The AP Kawasaki team enjoyed one of their finest day's racing at a searing Snetterton today when Patrick Medcalf gave them their first ever podium finish in the Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship.
Continuing his fine form of recent weeks, the Australian rider qualified in a solid eighth place on his debut at the Norfolk track although a sluggish start to the race saw him drop back to 12th at the end of the first lap. However, he soon found his rhythm and within a lap he was up to eighth and looking good for his best finish of the season. Sure enough, with conditions more akin to his homeland, he got quicker as the race wore on and when Keith Farmer slowed, he took full advantage to take over third place and claim his, and the team's first rostrum finish in the class.
For team-mate Freddie Russo, it was a lot tougher weekend though and having scored points in every previous race, the Brentwood rider was unable to find a good set-up with his Kawasaki throughout the weekend and ended the race in a disappointing 19th place.
Meanwhile, third team member Josh Wainwright made his return to racing after breaking his collarbone at the Oulton Park meeting earlier in the month and it proved to be a successful return for the Thamesmead rider as he scored a solid ninth place to move up to 11th in the championship table.
Patrick Medcalf: "I got such a bad start so I just put my head down and tried to maintain position for the first couple of laps and then started picking them off. I knew I was strong in a couple of places so I just waited for those moments and made my moves when I could. I saw P4 on the board and I could see the podium position not too far ahead so I just got my head down. I still can't believe I got a podium today, I just want to say a big thanks to AP Kawasaki. The bike's really starting to feel like mine now so I really hope we can carry this form forward for the rest of the season."
Freddie Russo: "From start to finish it's been pretty bad this weekend. We've had technical problems throughout the whole weekend and I ended up racing without the Power Commander as it was causing the bike to run on three cylinders. We only really went out to get some data for next year. I tried my best but had to over-ride the bike to make up for the lack of power and that just made me run wide and go slower. I'm really happy for Patrick though, at least one of us has had a good weekend and that's great for the team."
Josh Wainwright: "Well that was a bit hot! I knew I had to get away at the beginning because it would be tough on me with my injuries but we stuck it out with them and just tried to maintain the pace so I'm really pleased to come away with a top ten. The team did a great job, the bike worked brilliantly and even when the tyre started to go away towards the end, it felt perfect."
Alan Greig: "I'm really pleased for Josh Wainwright that he's made it back from the injuries he sustained at Oulton Park, he's been really tough to grit his teeth and score such a good result and a great confidence booster. We've been plagued by technical problems with Fred's bike all weekend so he struggled with qualifying and then had to ride an underpowered bike so he did really well considering. As for Patrick I'm still pretty speechless. We all knew that he's a capable rider and now he's proved himself. He qualified and raced really well and to get a podium this early in the season is a huge boost for Patrick and the whole team, all of whom have been fantastic."