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'We know we're fast and so does everyone else.' Swaffham race team upbeat despite mixed British Superbike results




Swaffham's RAF Regular and Reserves Kawasaki team was left to rue what could have been following the latest round of the British Superbike Championship.

But county star Ryan Vickers says the team can take confidence from the weekend meeting at Donington Park despite suffering a crash and two costly time penalties.

And there is little time to reflect as the championship action continues this weekend.

Ryan Vickers in action. Picture: Impact Images Photography (50297422)
Ryan Vickers in action. Picture: Impact Images Photography (50297422)

Despite being among the pacesetters in practice, Thetford-based Vickers began Saturday's opening race in the premier class from 11th on the grid.

But he progressed through the field to cross the finish line fifth, only to be pushed back to sixth with a two second time penalty for cutting the chicane.

A fuel tank problem forced the 22-year-old to start race two on Sunday afternoon from the back of the field, rather than the front row where his fastest lap in the opening outing would have positioned him.

2021 BSB, British Superbike Championship. Donington Park, Derby. UK.. 14th August 2021.Tom Neave, Lincoln, Honda Racing, Luke Mossey, Cambridge, Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing/HEL, Lewis Rollo, Gifford, Royal Air Force Kawasaki. (50297416)
2021 BSB, British Superbike Championship. Donington Park, Derby. UK.. 14th August 2021.Tom Neave, Lincoln, Honda Racing, Luke Mossey, Cambridge, Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing/HEL, Lewis Rollo, Gifford, Royal Air Force Kawasaki. (50297416)

But, despite storming through the pack to finish fourth, another time penalty, this time for overtaking under a yellow flag, pushed him down to seventh in the final classification.

In race three, which was delayed by 40 minutes because of mixed weather conditions, Vickers made a brilliant start from the front row to take the lead.

But the joy was shortlived as he slid out before completing the first lap.

Despite that, Vickers felt there were plenty of positives from the weekend.

He said afterwards: "Tyre choice was a gamble and with leading the race, I was the guinea pig in terms of what the levels of grip were. The crash could have happened to anyone so it’s just one of those things.

"I was really pleased with the other two races both in terms of the results and how well I rode.

"The first race on Sunday was my best ever on a Superbike and not only do we know we’re fast, the rest of the field does too so there are plenty of positives to take away again.”

Vickers ends the weekend 11th in the championship standings with 93 points. The top eight riders after the eighth round at Silverstone next month will contest the title in the Showdown at the final three meetings of the year.

Elsewhere, Vickers' team-mate Lewis Rollo recorded third and ninth placed finishes in the two National Superstock 1000 Championship races.

The 21-year-old Scotsman is eighth in the class, where just six points separate the top six riders.

Team boss Lee Hardy admitted it had been a "rollercoaster" weekend for Vickers and there is more work to do to help Rollo climb the standings.

He said: "It’s a shame to end on a low note [the crash] as the weekend deserved more.

“Lewis rode superbly on Saturday to take his first podium finish of the season and although the sketchy conditions made it more of a level playing field, his track craft was excellent.

"Unfortunately, we still haven’t found the ideal dry setting and we need to back up our results in mixed conditions in the dry.

"We have some work to do for the next round but he’s only 35 points off the lead so it’s still all to play for.”

In the busiest period of the season, the action continues this weekend when the championship heads to Cadwell Park.

Billed as the "Party in the Park", the meeting at the Lincolnshire circuit is traditionally one of the most popular on the entire calendar, with up to 50,000 fans packing in on race day.

There are then two more back to back meetings in early September, with the first of those on the team's home track at Snetterton.



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