Positive Weekend for Gearlink
Silverstone - Round 11
It was a solid weekend for the Gearlink Kawasaki team at round 11 of the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship at Silverstone circuit this weekend. Alastair Seeley reeled in the points for the Championship title by taking a win and third place in the two Supersport races, he was later dropped to 10th place in the second race due to a penalty gained for a move on Jason O'Halloran and Ben Wilson gained a fifth and fourth place.
Alastair Seeley was back in fine form at Silverstone and celebrating his 34th Birthday and wearing a stunning new '34' branded Shoei helmet, he had a great opening race taking a solid win and narrowing the gap in the Championship lead and closing in on Easton. In the main race on Sunday, Seeley started from pole position and was locked in a hard scrap for a six lap sprint race after the safety car re-entered the pit lane after being deployed for an incident. Seeley as always, fought tooth and nail and the riders were exchanging paintwork on several laps. He was involved in an incident with Jason O'Halloran where the two came together, he re-grouped and then was dicing for the lead with Billy McConnell and Luke Mossey. The trio exchanged positions for the majority of the final two laps with Alastair finishing the race in third place. He was later penalised for the incident with O'Halloran and given a ten second penalty which dropped him to 10th position.
Alastair Seeley - "It was another good weekend and it was the first time since my crash at Cadwell that I actually felt good on the bike again and I was able to move it around to where I needed to. It was great to be back on the top step of the podium on Saturday and close in the lead in the Championship. The second race was a little messy and there was some contact between all riders, it was a hard race and we all wanted to win. I ended up with third but I was knocked back to 10th after a time penalty incurred for the O'Halloran incident. I'm a bit annoyed by the outcome of it as I'd worked really hard to get myself in a good position in the race and also the Championship but I will make sure that I keep fighting to the end."
Ben Wilson struggled all weekend at the Silverstone circuit where he took his only race win at last season. He secured fifth in the qualifying session and despite a good start he could only bring the Gearlink Kawasaki home in fifth position. He started from sixth for race two and sitting behind the safety car for a number of laps Ben was eager to get back racing again, he rode a solid race to finish again in fifth, and later promoted to fourth after the Seeley penalty.
Ben Wilson - "I really struggled here to get a good set up on my bike, despite winning here last year Silverstone has never been a circuit I have gone well at. I just couldn't get the set up right on my bike with the gearing despite trying several options over the weekend. It's solid points at one of my weakest tracks so I need to go to Brands focused and with the aim to get back on the podium and the hope to secure third in the Championship."
Pirelli National Superstock 600s
It was an unbelievable weekend for the Gearlink Kawasaki Superstock 600 riders, in the original scheduled race, Luke Hedger was nearly saying goodbye to winning the Championship when an engine problem occurred on the opening lap. The race was red flagged on lap one and rescheduled for after the first Superbike race, the Gearlink Kawasaki team had one hour to change the engine in Hedger's bike and they got him back out on the grid. In the process he went on to ride one of the most stunning races this season taking a fantastic win for the team and also the Championship lead as he heads to the final round. Mark Wilkinson was also suffering a mixed weekend after hitting a wet patch on Friday he was unable to put in a good qualifying time then, in the second qualifying session his bike had a problem so he ended up in a lonely 22nd place on the grid. He also rode his heart out and secured two Championship points and gained 14th place.
Luke Hedger - "Today was something very different and also very special, at the start of the initial race on the opening lap I felt my bike lose power. I was devastated but then we were told the race was postponed and I held out some hope, what I got in return from the Gearlink team I could never have expected. They were unreal and got set to changing my engine and putting it all back together in less than an hour, without them I certainly wouldn't have then been able to go out there and win the race. They worked so quick and they gave me a race winning bike, after all their hard work I knew I had to go out there and do something pretty special, so I did. I would like to thank Jamie Cooper for the loan of Aaron Clarke's engine. I got a good start and was eager to stay near the front, the Gearlink Kawasaki was awesome and I'm so glad I took the win, I now go to Brands leading the Championship for the first time this year and I can't wait to get there!"
Mark Wilkinson - "It was an up and down weekend for us, qualifying one was going really well and I was feeling quite comfortable on the bike but I made a small mistake touching the wet AstroTurf which caused me to crash at over 130pmh. Thankfullu not a great deal of damage was done to neither me nor the bike. We had a small technical problem in qualifying two which forced me out of that session also. I ended up in 22nd place on the grid for the race, I was able to make a great start and moved quickly towards the front only to have the red flag come out. We had a full re-start, I got another good start and was up to the top 15 bunch. With only a seven lap race I was unable to move through the field much further but I was still able to continue my points scoring positions and ended up in 14th place. I'm looking forward to some better luck at Brands Hatch. I'd like to congratulate my team-mate Luke on his win. I'd also like to thank the Gearlink Kawasaki team again for their hard work repairing the bike and to all my personal sponsors back in Australia."
Team Manager Michael de Bidaph - "Ben was struggling all weekend to find a set-up that suited him right and it was damage limitation on a track he has suffered misfortune at in the past. Hopefully he will feel stronger at Brands Hatch and finish the season on a high note.
Alastair rode a great first race to take the win and it's good to see him back at the sharp end after a couple of poor results due to injury at the previous rounds. He rode a good race in race one and closed the gap in the Championship standings. He also rode a very good second race and the riders were clashing paint on most turns, he came together with Jason O'Halloran and was later penalised for the move. In my opinion it was a harsh decision and I feel that O'Halloran's strong protest did not help the situation especially as he also caused Alastair to sit up during the race by his aggressive manoeuvres.
Luke was the star of the day; he rode his heart out on a bike that had just been rebuilt in less than an hour. I must credit my entire Gearlink Kawasaki team for their hard work and dedication they put in to ensure that we got Luke out on the track and he was able to repay them with the race win and also the Championship lead. We have to keep his feet on the ground now for Brands and try and treat it as another race weekend, he rode with his head today and we're really pleased with his result and his attitude towards it.
Despite Mark struggling during qualifying with a small crash and then a bike problem he once again pulled it all together in the race and rode fantastically well to once again secure some more Championship points. He has the right attitude and worked hard for the result he got today and never gave up, I hope he will have a good result at Brands."