat-trick
Onto Wednesday and the 500cc Classic race where Ryan lined up on Winfield's 500cc Paton, the machine upon which he won the corresponding race in 2009. Riding with the number one plate, Ryan seized control to lead comfortably at Glen Helen and with an opening lap of 107.378mph, the fastest of the race, he was already 40 seconds ahead. However, he opted to refuel at the end of the lap and with the machine struggling to fire-up, his advantage disappeared and he dropped back to 4th. That meant there was work to be done but he duly clawed back the deficit to lead again at half race distance and from there on in, Ryan continued to extend his lead and he completed the four laps over 1m50s clear of runner up Palmer.
That just left Friday's Post Classic Superbike race and Ryan's lead at the end of the first lap stood at 6 seconds over Buckley with Michael Dunlop having stopped on the Mountain. However, although he increased his advantage to 8 seconds at Ramsey on the second lap, by the time they'd reached the Grandstand, Buckley had overcome this deficit to hit the front by 1.32s. He pressed on to leave Ryan 8s in arrears at Ballaugh on lap 3 but the Dungannon ace then began to eat into the lead and by the time they swept through Glen Helen on the final lap, he was ahead albeit by just 0.6s. This had increased to 3s at Ballaugh but Buckley then retired at Kerromoar and that allowed Ryan to come home for a comfortable win, following in the footsteps of Dan Kneen who won three races during the 2008 festival.
Speaking later, a delighted Ryan said; "It was a tough week for all of us but to come away with a hat-trick, especially in the Classic races, is brilliant and feels pretty special. When we set off in the Classic 350cc race conditions were pretty good apart from the odd damp patch here and there but on lap 3 it was pouring down and the mist was coming down so I was almost sure the red flag would stop us at the end of the lap. For us to have a 4th lap was a bit crazy to be honest so I backed right off and just brought the bike home. It's the first time I've won the 350cc race so I was very happy although what happened to young Wayne Hamilton later in the day obviously put a real dampener on it."
"The wee bike was going very well but we had a few problems with the others, having a misfire all week on the Paton and lots of issues with the valves on the big Suzuki. The 500cc race started well and conditions were pretty good but I lost a bit of time at the pit stop and then the misfire returned between 7000 and 9000 rpm. At one stage, I thought I was going to have to pull in but I was able to nurse the bike home for another win. In the Post Classic race, I settled into the race early on and it was nip and tuck betwen Michael and myself early on although he went out on the first lap. Then on the 2nd lap, the bike appeared to be running out of fuel and went off on one cylinder and that allowed Mark to overtake me. He'd also caught me up on the road and it's always hard to pull away once that's happened but I dug deep and managed to get back into the lead and his retirement obviously gave me a bit of breathing space."
"It's always tough competing on the Mountain Course but, overall, it's been an enjoyable fortnight once more although the serious accidents have overshadowed things and I'd like to pass on my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of those riders we've lost this last couple of weeks."
Cadwell Park ReportVictor Cox put the disappointment of Brands Hatch behind him with an eighth place finish in Round 9 of the Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship at Cadwell Park on Bank Holiday Monday.
First qualifying saw Cox uncharacteristically down in tenth place, although the Trowbridge man was just over half a second off a place in the top six. It was a similar story in the second session as Victor again finished tenth, albeit with an improvement of almost a second on his best lap time with only a second covering the top 12 riders.
So Cox lined up on the fourth row of the grid and as the riders completed their first lap he was up to seventh, 2.74s down on the leader and one second behind sixth place man Luke Quigley. Victor in turn was at the front of a three man group which also included Tristan Palmer and David Johnson. He determinedly held on to seventh for the first four laps as Palmer and Johnson juggled positions, but on the fifth lap Palmer got ahead to demote him to eighth as Johnson began to fade with Billy Mellor now up to ninth. Victor circulated in a safe eighth for the next couple of laps, almost a second behind Palmer who, on the eighth lap got ahead of Howie Mainwaring to move into sixth.
At this point Cox was almost a second clear in eighth with Mainwaring a similar distance ahead of him, but two laps later the gap between the two had lessened considerably as Victor began to assert some serious pressure on his rival in front. As they crossed the line at the end of Lap 11, Cox was right with Mainwaring and on the next lap he got ahead of him to move into seventh, however Anthony Haywood's crash brought an early end to proceedings and a result was declared from the previous lap leaving Victor in eighth. It was nevertheless a gutsy ride from Cox who climbed back up the championship table to ninth.
Conor Cummins meanwhile came so close yet so far to scoring points once more when the Manx rider finished in 19th place at Cadwell Park. The Blackhorse Kawasaki rider put in his best qualifying performance of the season and was more than confident of scoring points but he fell victim to severe arm pump and gradually slipped back through the pack after starting the race strongly.
The undulating Lincolnshire circuit was always going to be a tough circuit for Conor due to its physical nature but after a steady opening qualifying session on Saturday, Conor showed how much he's improved in recent weeks with a fine effort in the final session on Sunday. Indeed, a time of 1m32.40s saw him take 1.2s off his previous best time and it elevated him up to a strong 16th on the grid. Conditions on Monday were good and a solid start saw Conor maintain his 16th place starting position and here he remained for the first 4 laps as he battled with fellow Manxman Gavin Hunt and Daniel Johnson for the final Championship points. Just after half race distance though, Conor began to run into trouble as his arm severely 'pumped up' and he was powerless to do anything about it as a number of riders overtook him. With a third of the race still to run, Conor found himself back in 19th and with the red flag coming out early, this was his finishing position.
Speaking afterwards, Conor said; "Without wishing to sound like I'm repeating myself, it's been another frustrating race for me as I felt really confident after qualifying that I was going to score some points this weekend. This was the one place where I thought I may struggle with my injuries but that wasn't the case at all and during both free practice and qualifying I felt really good. We worked really hard on getting the handling right in time for final qualifying and it worked a treat so I had the confidence to have a real good go."
"It was comfortably my best qualifying performance of the year so I felt good for Monday's race and was desperate to get into the points. I got a decent start to the race and was just sitting with the pack but then, for the first time in my career, I got arm pump and my forearm was literally solid so there was nothing I could do and gradually slipped back. All I can think of was what I was overcompensating a bit and using my arms too much to muscle the bike through all the changes in direction. Cadwell is probably the hardest circuit on the body but there are again positives to take out of the weekend and we're continually chipping away both with the bike and with my riding so we're definitely getting there. I'm really happy with the bike now so a big thanks to the team for all their work whilst I've again taken a stride forward as shown in qualifying. If we can just piece everything together in the final three rounds, I'm sure all our hard work will be rewarded with some good points scoring finishes."