Clarke gains confidence with finish

Aaron Clarke
Aaron Clarke
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Kirton’s Aaron Clarke and team-mate Charlie King were back on track after a six-week lay-off because their championship was shelved to make way for the North West 200 and the TT road races.

It was always going to be a difficult weekend for the two ACR Kawasaki riders as Snetterton is a very demanding circuit but they got stuck in and both riders completed their race, King in 22nd place and Clarke 34th.

Clarke was struggling with rear grip during free practice but adjustments were made to the bike and he went out in qualifying determined to make it onto the starting grid for Sunday’s race. He did just that and secured 40th place, a long way back but still in the race.

As the race began, Clarke remained at the back of the field taking his time to settle in and let the tyres get some warmth in them.

Then on lap three he began to make progress, up a place to 39th, and one lap later he was up to 38th. By mid-race, he was in 35th place and on lap nine of 12, he moved up to 34th.

The riders ahead were just a little too far away to make further progress and he remained in 34th place to the finish line.

Clarke said: “I know 34th isn’t that good but at least it’s a finish and that has given me some confidence.

“Snetterton is a tricky circuit and a few riders came to grief at some of the tricky corners. But I was fine and had a good race.

“My pace was good and the bike handled well. I also managed to better my personal best time for Snetterton. Thanks to the team for their hard work and to my sponsors who gave their support again this weekend.”

Meanwhile, King began his campaign from a 10th row grid position but didn’t get away well at the start and ended up in 29th place by the end of the first lap. But he got his head down and made progress up to 22nd on lap eight of 12. He held on for the remaining four laps and passed the chequered flag in 22nd.

King said: “I am really pleased with today’s race and feel we have made some good progress and dug in deep.

“The result of 22nd doesn’t really do me justice for the work that was put in by everyone but we enjoyed the weekend and I’m pleased to be back on the bike after the six-week break. A big thanks to everyone in the ACR Kawasaki team and to everyone who came to support us this weekend.”