The AP Kawasaki team were back in action at the weekend at Donington Park for rounds four and five of the Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship races and it proved to be a successful weekend with both Patrick Medcalf and Freddie Russo scoring strong top ten finishes.
For Australian rider Medcalf it was his best meeting of the year so far and after qualifying in 14th, he made a great start in race one to immediately move into the top ten. Overtaking riders one by one, he was up to a superb seventh place by lap seven and here he remained for nine well earned championship points. It was a similar story in the second race and he was able to claim his second successive top ten finish in 10th to pick up a total of 15 points for the weekend.
Brentwood's Russo also had a strong weekend and was able to run inside the top 12 in both qualifying and the races. A great start in race one saw him move up to ninth although he slipped back to 12th, the legacy of the same arm pump problem that had affected him at Oulton Park the previous weekend. However, he fought his way back up to 10th at the chequered flag and in the second encounter, he was right behind Medcalf for much of the race and crossed the line just behind his team-mate in 11th. His results also move him up to 11th overall in the title table.
Meanwhile, third member of the team Josh Wainwright was unable to compete in the Metzeler National Superstock 600cc Championship races due to the injuries sustained at the previous round at Oulton Park. The Thamesmead rider hopes to be back in time for the meeting at Snetterton at the end of the month.
Freddie Russo: "It's been a good weekend for me and right from the beginning of the season my aim was to finish consistently in the top ten so to achieve that in race one and be very close in race two is very pleasing. I had a bit of arm pump again this weekend but managed to get a bit of treatment from a good physio called Richard Sangwin and it certainly helped. Donington requires a lot of heavy braking in the final third of the circuit so I was a bit slow there and then found I was being held up through the sections where I was quick but, overall, I'm happy with how the two races went. We're going in the right direction and I was also pleased to see Pat go so well, he was the only rider I was happy to overtake me!"
Patrick Medcalf: "I'm really happy with how this weekend has gone and with some good weather, I've been competitive throughout the three days. Donington's a bit easier to learn than some of the other UK tracks which have a lot of blind corners but I've also got the bike working how I want it to so we've been able to make some good progress. There was a fair bit of carnage in front of me in the first race and it took me a few laps to get into a good rhythm but once I did I was really pleased with both my riding and the lap times. The second race was a lot tougher and I got carved up pretty badly at the first corner and by the time I'd worked my way back inside the top ten, the front group had gapped me a bit. Overall though, I've had two really good races so a big thanks to the team for all their efforts."
Alan Greig: "It's been a great weekend for us and I'm really pleased with the efforts of both riders throughout the weekend. They qualified well and raced well so to come away with three top ten finishes out of four is pretty good going. The pleasing aspect is that we've improved at each and every round and are moving forward all the time. It's easy to forget that it's Freddie's first year on a 1000cc machine and Patrick's first year in the UK but they're bringing the best out of each other and are coming on in leaps and bounds. Their confidence is improving meeting by meeting and the team's morale is at a real high. We're really looking forward to Snetterton now and we'll also have Josh back so let's hope for more of the same there."
Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship race 1 (12 laps)1 Jason O'Halloran (Honda)2 Jimmy Storrar (BMW)3 Danny Buchan (Kawasaki)4 Victor Cox (Kawasaki)5 Lee Costello (Kawasaki)6 David Johnson (BMW)7 Patrick Medcalf (AP Kawasaki)10 Freddie Russo (AP Kawasaki)
Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship race 2 (12 laps)1 Steve Brogan (BMW)2 Jimmy Storrar (BMW)3 Danny Buchan (Kawasaki)4 Lee Costello (Kawasaki)5 David Johnson (BMW)6 Jason O'Halloran (Honda)10 Patrick Medcalf (AP Kawasaki)11 Freddie Russo (AP Kawasaki)
Championship standings (after five rounds)1 Storrar 712 O'Halloran 673 Buchan 654 Farmer 595 Brogan 566 Johnson 5211 Russo 2514 Medcalf 16
Metzeler National Superstock 600cc Championship standings (after five rounds)1 Dixon 70pts= Olsen 703 Rose 674 Burke 615 Whitaker 556 Jackson 4312 Wainwright 23