Motorpoint British Supersport
The Gearlink Kawasaki team had a varied weekend in the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship at TT Circuit Assen. Glenn Irwin had a mixed weekend with a great fourth in the sprint race on Saturday, but sadly crashed out of fourth place in the main feature race on Sunday. His team-mate Luke Hedger had a tough weekend and a wrong tyre choice in the opening race saw him finish in 20th place in race one and 10th place on Sunday.
Glenn was riding well all weekend at the TT Circuit Assen and was consistently setting good times in all the sessions. He ended up qualifying in seventh place for the opening sprint race on Saturday and when the heavens opened no riders knew what tyre choice to run with, as half the track was wet and half dry. Glenn opted for full wets, got an amazing start and broke away with Graeme Gowland who grabbed the hole-shot. Gowland crashed out and Glenn had to take evasive action, which put him on the gravel, crossing the line in 14th position after lap one. Glenn really got his head down and pushed his way through the pack and by lap seven he was in second position. Opting for full wet tyres Glenn struggled for grip in the closing stages of the race with the track rapidly drying out but still managed to finish in a very creditable fourth.
He was placed in ninth place for race two on Sunday, once again the British Supersport race produced another amazing battle and Glenn was involved in it fighting for a podium position. He was up against the dominant Triumphs and pushing so hard to stay with them. Climbing up to third place on lap ten Glenn was locked in a five bike battle for a podium spot and sadly tucked the front end going into the final chicane and crashed out of fourth.
Luke Hedger was struggling to find a set up on his Gearlink Kawasaki, he has never ridden a Supersport machine at the Assen circuit and found it difficult to learn the track and get the feeling he required on the bike. He qualified in 13th place for the sprint race but having never ridden in the wet at Assen he opted for full wets but sadly the track dried and he dropped back to 20th. He was placed in a lowly 30th place for the second race on Sunday, the youngster got an amazing start and was 14th after the opening lap, pushing hard he worked hard to get through and finish in a very worthy 10th position.
Glenn Irwin - "The first race was certainly entertaining and I worked beyond belief to push my way back through the pack. I didn't want to hit Graeme (Gowland) so went off the track into the gravel to avoid him, I re-joined in about 19th, got up to 14th after lap one. I then just had to get my head down, I was on full wets and I pushed my way through to second at one stage. The track started drying and my bike was moving all over the place in the closing stages, I can't complain at fourth on a pretty much dry track.
I'm disappointed to have crashed out of race two but really pleased with the pace we managed to find. Many people don't realise how hard I have to push to try and keep with the power and speed of the Triumphs and I have to ride the wheels off the Gearlink Kawasaki to be in with a chance. I must thank the entire Gearlink Kawasaki team, we made some mega changes for warm up and it gave me a lot of confidence, I pushed hard, a little too hard and made a mistake and crashed out. Thanks again to everyone for supporting me and if anyone wishes to support me please look at my account on SoFund.co.uk."
Luke Hedger - "It's been a difficult weekend but really pleased that I managed to end the weekend with a top ten result. We have worked hard all weekend but I struggled to get comfortable on the bike as it's the first time I have ridden a 600 around Assen. Both Glenn and I ran full wets in race one but I just didn't feel confident to push too hard and risk crashing.
For that reason I ended up in 30th place on the grid for race two, luckily I got a mega start and was able to make up several places in the opening laps. I worked hard and felt much happier on the bike in race two and we made a lot of progress and changes, onwards and upwards at Silverstone and Brands. Thanks again to the Gearlink team all my sponsors especially 1st Choice Flooring."
Ben Wilson once again was trying to master his Gearlink Kawasaki around the technical, fast Assen circuit. He managed to qualify in 23rd place, in the wet conditions Ben got an unbelievable start and was through to seventh place after lap one. As the track began to dry Ben was unable to match the pace and dropped back to 16th, the heavens opened again and Ben worked hard to get back through to a very solid 13th place. Sadly in the second race Ben was caught up in a first lap incident and was forced to retire to the pit lane at the end of the opening lap.
Ben Wilson - "It was another tough weekend for us with the bike and having no data or set up coming here. We were lucky that the rain came in race one as it always evens up the field a little; I got a great start and was up with the leading bunch in the first few laps. We worked hard and it was good to get some points. Race two was a nightmare as I got caught up in a first lap crash which did some damage to my bike so I had to pull into the pits."
Team Manager Michael de Bidaph - "Whilst it has been a tough weekend, all three riders did their best in the changing weather conditions.
Ben had some consistent pace in race one but suffered lack of grip in the wet so finishing in 13th place was a good result as he managed to secure some points, Ben was just unfortunate in the second race to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Glenn and Luke showed promise over the weekend and in the sprint race it was always going to be a gamble on the choice of tyres.
In race two Glenn was fighting throughout the whole race to secure a podium place and was just unlucky to make a mistake on the last lap and crash out. Luke's result in race two was really good considering he started off so far back on the grid."