It was a good start to the season for the Gearlink Kawasaki team (Sunday) at Brands Hatch and Ben Wilson on the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R secured a fantastic second place in the opening Motorpoint British Supersport race. Ben who qualified in fifth place was eager to start his Championship campaign well, the conditions were mixed and the Gearlink Kawasaki team opted to run Ben on intermediate Pirelli tyres. He gained one of his brilliant starts and slipped into the lead by the opening turn. As the weather worsened the track conditions became difficult and Ben eased off slightly to avoid making any mistakes, the race was eventually red flagged on lap 11 after the rain caused a number of riders to crash on previously dropped oil. His team-mate David Jones was forced to retire on lap five with a technical problem.
Ben moved himself to the front row for race two which proved to be dramatic. Once again another stunning hole-shot and then Ben was gone and by the end of lap seven he had a lead of 7.2 seconds from his nearest rival Jack Kennedy. On lap eight as Ben dropped into turn three Graham Hill the bike tipped in front of him on the brakes and down he went, within seconds various riders were crashing around the circuit and the race was quickly red flagged due to track contamination. After a very long delay the riders were sent back out for what was scheduled to be a nine lap race. On the first lap seven riders crashed into Graham Hill, including Ben again, and the race was cancelled and half points were awarded, sadly with Ben being out of the result on the showing of the red flag in the initial race he was excluded from the results. David Jones also crashed out of the initial part of the race and unfortunately both riders were not eligible to score points.
Ben Wilson - "I was pretty pleased with scoring second in the first race yesterday and it was some good solid points to start the season with. I knew it was going to be wet today and I was quite excited about that prospect as I know we have a great wet set up. I just got my head down and felt really comfortable every lap and wasn't pushing beyond my limit. The track was fine until I came down into Graham Hill, did nothing different from any of the previous laps and as soon as I touched the brake down I went without any warning. We managed to get the bike back and the Gearlink Kawasaki team worked like crazy to get things back right. I started from pole which was the line they had sprayed with detergent and as the lights changed I just didn't move it just spun up and once again into Graham Hill the front just tucked. I'm totally gutted but it's a very long season and anything can happen, I'm not injured that's the main thing and I'm eager to get to Thruxton next weekend and put this weekend behind me and move on."
David Jones - "It's not been the best of weekends for me, practise and qualifying went well but the races proved to be a bit of a nightmare, I had a bike problem yesterday then crashed on the combination of fuel/oil and water on the track today. There is nothing I could have done today and I'm just hoping things can be rectified next weekend at Thruxton. The Gearlink Kawasaki team worked so hard after the first red flag came out to try and get my bike fixed to get me back out there, they did a mega job to get it fixed and back out on the grid. It's just a real shame that it was all cancelled and I just want to put this weekend behind me."
Metzeler Superstock 600s
It was a great start to the season for the new Gearlink Superstock 600 rider Scott Hudson, the 24-year-old competed in his first ever British Championship race and finished in a great ninth place. The newcomer had a good qualifying and finished in 14th place for the grid for the 20 lap race. He gained a great start and was eighth after the opening lap. He was soon locked in a tight battle for sixth place and settled into a healthy rhythm in the very wet conditions.
Scott Hudson - "It's been a great first weekend with the Gearlink Kawasaki team and I'm really pleased to have walked away from my first round with some healthy Championship points. I've learnt so much this weekend and the team have been fantastic I didn't want to do anything stupid as I know it's a very long season. I was a little disappointed with my qualifying position but thankfully I managed to get a good start. The conditions out there were bad and the track was very slippery so I just wanted to bring the Kawasaki home safely and looking forward to getting to Thruxton next weekend."
Team Manager Michael de Bidaph - "It's not the weekend we wanted to start the season with but it is a very long season and now the pressure is off a little bit. We've done a bit of bike damage this weekend but that is fixable, the main thing is the riders are all ok and will be ready for Thruxton next weekend. The entire Gearlink Kawasaki team worked exceptionally hard this weekend and I'd like to thank them for that. We are now lying in third place with Ben in the Championship and there are still a lot more races during this season. We showed how fast Ben can run in the wet and his times and the way he was riding was fantastic. Scott in the Stock 600's made a fantastic start to the year on his debut appearance in the class and has taken away a good handful of points from Brands and we now have a busy week fixing the bikes before we head to Thruxton."
2012 GEARLINK TEAM SPONSORS
AKRAPOVIC - B & C EXPRESS - DAYTONA (BEN) - GALFER - GB RACING - GEARLINK LTD - GIMOTO - GOODRIDGE - K-TECH - METZELER (STOCK 600'S) - MOTOCOMP - MWR AIR FILTERS - NGK - OCTANORM - PAZZO - PERFORMANCE PARTS - PRO CLEAN - PRO-BOLT - R & G RACING - RACE BY DESIGN - RENTHAL - ROCK OIL - SAMCO SPORT - SHARK HELMETS - SINNIS - SKIDMARX - SOLO SIGNS - SPEEDYCOM - SUDBROOKE BOILERS (BEN) -TSUBAKI - VALE LIVESTOCK - WELTECH (BEN)
2012 British Superbike Dates
DATE/VENUE13th - 15th April Thruxton Circuit5th - 7th May Oulton Park25th - 27th May Snetterton 30022nd - 24th June Knockhill 6th - 8th July Oulton Park20th - 22nd July Brands Hatch GP25th - 27th August Cadwell Park7th - 9th September Donington Park21st - 23rd September Assen TT Circuit28th - 30th September Silverstone Circuit12th - 14th October Brands Hatch GP