Richard Kerr and the AMD Motorsport team’s fine season in the Pirelli National Superstock Championship continued on Sunday with a strong fourth place at Snetterton, a result which consolidated their fifth place overall in the championship standings.
With mixed weather conditions across the first two days at the Norfolk venue, Richard set the 12th fastest time overall in Friday’s two free practice sessions and although he remained in the same position at the conclusion of qualifying on Saturday, he was able to improve his time by more than half a second on the factory-prepared Honda Fireblade with a lap of 1’51.616s.
Lining up on the fourth row for Sunday’s 12-lap race, Richard made a good start and with Lewis Rollo knocking off championship leader Billy McConnell and Brayden Elliott at just the third corner, the 22-year old avoided the melee and completed the first lap in a good fifth place.
By lap three, he was well in touch with the four riders ahead of him – Davey Todd, Alex Olsen, Dan Linfoot and Charlie Nesbitt – but Nesbitt then crashed and took down Linfoot which resulted in the safety car being deployed for three laps whilst the debris was cleared.
Racing resumed on lap seven with Richard in third place but as Todd and Olsen pulled clear, the Kilmacrennan, County Donegal rider had his hands full in keeping opening round winner Tim Neave at bay whilst Levi Day was also pushing hard in fifth.
Neave managed to get by along the back straight on lap nine and whilst it remained close, a couple of small moments meant Richard took the chequered flag in a strong fourth place. It consolidated his fifth place in the championship and maintained his 100% finishing record, the only rider to now have scored points in every race, whilst he also reduced the gap to Elliott to eight points.
Richard Kerr: “Being so close to the podium and missing out is a bit frustrating but you can’t be greedy and after qualifying back in 12th, I’m pleased to have come through the field to take fourth place in today’s race. We struggled a bit with the bike over the first two days and were constantly trying things to improve the lap times, just as I had at all the other circuits this season, and whilst it took until race day to do that, we got there in the end!”
“It’s quite a long lap here and a tenth or two here and there all adds up but I felt good in the race and my pace was very strong. I didn’t quite have enough to hold off Tim and he did a good job on the last lap to keep me behind him whilst I’d also had a couple of wee moments. I kept pushing until the end but didn’t want to run the risk of crashing out of a good fourth and took advantage today of other rider’s misfortune. The team worked hard all weekend and whilst a podium would have been nice, we’ll take the fourth place today and move on to the next round.”
Fraser Dykes, Team Owner: “It’s been a difficult weekend with the constantly changing conditions on Friday and Saturday and that meant we were changing the settings on the bike all the time so we’re over the moon to end the weekend with fourth place. We made a few more tweaks to the bike after Sunday morning warm-up and whilst the demise of a couple of other riders helped in the race, Richard kept out of trouble and rode another fine race. He was extremely close to another podium but to go from 12th on the grid to fourth is very pleasing and it maintained our record of scoring points in every race whilst we’ve also closed the gap again to the riders ahead of us.”
The next round of the series takes place at Oulton Park, Cheshire on September 23-25.
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship standings (after 8 rounds)
1 Davey Todd (Honda) 191pts
2 Billy McConnell (Honda) 186
3 Alex Olsen (BMW) 173
4 Brayden Elliott (Honda) 149
5 Richard Kerr (AMD Motorsport Honda) 141
6 Tom Ward (Aprilia) 131