Ben battles on after mistake to finish well

Kevin Van Leuven. Photo: Dave Yeomans
Kevin Van Leuven. Photo: Dave Yeomans

Saracen’s Head teenager Ben Stafford is looking to improve during his first full season in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship.

Last weekend he was left feeling frustrated – despite a ‘respectable’ 12th place in round three at Oulton Park.

Stafford was eighth after the first qualifying session on Saturday but then dropped to a disappointing 16th on the grid.

He battled well throughout the race and moved up to 10th place when a mistake on lap 13 demoted him to his eventual finish of 12th, almost retaking the places over the line.

Round two qualifying was always going to be the key to success on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit as overtaking and evenly matched bikes makes life very difficult.

Despite Stafford bettering his previous time around the tight and challenging circuit, he found himself midway down the grid for the start of the race.

After another great start Stafford weaved his way through the pack and settled to continue this regime when on lap six entering Druids another rider made a mistake and t-boned Stafford down and out.

The Silicone engineering road team move their focus to the roads and Stafford will leave for the North West 200 on Friday where he will resume the mechanic position for Russ Mountford followed by a brief return to Donington Park as a rider then straight to the Isle of Man TT for a two-week stint again as a mechanic.

The Wyberton-based G&S Racing Kawasaki team were at Oulton Park with Tom Fisher finishing in 22nd place and Kevin Van Leuven scoring three championship points for 13th place in the Stock 600 race.

Meanwhile, Dutch rider Jordy De Jonge (17) has been brought out of his coma and is off the ventilator and breathing for himself in the early days in his recovery from an accident at Brands Hatch.

Team manager Mark Fisher said: “This is really good news for Jordy and his parents, they hope to have him sitting up tomorrow and he should make further progress in the next day or so.

“Along with Jordy’s parents and friends the team have been overwhelmed by the support of the BSB family.

“We have had people sending their good wishes from all over the UK, a lot from people we don’t even know.

“This last couple of weeks have been so stressful for everyone and the support we have had has helped us all tremendously.

“I can’t thank everyone enough. Special thanks must go to the Race Director and staff at MSVR for their support also the marshals and medics at the circuit who were so prompt in attending to Jordy and James.

“We have the best medical aid in the country at British Superbike meetings and they certainly stepped up to the plate at Brands Hatch.

“Most of the riders had Jordy stickers on their bikes this weekend on race day to show their support and we intend to make a collection for the two air ambulances that transported both boys to hospital.

“We did intend to do this at Oulton but it was just not possible and we will be setting up a website where people can donate as soon as possible.”