Clarke pleased with times in ‘mega race’

Aaron Clarke
Aaron Clarke
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Both teamDRAPER riders Aaron Clarke and Tommy Philp completed their races at Silverstone safely in the first rounds of the British Supersport and Superstock 600 championships.

Clarke qualified in 27th place and made a start to his 10-lap race in the National Superstock 600 class from the ninth row of the grid.

He made good progress after a flying start and after one lap was up to 23rd position.

He continued to forge ahead and became embroiled in an eight-rider scrap for 15th place.

Clarke made his way through to head the group in 16th position mid-race but began to suffer from arm pump which hindered his progress.

But the 20-year-old rider from Kirton persevered and, although he lost ground, he completed his race in 20th position.

Aaron Clarke at Silverstone

Aaron Clarke at Silverstone

Clarke said: “ I was really disappointed with my qualifying position.

“I was running eighth at the beginning of the session and came in to make some changes as I felt we could improve but we went the wrong way with the settings so missed out on a quicker time.

“But for the arm pump I was looking at a points finish which would have been good.

“I had a mega race and was fighting for places throughout the 10 laps, I really enjoyed it and was pleased with my lap times.

I had a mega race and was fighting for places throughout the 10 laps, I really enjoyed it and was pleased with my lap times.

Aaron Clarke

“The draperRACING Yamaha is a lovely bike to ride and I cannot wait till we get to Oulton Park for the next round.”

Meanwhile Philp, who is living at East Kirkby after relocating from Slough, qualified in 17th place to start the first of his two races in the British Supersport Championship from the sixth row.

The track was wet and slippery from a heavy shower of rain on Saturday, making conditions treacherous for the start of the sprint race which was set to run over 10 laps of the Northamptonshire circuit.

At the start he moved up into 15th position and was beginning to settle into the race when the red flag brought things to a halt on the third lap because the rain returned.

Tommy Philp

Tommy Philp

At the restart which was now classed as a wet race they had hardly got under way before a rider crashed with his bike, leaking fluid onto the track resulting in another red flag.

On the warm-up for the restart more riders fell and race control decided to abandon proceedings altogether.

With the sprint race abandoned Philp was short on track time but lined up on the grid for the start of the feature race on Sunday in dry conditions.

This time the race got under way with no problems and Philp settled into 16th place, taking it steady until his tyres had some warmth in them.

He then began to make his move forward and was up into 14th position on lap five of 12.

He became involved in a four-way battle for position which lasted for the remainder of the race but he made up another place to cross the finish line in 13th place to pick up three championship points.

Philp said: “It is a shame the sprint race was cancelled because I was riding well without any problem.

“But riders were dropping their bikes at almost every corner and it was just getting silly.

“The race will be run at another track later in the year.

“My draperRACING Yamaha was running very well and I was pleased to finish the feature race in the points.

“It’s a good start to the season and we can build on this next time out.”

The next round is at Oulton Park over the weekend of April 30, May 1 and 2.