MOTORCYCLING: Happy return to action for Kevin

Kevin Van Leuven. Photo by Dave Yeomans
Kevin Van Leuven. Photo by Dave Yeomans
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Kevin Van Leuven got back on track to finish 19th but G&S Racing Kawasaki team-mate Tom Fisher was forced to retire on the penultimate lap in round eight of the Superstock 1000 Championship at Brands Hatch.

The competition was fierce and after posting his fastest ever lap around the Brands Hatch GP course, Fisher was certain he had secured a top 15 position on the starting grid.

But although he was only just over a second away from pole, he was amazed that he was the 24th fastest rider and was to start the race from the eighth row.

He began to make progress through the field but the pace was such that it was difficult to make a pass stick.

He was up to 19th mid-race but the bike began to suffer from tyre wear and the brake issue that had plagued him throughout practice was becoming worse.

Fisher made a slight mistake on the penultimate lap because of the brake issue and decided it was better to pull into the pits rather than perhaps crash and cause damage to the bike or injury to himself.

Tom Fisher

Tom Fisher

Meanwhile it was Van Leuven’s first time on the GP circuit on the big bike and he too was posting some fast laps.

He qualified just one place behind his team-mate to start the 15-lap race from the ninth row.

He made steady progress throughout the 15 laps to complete the affair in 19th place.

Team manager Mark Fisher said: “The pace was hot, the track was hot and the weather scorching hot!

“All things considered we have had a good weekend and both riders have gone well.

“Tom could not believe how far down the grid he was after qualifying as he posted his personal best lap and expected it to put him on the fourth row at least.

“But the pace was so quick and the times so very close.

“We have had a few issues with the bike and once the brakes started to play up he had to be a bit more cautious.

“It was a good decision on his part to pull in early as he was perhaps heading for a crash.

“I was pleased with Kevin, considering it was his first time on the 1000 on the full circuit he did well to finish 19th.

“We need to address our qualifying as this is what is letting us down.

“Our lap times are on a par with those of the riders way ahead of us so if we could qualify better we could stay with them and finish in the points.”

The next round is at the team’s local circuit of Cadwell Park near Louth over the bank holiday weekend of August 27-29 and Fisher usually does well on the Wolds circuit.

Van Leuven is still learning his way around the mountain course but is looking forward to getting to grips with the course on the big bike.