It was a tough weekend of racing for the Agro-On WIL Racedays Honda team at Magny-Cours in France in the final round of both the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup and the FIM Superstock 600 European Championship.
The team leaves the 4.411km circuit with little to show for the considerable efforts that were put in, with both riders Kyle Smith and Josh Day being unable to finish the Superstock 1000 race.
For Smith it was a particularly frustrating end to the season after he qualified his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade in fourth place after two dry days on Friday and Saturday. However, raceday was wet and the Superstock 1000 warm-up was cancelled after only one lap. In the race, Smith’s helmet misted up badly and he was forced to retire on safety grounds.
His team-mate Josh Day fared only slightly better, crashing out at the slippery turn five that caught out many more experienced riders today. The American had suffered ongoing electrical issues throughout the weekend and the crash only compounded his frustration.
In the Superstock 600 category, the team’s three riders had their own problems during qualifying. Riding with an injured shoulder, Kevin Manfredi struggled and crashed out of Saturday evening’s race, which was run in two parts after an early red flag following a multi-rider crash.
His team-mate Chrissy Rouse, visiting the trick Magny-Cours circuit for the first time, finished just outside the points in 17th place while Jake Lewis finished five positions further back after a difficult qualifying session.
Kyle Smith, FIM Superstock 1000 Cup - Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP
We worked hard on the bike all weekend like we usually do and we were able to find a decent set-up for the dry. I qualified fourth, pretty close to the pole time so I was happy, even when we woke up to rain on Sunday morning. Normally I like the wet but warm-up was cancelled and then I got a fogged up visor on the first lap in the race. I tried to clear it but I had zero visibility and it just got too dangerous.
Josh Day, FIM Superstock 1000 Cup - Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP
It was definitely a weekend to forget and not the way we wanted to end the season. We had an electrical gremlin during free practice but it was still there even when we changed everything on the bike. I was looking forward to warm-up to see how our wet set-up was, but it was red-flagged halfway through my out lap. I was slowly building confidence in the race and was up to 11th when the rear came right round on me. Thanks to Honda for their support this year, I’m looking forward to the chance of getting another shot at it next season.