Donington delight for Kerr with stunning win

There was delight for Richard Kerr and the Dumfries-based AMD Motorsport team at Donington Park at the weekend as they took their second victory of the season in this year’s Pirelli National Superstock Championship.

Kerr came out on top after a superb ride in Saturday’s race at the Leicestershire venue and followed it up with a solid seventh on Sunday to close to within two points of fourth place overall in the title standings with one round to go.

With heavy rain on Friday, only one practice session was able to take place but the 22-year old was immediately on the pace for Fraser and Mary Dykes’ team, posting the fifth quickest time on the factory-prepared CBR1000RR Honda Fireblade, three quarters of a second adrift of the pace setting Alex Olsen.

Conditions were a lot drier on Saturday although the temperature remained cool with blustery winds throughout the day, but it was a similar outcome as Richard lapped 0.707s slower than pole position man and fellow Honda rider Billy McConnell.

That put him in sixth place and on the second row for the 15-lap race, a strong start putting him in fifth place at the completion of the opening lap. He was soon up to fourth place and running in the leading group of six riders, moving up into the top three just before half race distance.

From that moment on, the Kilmacrennan, County Donegal rider was as quick as anyone on track and having taken second place from championship leader Davey Todd at the Old Hairpin on lap 11, he grabbed the lead for the first time on the penultimate lap.

With five riders still in the leading group, the race was going to go down to the wire and although the lead changed hands on more than one occasion on the final lap, it was Richard who prevailed at the chequered flag, coming home 0.486s clear of Todd for his second win of the season.

Lining up in sixth place once more for Sunday’s race, held over the same distance, Richard slipped back a place on the opening lap and although he was pushed back to eighth on lap two, he was back up into seventh a lap later. Try as he might, he was unable to move forward anymore and, in what proved to be quite a lonely race, he completed the race in seventh place to complete another successful weekend.

Richard Kerr: “I felt good at the start on Saturday, but the grip was quite low in the early part of the race, so I was keen to make sure no one pulled away. There was a fair group of us battling away and positions were changing quite regularly but I felt stronger as the race wore on and although Davey got in hot to the final corner on a couple of times, I was able to get good drive out on each occasion and make it to the line first.”

“Understandably, I was over the moon to get my second win and keen to repeat it on Sunday but for whatever reason, I just didn’t have the grip from the start of the race to make any impression. My mid-race pace was as strong as anyone’s but I just couldn’t get near to the other boy’s times at the beginning and that’s where I lost all my time. It’s obviously disappointing to follow a win with a seventh but there’s still one race to go so let’s try and get fourth overall there.”

Fraser Dykes, Team Owner: “We’re over the moon with our second race victory of the season and Saturday’s race couldn’t have gone any better for Richard or the team. It was a superb ride and right from free practice on Friday, he was on the pace and confident of a good result. We made some changes for the race and he came out of the traps but whilst Richard’s frustrated with Sunday’s result, both Mary and I, and the team, aren’t disappointed as it completed a highly successful weekend. We’ve maintained out 100% finishing record of scoring points in every race of the season, the only team to do so, and are now eager to conclude the season with a strong result at Brands Hatch.”

The final round of the series takes place at Brands Hatch, Kent on October 14-16.

Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship standings (after 10 rounds)
1 Davey Todd (Honda) 286pts
2 Billy McConnell (Honda) 248
3 Alex Olsen (BMW) 235
4 Brayden Elliott (Honda) 189
5 Richard Kerr (AMD Motorsport Honda) 187
6 Tom Ward (Aprilia) 172