The latest round of the Pirelli National Superstock Championship took Richard Kerr and the AMD Motorsport team to Oulton Park in Cheshire and second and third place finishes for the Donegal rider kept his championship challenge very much alive.
The weekend started positively for Richard and the Dumfries-based team with the fifth fastest time during Friday’s free practice sessions and with a lap of 1’35.969 – an improvement of almost three quarters of a second – he qualified in third place which put him on the front row for Saturday’s 12-lap race.
Third was where he completed the opening lap around the 2.692-mile venue and for the remainder of the race he was part of a six-rider battle for the lead. Running throughout in the top three, positions changed regularly and although it looked like third would be the outcome, an opportunistic move at the last corner on the last lap saw him take second from Alastair Seeley, 0.248s behind championship rival Dan Linfoot.
Lining up for Sunday’s second 12-lap encounter in second and in the middle of the front row, the 23-year old completed the opening lap in third place behind Seeley and Linfoot. That proved to be the position he ran in all race when, despite being within touching distance of the leaders, he couldn’t quite get close enough to make a pass and so took the chequered flag in third place, 0.328s behind race winner Linfoot.
The results of the weekend mean Linfoot extended his lead over Richard to 35 points but with four races remaining and 100 points available, there’s still plenty to play for.
Richard Kerr: “Right from the word go we were on the pace so, after qualifying on the front row, it was good to get second place in the opening race. The bike felt good, but I struggled a wee bit on the first half of the lap, losing a bit of ground at Cascades and Shell Oils, before making the ground back up on the second half of the lap. We made a small change to the bike for Sunday’s race, but it was again Cascades where I was losing time and no matter what I did, the outcome was the same and that section was the difference between winning and finishing second and third. It’s been a solid weekend though and we’re still in the title hunt, so we’ll look to get back on top next time.”
Fraser Dykes, Team Owner: “It says it all when we’re slightly disappointed with second and third place finishes, but the results keep us very much in Championship contention. It was a solid weekend and there’s 100 points still available which means there’s plenty to play for and as we’ve seen before anything can happen. The Cadwell incident may be the defining moment, but we’ll keep fighting so a big thanks to crew chief Simon Bleasdale and all the team for their hard work.”
The penultimate round of the series takes place at Donington Park on September 29-October 1.
Pictures by Tim Keeton (Impact Images Photography)
Championship Positions (after nine rounds)
1 Dan Linfoot (Honda) 304pts
2 Richard Kerr (AMD Motorsport Honda) 269
3 Alastair Seeley (BMW) 223
4 Joe Talbot (Honda) 196
5 Lewis Rollo (Aprilia) 178
6 Billy McConnell (Honda) 169