Solid weekend at Brands sees Kerr maintain sixth in Superstock standings

Photo: Tim Keeton – Impact Images Photography

Richard Kerr and the AMD Motorsport team were back in Pirelli National Superstock Championship action at the weekend with round five taking place at Brands Hatch and it proved to be another solid meeting with seventh and ninth place finishes seeing the Kilmacrennan, County Donegal rider maintain his sixth place overall in the title standings.

After his success the previous weekend at Bishopscourt, Richard and the Dumfries-based team arrived at the 2.43-mile circuit in confident mood and although 12th overall in Friday’s free practice sessions, was a bit lower than where he’d hoped to be, he knew where he needed to improve. Indeed, he lowered his time by almost a second in Saturday’s qualifying session to move up to 11th and cut the gap to the leader to 0.8s.

A good start would be crucial to Saturday’s 15-lap race and that’s exactly what happened with the 22-year old completing the first lap in seventh place on the CBR1000RR Honda Fireblade. Although he briefly dropped to eighth and two seconds behind the race leader, he quickly responded and was back into seventh by lap six. Reducing the deficit to race leader Richard Cooper to 1.3s, he found himself part of a seven-rider battle for the lead but any hopes of advancing further were dashed when the red flag came out on lap 11.

It meant the result was declared at ten laps which put Richard in seventh place and the fine ride meant he consolidated his sixth place in the championship standings ahead of Sunday’s second encounter.

With the fifth fastest lap of the race he was able to start Sunday’s race, held over the same distance, from the much more advanced position of fifth and the middle of the second row. It was another hot day in Kent but an unusually sluggish start for Richard ultimately decided his race as he completed the first lap in tenth place.

He moved up to ninth on lap five, after overhauling Lewis Rollo and five laps later, the gap to the leader Alex Olsen was still only 3.2s. The second fastest man on track in the final third of the race, Richard was hoping to pick off a few more places but, after running slightly wide at Graham Hill Bend, he lost a bit of ground and had to settle for ninth place. Nevertheless, the haul of 16 points from the two races enabled him to move onto a season’s total of 96 and remain in sixth place overall.

Richard Kerr: “I was a bit disappointed the first race got red flagged as I felt really strong and was confident of moving forward in the final third of the race. I was being held up a bit by David (Allingham) but my end of pace was strong – stronger than some of the others in front of me who I could see were struggling a bit – and felt the top three could have been possible. My lap times were good and although it was a seventh place, I was only two seconds off the win.”

“Starting from the second row in Sunday’s race put me in a much better position but, unfortunately, I was unable to take advantage and made a poor start. The clutch didn’t quite engage as I’d hoped, which affected my concentration for that split second and it was enough for me to drop back a few places. It’s a shame as I felt I had the pace but if you don’t get away at the start, it’s an uphill battle. It’s not how I thought, or hoped, the race would pan out but it was more points on the board so we’ll look to get back at the sharp end next time out and, as always, a big thanks to the team.”

Fraser Dykes, Team Owner: “Qualifying on Friday didn’t go as we would have liked due to new brake pads not turning up on time but with the new pads in for the first race, Richard took a strong seventh place with the fifth fastest lap. That gave us a good grid position in the middle of the second row for Sunday’s race but, unfortunately, an uncharacteristic bad start by Richard dropped him five places on the first lap. Nevertheless, he finished in a more than respectable ninth and, ironically, the time lost on that first lap was our gap at the end of the race from winner Richard Cooper. All in all, a good weekend for the team and another massive step forward at a track that wasn’t the greatest for us on the big bike last year. We’re looking forward now to Thruxton in three weeks to see how we go there.”

The next round takes place at Thruxton, Hampshire on August 12-14.

Pirelli National Superstock Championship standings (after five rounds)
1 Billy McConnell (Honda) 137pts
2 Brayden Elliott (Honda) 127
3 Davey Todd (Honda) 11
4 Tim Neave (Yamaha) 105
5 Tom Ward (Aprilia) 102
6 Richard Kerr (AMD Motorsport Honda) 96

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