Richard Kerr and the AMD Motorsport team headed to Oulton Park, Cheshire at the weekend for round two of the Pirelli National Superstock Championship and it proved to be an excellent meeting for the County Donegal rider with a superb second place the outcome, the result moving him up to third place in the early championship standings.
The first two days of action around the 2.692-mile circuit saw mixed weather conditions with Saturday’s first practice session being the only dry laps Richard was able to put in on the factory-prepared Honda Fireblade. Eighth quickest then, light rain fell for Sunday’s second qualifying session but a strong performance saw the 23-year old post the sixth quickest time for a second row start.
Further rain fell on Monday morning but when the 14-lap Superstock race came under starters orders in the afternoon, the circuit was dry all the way round and with his trademark good start, Richard completed the first lap in an excellent second place.
From thereon in, he was in contention for the race win, taking the lead from laps two to four. Part of an initial seven-rider battle for the lead, he slipped back to fourth at half race distance and when leaders Alastair Seeley and Alex Olsen crashed out on the 12th lap, the race was anyone’s.
Back up to second, Richard took the lead on the final lap only for fellow Honda rider Dan Linfoot to put a late move on him at the Hizzy’s chicane and he had to settle for second place, only 0.157s off the win at the chequered flag.
Richard Kerr: “I’m over the moon with the result today and having only had a previous best result in the Superstock class of around eighth here, it shows how much progress we’re making. When I saw my dash say 1’36, I knew we were pushing on and whilst I was weak in some areas, I was very strong in others so it kept me in the leading pack throughout. I fell back a little bit at one stage but knew I had the pace so tried to be as consistent as I could in the second half of the race. Dan made a late move at Hizzy’s and I just couldn’t quite get close enough to make a move at Lodge but I’m really happy with second so a big thanks to the team and all the sponsors.”
Fraser Dykes, Team Owner: “It’s a fantastic result for both Richard and the team and, for me, it’s a bit unexpected as weather conditions had been so changeable throughout the first two days, I wasn’t sure how the race was going to pan out. We know Richard’s a consistent rider though and it’s a sign of the progress we’re continually making that we’ve scored out best ever results here at Oulton and last time out at Silverstone, circuits which haven’t been that favourable to us in the past. That bodes well for the rest of the season and with Donington and Knockhill the next two circuits we visit, circuits Richard won at last year, we’re very much looking forward for more of the same.”
Round three takes place at Donington Park, Leicestershire on 19-21 May.
Photos by Tim Keeton – Impact Images Photography
Pirelli National Superstock Championship race (14 laps)
1 Dan Linfoot (Honda)
2 Richard Kerr (AMD Motorsport Honda)
3 Franco Bourne (Honda)
4 Joe Talbot (Honda)
5 Luke Hedger (Kawasaki)
6 Joe Sheldon-Shaw (Suzuki)
Championship standings (after two rounds)
1 Bourne 67pts
2 Linfoot 65
3 Kerr 54
4 Talbot 50
5 Olsen 45
6 Francis 24