Swaffham’s RAF Regular and Reserve Kawasaki team endure frustrating British Superbike Championship weekend at Snetterton
There were few home comforts on offer for Swaffham’s RAF Regular and Reserve Kawasaki team as they endured a frustrating British Superbike Championship weekend at Snetterton.
County star Ryan Vickers’ hopes of making the end of season showdown suffered a setback after a 13th place finish in the third of the weekend’s outings.
But there is little time to dwell on it as the action resumes at Silverstone today for the meeting where the remaining places in the end of season title fight will be settled.
After qualifying ninth, Vickers finished sixth in Saturday’s opening race and seventh in the first of Sunday’s two races.
But, a lack of grip meant the 22-year-old slipped down to 13th in the shortened third race as he missed the chance to close the gap on the Showdown places.
The initial outing had been stopped following a crash.
Lee Jackson, the rider currently occupying the eighth and final showdown spot had been unable to start the race.
Vickers’ results, combined with a return to form by the defending champion Josh Brookes, means he slips one place to 11th in the championship standings, still 18 points behind Jackson.
With 75 points to play for in this weekend’s three races on the Silverstone National circuit, he could need one of his strongest showings of the year in order to book a place among the title challengers.
But team boss Lee Hardy said they’re still in the hunt.
He said: “It was a reasonable weekend for Ryan and although free practice was difficult, he was fast in qualifying and from there on.
“We had a slight issue with the swinging arm in Saturday’s race which we rectified for Sunday’s first race but our strategy got messed up a bit as people were passing each other all other the place and that split the pack.
“Seventh was a solid result though but in the final race, the grip just wasn’t there in the five lap dash.”
“We’ve made in-roads into the top eight and are still only 18 points adrift of the showdown so there’s still plenty to aim for.
Vickers said: “It’s been a bit of a tough weekend and for various reasons we pretty much lost FP1 and FP2. I really struggled but we put it behind us and made good progress on Saturday both with a good qualifying position and a good first race.
“The final race was going well up until the red flag but after that, I had pretty much no grip right from the start. I’ve no idea why the grip dropped off so badly but there was nothing I could do and, when I got back to parc ferme, the rear tyre was destroyed and loads worse than anyone elses.”
Elsewhere, Vickers’ team-mate, Lewis Rollo, finished 11th in the National Superstock 1000 Championship race.