Kevin van Leuven secured a strong eighth place on his debut for the Wyberton-based G&S Racing Kawasaki team in the first round of the National Superstock 600 championship at Brands Hatch.
The Dutch rider had never seen Brands Hatch before, never mind raced there, so he spent Friday’s test session learning the intricacies of the circuit.
The final qualifying session was a wash-out with many riders crashing in the dire conditions so the grid had to be set from times recorded in the dry first session, where he was 11th.
He started Monday’s race from the fourth row but soon moved up to eighth place, where he finished to pick up eight championship points.
He said: “I am delighted with my result. I loved the circuit and soon learned my way around it.”
Dominic Usher finished 18th in the Superstock 1000 class.
Starting from the sixth row, he was immediately up to 17th place only for the race to be halted due to a crash.
In the re-run, over 20 laps, he again made a good start. By the fifth lap he was up to 15th but was in a large group with places being exchanged throughout and he eventually crossed the line in 18th.
He said: “I felt I rode well but was a bit disappointed not to have scored any points. I have never gone so fast and not scored points.
“It was very competitive and I was in a group of 10-12 riders all fighting for position.
“It was handlebar to handlebar racing, very tight and exciting. The bike was awesome.”
Tom Fisher, making his debut in the 1000cc class, failed to make it through to the main race but finished 19th in the non-qualifiers race.
He said: “Obviously I am disappointed not to have made it through to the main race but it’s early days for me.
“If someone had told me I would be posting times of 47.7 seconds around here last year, I would have been delighted.
“ In the non-qualifiers’ race I was hampered by the dreadful weather conditions and was a little cautious as I didn’t want or need to crash. I’m sure it won’t be long before I am mixing it with the big boys.”