In the National Superstock 1000 category, it was Billy McConnell and Andy Reid who took the honours at Donington Park. Billy McConnell set a new lap record during qualifying and took the first and second race wins of the weekend, whilst Andy Reid gave the EHA Racing Aprilia team their first win and podium in race three; teammate Joe Collier was just behind.
Reigning champions Morello Kawasaki also had a steady but solid start to proceedings, with their own ex-champion Josh Elliott finishing 2nd and 3rd in race one and race two, with a 6th in race three. The team’s second rider, Australian Sam Clarke, finished race one in 14th place but crashed on the opening lap of race two. Clarke was 15th in the final race but nursing an injury, following the Sunday crash.
Fraser Rogers and Mission Racing had a tremendous start to the 3rd race, before a traction control issue forced Fraser to remain 7th. Fraser also made contact with Josh Elliott at Redgate Corner, but proved that he could be a front runner in 2018. Ben Godfrey had a stunning Sunday race, proving that he could be a top-10 challenger in 2018, with 15th and 11th in race one and two before a 20th in inclement conditions on Monday.
Tyco BMW’s Keith Farmer had a steady return to the class, keeping the bike upright whereas some other riders around him failed to do so across the weekend. Farmer comes away with two 3rd-place finishes and a 2nd-place, with just a four point gap up to the championship leader – which is Billy McConnell. Teammate for the weekend, Dan Kneen, likewise finished every race, this time in the top 10, with a best of fourth in race two.
Andy Reid and Joe Collier were the riders to beat on Monday, as they scored EHA Racing Aprilia’s first ever double-podium with a 1-2 finish. Both rode fantastic races to stay upright and are both in the top 5 of the championship. Joe Collier, whilst not winning a race, is third and Andy Reid is 5th, after a crash in race one put him out of race two as well.
The IMR BMWs of Chrissy Rouse and Jordan Gilbert quietly went around their business, not making mistakes and finishing strongly in all three races. Rouse walks away with two 6th-place finishes and a 7th, whereas Jordan Gilbert was 11th, 10th and 9th, showing incremental progress as the weekend evolved.
Lee Jackson and Alastair Seeley were both somewhat disappointing but both have had limited time on their respective Kawasakis, so we shall see both rise to the front of the field fairly soon. Michael Rutter is 6th in the championship and 21 points off the lead, as he finished with two 9th-places in Sunday’s races and 4th on Monday.
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