MOTORCYCLING: Clarke ‘disappointed’ to drop out of top 10

Aaron Clarke
Aaron Clarke

Aaron Clarke came close to crashing at 130mph – but recovered to finish Sunday’s race.

Both draperRACING riders were at Brands Hatch for a round of their respective championships where Clarke recorded 17th position in his Superstock 600 race and Tommy Philp was 16th and 17th in his two British Supersport races.

Kirton-based Clarke was struggling with set-up throughout free practice and qualifying but battled on to begin his race from the seventh row of the grid.

He got away to a good start, making up places to 17th on the first lap.

Clarke made progress through the field on every lap and was running in a strong 10th place with two laps remaining.

However, as he exited the Cooper straight and over the hill, he had a massive tank slapper and did well to save the crash.

Tommy Philp

Tommy Philp

As he went to apply the brakes at the next bend, he realised that the pads had chattered and he was forced to pump the brakes before they decided to work.

By this time he had lost a lot of ground and was down in 16th position then relegated to 17th on the final lap.

Clarke explained: “I was doing around 130mph when I had my tank slapper and believe me I thought I would crash for sure.

“But we saved it and I managed to finish the race. I am disappointed with 17th but pleased I could run with the fast boys at the front of 
the field in 10th place.”

I was doing around 130mph when I had my tank slapper and believe me I thought I would crash for sure.

Aaron Clarke

Meanwhile, Philp qualified in 22nd place, (18th in class) for his first race on Saturday.

The race was delayed because of torrential rain in a previous race and it was still drizzling when the Supersport riders took their grid positions.

Because of the previous delays it was to be run over 10 laps instead of the original 12 and as the lights went out Philp made a fantastic start – moving through to 14th place on the first lap.

But as the track dried it became apparent that he had encountered a problem with the bike and he began to drop back.

He became embroiled in a three-way battle for position but was unable to build on this and crossed the finish line in 19th position.

Three riders ahead were in a different class resulting in Philp being awarded 16th place, just missing out on a point-scoring position.

Starting the Feature race on Sunday from the middle of the seventh row, Philp didn’t get the best of starts and lost places.

But he got his head down and began to make up ground to Sam Cox and Richard Steadman and those three spent the majority of the race batting it out for places.

Philp passed Steadman on lap 11 and went on to get the better of Cox four laps later.

He began to pull clear but it was too late in the race to make any impression on the riders ahead and he crossed the finish line in 19th place overall.

Two guest riders who finished ahead were excluded from the results and Philp was awarded 17th place.

The next round will be at Thruxton over the weekend of August 4-6.