The AP Kawasaki team had a tough day over the Bank Holiday weekend when they were competing at Oulton Park in round three of the Metzeler National Superstock 600cc and 1000cc Championship races.
Josh Wainwright looked set to claim the team's first win only to suffer a nasty crash towards the closing stages of the 600cc race whilst Freddie Russo and Patrick Medcalf recorded 15th and 16th in the 1000cc category.
Brentwood's Russo finished inside the points for the third successive race but was disappointed with 15th as he had been running as high as 12th before being affected by arm pump. The problem meant he was unable to brake as hard as he would have liked nor ride to his full potential but he battled manfully to the end and was rewarded for his efforts with one more championship point.
Australian rider Medcalf was just one hundredth of a second and one place further back in 16th having fought his way through from 25th on the grid. A good start saw him quickly inside the top 20 and he put in a strong ride around the undulating Cheshire circuit and was unlucky to have missed out on his first points of the season.
Meanwhile, Thamesmead's Wainwright had been in superb form all weekend and after qualifying in pole position, led the Superstock 600cc race in the early stages. Although he was briefly shuffled back to second on lap eight, he was soon back in the lead but it all went wrong on lap 11 when he crashed heavily at Druids, subsequently being hit by the following rider. The crash looked terrifying but he was able to escape relatively unscathed although he could well miss the next round of the championship at Donington Park next weekend.
Freddie Russo: "We worked really hard throughout the two days of practice and qualifying and had got the bike working really well so I was really looking forward to the race and it was all going to plan until I started to get arm pump. I'd made a great start and was up in 12th, looking to move up inside the top ten when it kicked in and it was a battle then all the way to the end. Oulton's a physical track and maybe a lack of pre-season testing has affected me this weekend but I scored another point and we know we've the potential to run in the top ten so I'll work hard on my fitness over the next few days and look forward to the next round."
Patrick Medcalf: "It's been another new track for me to learn but some decent dry weather in practice certainly helped and although 25th on the grid wasn't where I wanted to be, I felt confident I could move forward in the race. I got a good start and was getting quicker as the race wore on so it was a shame the race was stopped early. I was right behind Freddie though so I know I'm making good progress and I'm sure we'll get some points sooner rather than later."
Alan Greig: "It's been a real rollercoaster of a weekend and we've gone from the real high of pole position to a real low with Josh's crash. He was buzzing after qualifying and felt confident of taking the race win and it was all going to plan. We don't know what happened but he was lucky to get away with just a broken rib and a broken collarbone and hopefully he will be discharged from hospital within the next 24 hours. Initially there were some fears he'd injured his neck but thankfully this is not the case.
"Freddie qualified well again and got a championship point but his race was severely compromised by the arm pump, which was a real shame as another top ten finish looked on the cards. He'll work hard on that though so I'm sure he'll be back in the top ten soon. Patrick again impressed us throughout the three days and his grid position didn't really affect his pace as he'd failed to get a clear track in Q2. He dug deep in the race though and moved through from 25th to 16th so it won't be long before we've got both riders in the points."
Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship race (14 laps)1 Danny Buchan (Kawasaki)2 Jimmy Storrar (BMW)3 David Johnson (BMW)4 Howie Mainwaring (BMW)5 Steve Brogan (BMW)6 Gary Johnson (Honda)15 Freddie Russo (AP Kawasaki)16 Patrick Medcalf (AP Kawasaki)
Championship standings (after three rounds)1 Farmer 50pts2 Mainwaring 373 Buchan 334 O'Halloran 325 Brogan 316 Johnson 3114 Russo 14
Metzeler National Superstock 600cc Championship (10 laps)1 Grant Whitaker (Yamaha)2 Alex Olsen (Triumph)3 Niall Campbell (Yamaha)4 Jake Dixon (Yamaha)5 Lee Jackson (Kawasaki)6 Ben Burke (Yamaha)DNF Josh Wainwright (AP Kawasaki)
Championship standings (after three rounds)1 Dixon 54pts2 Whitaker 433 Rose 404 Hastings 335 Fisher 256 Wainwright 23