Thruxton circuit, the fastest track on the calendar, was the scene for the latest round of the 2017 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship. The former Hampshire aerodrome hosts the highest speeds of the season as man and machine slide, buck and roo their way around this most exhilarating of race tracks.
In the MCE Insurance British Superbike class it was rookie Andy Reid who made the headlines for the #FuelledByXpressCoffee stable of riders as he got to grips well with his Tyco BMW S1000RR machine. Not a place for the faint of heart, Reid wound up the wick on the BMW across all sessions, peaking with the 7th fastest time in FP3. His form would continue in to QP on Saturday afternoon, making Q2 in a field that were lapping ever faster in the glorious sunshine. Race day brought an intense Race 1 battle with 5 other riders, at the flag it was 16th place for the Northern Irishman, an agonising 0.4s from a points finish! Race 2 later that afternoon didn’t quite yield the same results with a 17th place finish but with an improved best race lap!
Difficult times plagued the McAMS Yamaha pair of James Ellison and Michael Laverty across the weekend as they barely broke the top 20 in each FP session, QP and Race 1, a dire situation for riders of their calibre, without a doubt. Impressively the team and riders pulled the stops out between Race 1 and Race 2 with both riders finding around 0.5s and lapping in the 1m 15s bracket for the first time all weekend and taking well-earned points in 9th and 13th, managing the tyre woes that plagued the weekend for many. Having both tested at Cadwell Park hopes are high for a return to the sharp end for both the #FuelledByXpressCoffee riders.
Round 8 of the Pirelli National STK1000 Championship proved a mixed time for all three of our supported riders in the series with Thruxton traditionally bringing the closest races of the season. What might look a distant result at Thruxton is usually not quite as bad in terms of lap time and gap to the podium. For Integro BMW man Tom Tunstall that gap was as close as it’s been all season in FP2 as the Yorkshireman posted the second fastest time with Josh Elliott in 6th after our class rookie Jordan Weaving took a big blow as he crashed out of the session on his 9th lap.
Race 1 on Saturday afternoon saw Northern Irishman Elliott and his Tyco BMW S1000RR once again come out best of the #FuelledByXpressCoffee trio, pipped to the line by Chrissy Rouse to take 7th place with Tom Tunstall bringing his Integro BMW home in 21st place while the battered, bruised and slightly broken Briggs Equipment Kawasaki man was understandably unable to complete the full race distance.
Race 2 on Sunday brought cooler conditions for the restarted race, Josh Elliott taking 6th place at the flag with Tom Tunstall 21st. Jordan Weaving was unable to take the restart, his injuries proving too much to safely and competitively muscle his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R around the high-speed circuit.
True Heroes rider and former Royal Marine Mark Fincham lost his life in an incident during Sunday’s STK1000 race.
True Heroes Racing are a team dear to our hearts. Phil Spencer and his tight-knit team run an incredible outfit, one that has gained deserved recognition for its role in the rehabilitation and reintegration of injured service personnel.
We send our sincere condolences to Mark’s family, his friends and to Phil and the True Heroes team, at this saddest of times.