It was a mixed weekend for Sheffield based GR Motosport at round two of the MCE British Superbike Championship Series. After a fantastic showing in qualifying where Team WD-40 Superbike rider Jack Kennedy qualified 10th, first of the none factory bikes and Taylor Mackenzie, only 0.7 off pole qualified 23rd – both riders were taken out in other peoples crashes in the first few laps of race one, leaving the Team and mountain of preparation to be ready for race 2. Both riders and machines suffered from the first race melee in race 2 bringing the Kawasaki ZX10’s home in 18th and 28th respectively not what we were looking for.
Jack Kennedy: “The results don’t really reflect what the positive weekend we had. We made big steps in the right direction with set up and qualified well. I was fired up for race one but on the opening lap I got taken out by the domino effect
of Christian Iddon’s high side. It’s horrible when you know the inevitable is about to happen but it’s just one of those nasty racing incidents you have little control over. We were looking good for a top ten finish initially in race two and it felt good to be in the mix in this company. Unfortunately I couldn’t hold the pace for race distance and got passed by a freight train dropping down the pack to finish a disappointing 18th. It’s frustrating and a missed opportunity for a good points haul. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be, will look to Oulton now and come back stronger.”
Taylor Mackenzie: “Although I finished Brands Hatch Indy with a DNF and a 28th place in the two races it was one of the best weekends I have had in a long time. It was my first solid run at riding my ZX10 and I did nearly 200 laps trying to make up lost time for Donington. I managed to qualify 23rd narrowly missing out on making it through to Q2 which I was thrilled with as I had 2 BSB race winners behind me on the grid so I can’t really ask for more in my second Superbike race meeting .”
The STAUFF Connect Academy: Boys followed the lead of their Team WD-40 counterparts in qualifying, Joe Irving #6 continued his learning curve with the Kawasaki ZX6 making continual improvements mixed with some off track excursions. Tarran Mackenzie #40 really started to show his potential finishing towards the top of the sheets in every session and finally taking 4th on the grid. The race its self was red flag after the first lap and we wish the injured riders a speedy recovery. After quite a long delay while Race direction, the Race Safe Marshalls, and Medical staff worked impeccably to help racing resume the Race got underway. Tarran did not get the best of starts dropping back to 7th on the first lap, where Joe started his race by grabbing a few places, everyone settled into the race and both riders started pushing their way forward. On the final lap Tarran made his move for 3rd into druids securing The Stauff Connect academy’s first podium and Joe pushed through to 20th a good days work!
Tarran Mackenzie: “The weekend for me was really good! I qualified 4th overall which was better than Donington. In the race I didn’t get the best of starts dropping down to 7th but I managed to catch 3rd with 3 laps to go and pass him on the last lap getting my first podium of the which is awesome! I have to say a big thank you to my whole team especially Geoff and Juan as my bike was really nice to ride, I am now excited for Oulton Park. I would like to wish the 2 boys who crashed a fast recovery”
Joe Irving: “We made good progress all weekend especially in the race where my best lap time was only 0.5 off Taz who finished on the podium. I can’t wait for Oulton Park as I love the place and feel we can come back from there with our first points of the season. ”
Brent Gladwin: “ What a weekend! the highs and lows of motorcycle racing are really an addiction for everyone but we need to find some consistency. After qualifying we were all ecstatic with what we had achieved with all four riders but to lose everything we had gained in the first few laps of the first Superbike race was just wrong. To lose both Jack and Taylor to other peoples incidents was a little too much for everyone to swallow .The Team WD-40 Superbike crews did a brilliant job of getting everything ready for the battered riders to go out in the second race which both riders completed not where any of us wanted. The Stauff Connect Academy boys did everyone proud we know there was a huge TV following back home in Eckington where yes football and snooker took a back seat in the local. Next stop is Oulton Park where we will again try our best to level things out ”