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Friday saw both Deane Brown and Nikki Coates crash in Free Practice but luckily the only thing they lost was valuable track time but despite the setback all three Supersport riders went into Qualifying with high hopes. Brown secured his best qualifying of the year in wet conditions with a second row start in sixth but Kev Coghlan continued to struggle, qualifying in 17th and Coates, feeling the effects of his earlier crash, ended up 21st.
From the start of Saturday’s Sprint race it was clear something wasn’t quite right with Brown as he quickly dropped down to 12th due to him being unable to find grip from the rear tyre of his R6 Yamaha. The trio ended up battling together with Coghlan getting the better of his team-mates to take 12th place with Brown 13th and Coates 14th.
Sunday saw a considerable improvement from all three riders with Coates making a superb start to move up to ninth on the first lap. His charge was, however, cut short when he crashed out at half race distance whilst lying 8th, Coghlan also moved inside the top ten before a technical issue meant he had to retire into pitlane. Meanwhile Brown was able to fight through the field and claim a very creditable ninth place at his home circuit.
Afterward Brown said “This weekend we have gone in the right direction and I have got out of the rut I felt I was in after the last few rounds. We proved we have the pace in the wet as I managed to qualify on the second row but now just need to translate that pace into the dry. “
“The race on Saturday was disappointing with a small problem having a big effect on both me and the bike. Sunday was a lot better as I managed to stay on the bike whilst others around me didn’t and it was nice to come out on top of the battle I was in to finish ninth. I look forward to Oulton Park where I hope the team and I can continue moving forwards.”
Nikki Coates – “In the end it was a disappointing weekend but I think there were glimpses of what I can achieve when everything gels together perfectly. The crash on Friday didn’t help as I took a knock to my knee which was still uncomfortable on Saturday for qualifying. In the Sprint race I made a good start and was pleased to battle my way through to take some points. On Sunday I made a fantastic start and it looked as though I could pick up a great result for the team but I pushed a bit too hard and paid the penalty.”
In the 125 class Ryan Watson continued to make progress. After a promising Free Practice session, he struggled in the changing conditions during qualifying only managing 14th on the grid for Sunday’s race.
He made a poor start but continued to fight his way back in an incident filled race which saw the Safety Car come out and then the race stopped early due to a red flag. Watson ended up seventh but was handed a two second penalty for passing under the Safety Car demoting him to eighth. This result leaves him in third in Championship and in a great position to push on for the rest of the season.
Watson commented “With it being my home track I wanted to get put in a good performance for all my friends and family who were attending. Unfortunately that didn’t go to plan but it was still important to get a solid points finish with many of my rivals for the Championship failing to score . With nearly half of the season completed to be third in the Championship is fantastic. Hopefully we can move forwards and challenge for the title come the last few rounds. Big thanks as always go out to everyone involved in the Appleyard Macadam with Doodson team.
Dan Kinloch continued to improve in the Superstock 600 class with another points finish after a weak qualifying. Dry conditions on the Friday proved key as rain fell on the Saturday making the second qualifying session void. Kinloch wasn’t able to match the early pace and was left with a lot of work to do after ending up 19th on the grid. However, the Scotsman made a good start and finished in a commendable 13th place.
He said “I feel I’ve moved forward from the start of the year to consistently score points but just need to make that extra leap forward now and try get in the top ten and above. It was a drama free weekend with no crashes or technical issues so I got some good track time but it’s a shame I couldn’t translate that into a positive result. With Knockhill being my local track I know it well I felt I could make that leap this weekend but it wasn’t to be. We’ve been to Oulton before for testing earlier in the year so hopefully we can turn a corner there.”
Looking back on the weekend, Team Manager Robin Appleyard shared his thoughts: “I think all in all it was a good weekend, despite a few crashes and mediocre finishes. All the riders got plenty of track time and race laps under their belt and there’s no doubt we are starting to work better as a team. All the bikes are strong and after a slow start to the season confidence is beginning to flow through to the riders which, I am sure, will translate into results.”
“Again, thanks to the ladies with over 30 guests enjoying their excellent hospitality. With Oulton being Appleyard /Macadam Racing with Doodson’s home track I will be looking for some good results.”
The Oulton Park meeting takes place in two weeks time, 6th to 8th July.
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