The Friday test day was bright and dry, but very windy! We fit a brand new rear tyre onto the Kawasaki Supersport machine for the event, but after only three sessions it started chewing up due to the hard corner exits at Redgate/Hollywood and Coppice. So for the afternoon sessions we went out on the RS660 Trofeo (and were black-flagged for ride-by noise in one of the sessions), where we found that the new final-drive gearing ratio of 16/46 seemed to be a lot more suitable. By the end of the day we had got close to our Supertwin PB time set back in 2019, which was encouraging.
As we learned at Brands Hatch, we would not be able to carry the Supersport onboard camera on the race days - so took the opportunity to capture some footage on the test day instead. For your viewing pleasure, here is a lap of the wonderful Donington Park circuit - which includes an unfortunate crash for another rider around 1:10.
Saturday Race Day
Saturday turned out to be a hot one - the mercury said that it was 20C but it felt a lot hotter! We were given a practice session on each machine, which allowed us to get into the groove before we went out into qualifying.
In the Open 600 qualifying we managed to qualify 12th in class (15th on combined grid with Sound of Thunder) and in the Supertwin class we qualified in 3rd place in class (5th on combined grid with PreInjection 600 and Formula 400 machines).
We got a good start in the Open 600 race and managed to get involved in a battle for 7th-10th places. Despite pushing as hard as we could, we remained 0.4 of a second from our 2019 Personal Best laptime, but got our first ever NG Open 600 Top 10 finish with a 10th place at the flag! A great result!!
We had a lengthy wait for the Supertwin race due to an oil spillage, but the wait was worth it... An average start put us in an epic battle with two other Aprilia RS660s as well as some of the PreInjection 600 front-runners. During the race we made our way through the pack, encountered some backmarkers in less than ideal locations, and crossed the line in 2nd place on track to pick up some silverware! We also managed to set a new Supertwin PB of 1:17.194, which was an improvement of 0.8 of a second. The onboard race video is probably one of the most interesting that we've captured :-)
NG Supertwin Championship Standings (Top 5)
1st - David Carson 106
2nd - Steve Moody 101
3rd - Edward Giles 82
4th - Craig Neve 50
5th - Louis Dawson 50
NG Open 600 Championship Standings (Nearest)
14th - Tom Weeden 29
15th - Owen Hunt 24
16th - David Carson 22
17th - Will Lathrope 19
18th - Mark Walker 16