Richard Kerr and the Dumfries-based AMD Motorsport team got their maiden Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship campaign underway at Oulton Park at the weekend and it proved to be a strong meeting for the Kilmacrennan, County Donegal rider as he took a fine 13th place in Sunday’s 14-lap race.
Kerr’s weekend started with free practice on Friday which saw damp but drying conditions at the 2.69-mile Cheshire venue and 11th quickest in his group was a good start to proceedings. This position improved to fourth in the second free practice session although a wet track resulted in lap times being slower.
Saturday saw perfect conditions all day though and Richard was able to lap almost a second quicker than he had done on Friday on the works-prepared 1000cc Honda and a lap of 1m37.974s put him 19th overall on the combined leaderboard and at the head of the seventh row for Sunday’s season opener.
Conditions were again ideal on Sunday, with slightly more cloud cover on this occasion, and a good start saw Kerr make good ground on the opening lap as he jumped up to 14th place. Two laps later, he’d moved up to 12th and he then found himself locked in battle with Ian Hutchinson, former Champion Keith Farmer and 2020 race winner Lewis Rollo.
Positions changed hands regularly and in the closing stages of the race, Richard had been pushed back to 15th and with his hands full trying to hold off Joe-Sheldon Shaw for the final points-scoring position. However, the final lap saw drama as both reigning champion Chrissy Rouse and David Allingham went out which meant Richard took the chequered flag in a fine 13th place for three hard-earned Championship points.
Richard Kerr: “I’m well pleased to finish inside the points first time out and I set myself that target at the beginning of the weekend. I made a couple of mistakes during the race and ran onto the grass at the chicane once but I learnt a lot about the bike and the tyres so it’s good to get a full race distance under my belt. I was running with some quick riders, riders with a lot of experience in the class, so it gave me a good insight and I know where I can make some improvements at the next rounds. It’s been a good start for everyone so a big thanks to all the team and sponsors.”
Fraser Dykes, Team Owner: “We’re all over the moon with how the weekend’s gone and to finish in the points in our very first outing is fantastic. Richard rode superbly throughout the three days and the whole AMD Motorsport team worked together really well. Oulton’s probably one of the most difficult circuits on the calendar but Richard looked at home on the bike and in the class and fully deserved the result he got. It’s an extremely competitive field and Richard was battling with some incredibly experienced riders and he will have learnt an awful lot today which will only stand him in good stead. We head to our home round at Knockhill in good form and are looking forward to seeing what we can do there.”
The next round of the series takes place at Knockhill, Scotland on July 10-11.
Pictures by Tim Keeton – Impact Images Photography
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship positions (after round one)
1 Taylor Mackenzie (BMW) 25pts
2 Luke Mossey (Kawasaki) 20
3 Billy McConnell (BMW) 16
4 Luke Hedger (Suzuki) 13
5 Tim Neave (Suzuki) 11
6 Alex Olsen (BMW) 10
13 Richard Kerr (AMD Motorsport Honda) 3