MOTORCYCLING: Stafford ‘on huge learning curve’

Ben Stafford
Ben Stafford

Saracen’s Head rider Ben Stafford picked up more points with a top-10 finish in round four of the British Supersport Championship.

The Silicone Engineering team travelled to the Knockhill circuit, fresh from three weeks in the Isle of Man TT and the Oliver’s Mount race in Scarborough where Dean Harrison delivered fantastic results.

Stafford has been struggling to get the performance from the 600 since the start of the season and has had to run a stock engine for two of the three rounds.

In free practice on the relatively small circuit Stafford soon found the settings and was able to put in some decent times – making small changes in sessions one and two.

Qualifying was a different story for the youngster as he struggled to get into the rhythm and failed to string together the three sectors to produce a fast lap.

At the end of the session Stafford found himself in 18th place on the grid.

With heavy rain before Saturday’s race, the bike was quickly changed to the wet settings.

After a decent start halfway through the race Stafford along with everyone else struggled for visibility as the dirty track conditions dried on the visors – making the slippery conditions almost impossible. Stafford crossed the line in 14th position.

Overnight changes to the bike for Sunday’s race were again in vain as the heavens opened and atrocious weather set in again.

This time Stafford got his usual great start and set about getting through the pack.

At the end of the race he crossed the line in 10th – producing a solid performance in the conditions and again more valuable points.

His dad Andy said: “Looking at the top names behind him over the line just shows where we are.

“This year was always going to be a huge learning curve, however we are gaining experience and moving forward.

“Huge thank you again to the Silicone team and everyone who make this possible.”

The next meeting is at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk on July 8-10.