Sensational 600's set the pace.
After working his way through the Superteen and Aprilia RRV series Alex Baker the 24 year old contracts manager from Ormskirk has now settled in the BBR Roofing R6 Yamaha and has a regular place on the National Superstock 600 grid. After starting this weekends 600 qualifier on the back row he carved through to start on the front for row for the final alongside two former NG 600 champions in Max Symonds and Sean Montgomery. When the lights changed Max got the hole-shot, but was pushed wide at Redgate slipping to 5th
. He soon got back on terms with Baker and Montgomery and they were as one until the lap 7 when just after Montgomery had set his quickest lap his ZX6R exploded in a cloud of smoke drawing out the red flag. A result was called, with Baker taking it over Max with Joe Sheldon-Shaw third after a great fight through from the back of the grid after not finishing the qualifier.
Sunday saw an extra rider on the grid, in the shape of 2010 National Superstock champ Josh Day. His R6 had not turned a wheel since last October....but he fancied a piece of the fun !!. Max lead the early laps but eventually had to watch on as Alex and Josh came past and battled it out for top honours, settling for third and good points for the championship. There was less than one tenth between the top two at the line.... but Josh took it, happy to have beaten all of the current National Superstock runners !!!. Mark Clayton had a good run through to fourth as he continues to get to grips with his new 600, and Tom Vear was looking good until his R6 grounded out of the curbs at the Old Hairpin tumbling out....ooops!.
Josh may have been having some fun on the R6, but his main focus is the Open and Powerbike. In the Powerbike his only real challenger was Max Alexander with the R and T Racing S1000R. Max was able to stay with Josh early on in each race but gradually Josh on the Kendrick and Spalding ZX10 started taking a tenth here and a tenth there to take the wins.
The Open saw more dominant displays and another maximum points haul for the 28 year old from Cirencester. Meanwhile behind him all hell was breaking loose as Jamie Harrison, Tom Neave, Tim Neave, Peter Carr, Nick Williamson, Joe Sheldon-Shaw and Alex Baker neither asked for nor yielded an inch. Harrison took three podiums on the BMW but his early race pace let him down as very outing saw him chasing in the first few laps.
Josh set himself a target for the weekend of the NG lap record, but missed out by just over a tenth of a second. He was probably even more irked by the fact that Max Alexander lapped a fraction quicker than Josh on one stunning flying lap to set the fastest lap of the weekend, just a few thousandths shy of the lap record.
250GP and 125GP ACU National Championship.
With the absence of reigning champ Philip Atkinson after a tumble and a previous meeting, and also Dan Jackson who was unable to get to Donington due to family commitment the way was open for 2011 champ Ant Hodson to rake in as many points as he could. Ant duly set pole on his FCL TZ 250 Yamaha by just over 0.2 from BSB Moto3 runner Asher Durham and Thomas "two-stroke" Lawlor.
With the new 250 National format of two long races and one sprint race, there was 75 points up for grabs over the two days and Hodson was in no mood to let anyone deny him the opportunity of taking the max. Tommy Lawlor had early race pace but it was not long before Ant and Asher made it a two way fight for the 25 points and in all three races 18 year old Asher pressured Ant, ....26 years his senior (....sorry Ant). But experience told, as three victories, all those points and the series lead came to Ant after three hard races. Gary Vines and Tommy Lawlor took great podiums but some way off the pace of the top two. Simon Hunt had his best weekends racing taking three wins in the NG Cup, and was just a whisker off the National podium on Sunday.
Bryn Owen continued his good form on the Bryn Taff RS125 to take Saturday's 125 GP race but a tumble from first place on Sunday saw Dean Hobson take the double for Sunday. James Hind still holds the series lead despite a tumble on Sunday.....but the gap is coming down !!
ACU / FSRA F2 British Sidecar Championship.
Defending National F2 champs Peter Founds and Jevan Walmsley continued in their winning ways with another maximum points haul weekend. After they set pole over 1.5 seconds clear of Steve and Matty Ramsden the writing was on the wall for the opposition. They won both finals by 11 seconds and were never headed all weekend.
For the full story on this FSRA round.... www.fsra.org.uk
All the NG Action.
In a weekend of great racing and performances the high for me (…..my opinion only !!) was the Mini Twin and Super Twin battles between Paul Wardell on his Bee Lighting SV, Jake Detloff on his JD Racing SV and James Holland on the JHR/FSR Security 650 Gladius. The three bikes and riders we so evenly matched, and all rode right on the limit from lights to flag in qualifiers and finals. It was fitting then that honours were shared fairly evenly with Wardell and Holland sharing a win each in the Mini Twins and Dettloff and Holland getting one apiece in the Super Twins. The Sound of Thunder had the first double win for Jonathan Stenning on his relatively old Louigi Moto 749 Ducati as he held off David Irons on his 1198 Ducati, Ben Broadway on a new 959 Panigale, Dave Mackay on another 959 and Alistair Haynes on his 675 Triple. At the other end of the noisy bike scale from the Thunders are the Supermono’s and it was a double win from Dave Hampton on the Tigcraft Minimoto 450, although as the weekend went on Jay Bellars-Smith got quicker and quicker on his KTM Smith Bros 717. Hampton also uses the 450 in the Open 500 class and took the win on Saturday, although on Sunday Asher Durham tagged on the grid for some more miles on the Mahindra Moto 3 250 and got the best of Hampton who had to settle for second.
Phil Webber continued his winning ways in the Formula Prostock Pre ’87 class with his GSXR 750, both times over Andreas Jelden. Whist The Formula Prostock Suzuki Bandit challenge had two wins for John Warwick and one each for Glyn Nicholls and James McHardy, meaning that novice McHardy still leads the 2017 series.
Matthew Lawson has been racking up the wins so far this season in the Ducati Desmo 620 “A” class and after a tight battle with reigning champion Andy Blomfield on Saturday, that Lawson got the better of (…..just), it looked to be the same story. Blomfield though was in no mood to be second best on Sunday and took the fight to Lawson. Lawson got the wrong end of the backmarkers and Blomfield dragged out in the latter stages to get his title defence back on track. The 600cc “B” class was another double for the so-far-unbeaten in 2017 Jack Younge as he consistently lapped an astonishing 5 seconds quicker than his rivals.
Callum Swyer took his first ever win after a tight F125 battle with current series leader James Chapman, however both failed to finish on Sunday. Aaron Ridewood was on lap record pace on his F400 ZXR Kawasaki in qualifying and took pole, but come the final after stating that his aim was to lower the class figures his little ZXR stared to rattle and the gearbox failed. That left the way for the Harrison boys to battle it out with double glory going the way of big-bro Ben over Tom. Saturday’s wins saw Ben come through from dead last on the grid after a blocked carburettor kept him out of the morning qualifier!!….. I bet Big-bro Ben gave little-bro Tom some stick on the long drive back home to Cornwall after beating him in both races!
The wins in the Pre Injection classes were shared around with no one rider dominating. The 700’s had Liam Turberfield take his second win of the year and defending champion Jon Wright take his fifth. The 1300’s had Paul Harlington on his spare bike, after his number one bike suffered a broken gearbox take the win on Saturday with Thomas Payne in second. Rolls were reversed on Sunday with AFB/BAS runner Payne nicking the win over Harlington by just 0.3 second.
Ciaran Bligh had a double win in the 1300 Streetstock class on his R1, both times over defending champion Paul Jeffery. But the star of the Stock bikes was Simon Bastable who not only won the 700 class finals but beat all of the R1’s…ZX10’s and BM’s to win on the road…..stunning. Bastable took his victories over Leif Williams and Eddie Whitehurst. Williams was very happy with his weekend, as it was his first time at Donington for over three years.
The TSGP two stroke series were guesting at Donington and Mark Taylor the former multiple MZ champ rode Pete Thorne’s Team Aspire TZ to two wins over Rich Grinling and reigning champ Gareth Willis.
Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood the British Championship sidecar pairing came to Donington to get some fast laps and overtaking practice. They got both electing to start from the back of the grid, carving through, setting a new lap record and then pulling into pit lane on the last lap so as not to take championship points. Tom Ellis and Charlie Richardson took a convincing win over the rest on Saturday whilst Ryan Crewe and Paul Payne took a stunning win on Sunday over Peter O’Niell and Jack Galligan who did well to get on the grid after a crash at the old hairpin on Saturday. Sunday’s race was marred by a nasty start line accident at Paul Riley/Roy Farmer’s outfit failed to get away from the front row. Everyone looked to have avoided the stricken machine but an un-sighted Peter Alton and Keith Brotherton impacted the back of the stationary outfit. Keith took the biggest hit, but is reported to be on the mend despite “a fair few broken bones”…..we wish him a speed recovery.
Newcomers get races all of their own at NG’s two day meetings and Sam James took the Mini Twins class, Tom Harrison the 500 and Kayla Barrington the open as she held off the KX10 of Luke Bailey with her TKB/Rock Oil 675. To round off two great days of racing at one of the UK’s most loved circuits
Keep your eyes peeled.
Cruelly during the Saturday afternoon Dave Irons' Tom Warner Racing 1198 Ducati was stolen. The thieves took the big Ducati in broad daylight out of the team awning. The bike was seen being ridden down the paddock, and despite efforts from NG staff and Donington Park security the bike was ridden around the barriers on the pavement to evade the gate staff. Police are following up leads but if anyone has information regarding the whereabouts of the 1198 please contact NG Road Racing.
Let’s hope that Dave and Tom can get the bike back for the next round as Cadwell Park as that is doubly important to him being a Lincolnshire man.
Next Round: Cadwell Park | 3rd
Words: Russ Gardner
- NG Road Racing Media Officer Images: EDP Photo News