MOTORCYCLING: Aaron happy with Brands Hatch test
Kirton rider Aaron Clarke and team-mate Tommy Philp took their draperRACING Yamahas to Brands Hatch at the weekend.
They raced in the Team Respro MRO 600 class, using the track time to test their new machines and find a good base setting ahead of the new season.
Philp qualified on pole for the first race on Saturday but was unfortunate to miss the cut-off point for the grid and was forced to start the 10-lap affair from the back of the grid.
But he got his head down and began to plough through the back-markers, making his way through to 20th on the first lap.
He made good progress to settle into third place on the penultimate lap but was not quite close enough to the front two to make a pass on the pair to take the win.
In the second race, Philp led from lights to flag to take a solid win – recording the fastest lap of the race with a 49.192s / 88.4mph lap which was under the club lap record.
The race on Sunday was a repeat performance as he once again took a lights to flag victory but it was a hard-fought affair as Sam Smith was right behind him throughout the race.
Clarke also had to start the first race from the back of the grid on Saturday after missing the cut-off point, but powered through the field to finish in 10th position.
He was having a few problems with the front end set-up but he persevered and brought the bike home in 10th position again.
The team worked on the bike, making adjustments to the set-up in readiness for the race on Sunday which appeared to make the world of difference to Clarke’s performance.
He was able to push through from a sixth row start to complete the 12 laps in fourth position for a vast improvement on Saturday’s results.
Clarke said: “I am pleased with my result.
“Once the set-up had been adjusted it felt like a different bike.
“I am really comfortable on it now and can’t wait to get to Donington next week.”
The team will regroup at Donington Park on Tuesday to take part in the official British Superbike test where they will put the finishing touches to the bikes ahead of the first round of the British Supersport and Superstock 600 championships at the Leicestershire circuit over the Easter weekend, March 31 toApril 2.