Gearlink Kawasaki News
9 April 2017
It was an extremely successful weekend for the team in the Dickies British Supersport Championship at the opening round of the series at Donington Park. Race one was cancelled and the qualifying positions were rolled over to the second race. Andrew Irwin secured second place with team mate Ben Currie in third to claim a fantastic double podium for the team.
Throughout the weekend in free practice and qualifying both riders set some strong times and despite being wet and cold during the qualification session Andrew was on the front row in third with Ben on the second row in fifth.
Due to a tragic incident earlier in the day the first race was cancelled and the qualifying positions were held for the second race. Andrew made an incredible start to take the lead with Ben tucked in behind in second place. It was another epic Supersport race with six riders in contention including Alastair Seeley on the Spirit Moto2 machine (the M2 is a development bike and ineligible to score points in the Championship). The closely fought battle raged throughout the race with Andrew and Ben taking the lead at various stages. Finally Andrew finished a fantastic second with Alastair third and Ben fourth. With Alastair excluded from the results Ben was promoted to a great third place to achieve a superb double podium in the opening race of the season. For Andrew it was also his debut podium in the Championship.
The cancelled first race has been rescheduled for the next round at Brands Hatch.
James Westmoreland only secured the deal to ride for the team in the MCE British Superbike Championship last month so was short on dry testing. "Westy"used as much time as he could to do as many laps as possible during the free practice wet session to finish ninth fastest. With qualifying cancelled the organisers took the combined times from the free practice sessions enabling him to start the first race from 16th on the grid. Unfortunately a technical issue just before the first race ruled him out which meant he was dropped back to starting the second race from 24th place. He managed to finish just outside of the points.
Team Manager Michael de Bidaph - "I'm really pleased with how the Supersport race went. Andrew and Ben both performed well every time they went out despite changing weather conditions during qualifying with both riders upping their game to qualify on the front two rows.
It was great to see both our riders up at the front throughout the race and it feels like a long time coming. Andrew and Ben have a great attitude and i know that if we keep pushing forward we can challenge for further podiums. It is great working with them and i am looking forward to the rest of the season.
With James in the Superbike class we did make some strong progress. Due to a couple of circumstance we lost some valuable track time over the weekend to set the bike up for "Westy" but will go to Brands and keep chipping away to help him develop the bike to suit what he needs. I am confident that we can start to achieve some points as the season progresses.
As a team we would like to express our condolences to the friends and family of Mick Whalley"