MOTORCYCLING: Team-mates hoping for home comforts

Aaron Clarke
Aaron Clarke
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It was a disappointing weekend at Thruxton for the draperRACING team as neither rider managed to bring back any points.

But a change of fortune is anticipated for the next round at Cadwell Park where both Aaron Clarke from Kirton and Tommy Philp from East Kirkby have done well in the past during the home round.

Philp completed qualifying in 21st place and started the 12-lap sprint race on Saturday from the seventh row.

He made a good start and was up to 19th on the opening lap but the race was red-flagged because another bike dropped oil on the track.

When the race restarted, Philp only got as far as the first corner when he was forced to pull off the track to retire.

He explained: “The clutch cable became unhooked from the brackets. It is very unusual for that to happen and I am very disappointed as I got away to a good start and was looking at a points finish.”

Because of the non-finish, Philp was placed on row eight for the start of the Feature race on Sunday and faced an almost impossible task of fighting his way through the back-markers into a point-scoring position.

Mid-race he was running in 16th place for a while but after struggling with set-up throughout the weekend on the very abrasive tarmac at the Hampshire circuit, tyre wear also came into play – causing him to slow and he crossed the finish line in 18th just three places away from the points.

Meanwhile qualifying in the Superstock 600 race was a fiasco as the riders completed only four laps before the rain began to fall.

Although Clarke returned to the pits for a change to wet tyres, the session was soon red-flagged and he was unable to improve his position so he started the race on Sunday morning from the eighth row.

He got away to a fantastic start from 23rd place and was up to 17th on the first lap.

He overtook James Nagy on lap two but on lap four the course car came on to the track to enable the recovery of a fallen rider which halted his progress.

Once the car left the track, Clarke became embroiled in a battle for position with Cameron Lee.

He held off a late challenge from Lee on the final lap and held his position to clinch 16th at the flag.

But neither rider had noticed the flag just as the course car came onto the track and were penalised for overtaking with their finishing 
positions reduced by one place.

Clarke said: “I didn’t see the flag until the next sector so we had both overtaken another rider.

“I have dropped a place but as we were both outside the points it isn’t really an issue for us.

“Once the car had left the track my tyre was cold and I hadn’t got the confidence to push on.

“But I did have a good race, although I was disappointed not to have brought any points back to the team.”

The next round is at Cadwell Park in the Lincolnshire Wolds on August 20.