Brands Hatch witnessed another podium finish for NMT No Limits Kawasaki in a weekend full of incident in round three of the Pirelli National Superstock Championship.
Jordan Weaving made a step further up the podium in Kent at the Indy circuit with the South African rider finishing in a terrific second place in what was at times a crash strewn race on Sunday afternoon. The result sees the 19-year-old leaving Brands in level in third place in the Championship with 42 points, just 16 points behind the series leader.
Meanwhile, in the Superstock 1000 class it was a tough weekend for James East and Nick Anderson in a hotly contested, blisteringly quick race. East finished within a second of the top ten in a valuable points scoring 12th position, whilst Anderson in his first competitive outing on the superbike on the Indy circuit fought it out in the mid pack before finishing in 25th spot.
The weekend started brightly for Weaving at Brands, in Free Practice one the ZX-6R was within 0.3seconds of the fastest time set in the opening session before then lapping even quicker in Q1. However, the young rider wasn’t happy despite the increase in speed so he set about righting things in Q2 and he did so in quite some style. The number 34 bike would finish the session in P1 meaning a first Superstock 600 class pole position start for Sunday’s race. He lapped 0.7seconds quicker than his previous best, snatching the top spot by virtue of just three hundredths of a second.
As the lights went out and the riders hared off the line into Paddock Hill bend for the first time there was a real battle for the front, but within a couple of corners there was a red flag meaning the race had to be restarted and it was reduced to 18 laps. From the restart Weaving held the lead but three laps in he was to succumb to incessant pressure from Tom Ward and Lewis Rollo. The safety car was back out again shortly after and was to circulate for four laps before the green flag was waved and racing resumed.
The pace hotted up and Carl Phillips managed to squeeze past Weaving putting him into fourth spot, undeterred the Team Green machine pressed on looking for the podium spot his efforts deserved. On the penultimate lap he chased down Phillips while both Ward and Rollo fought for the top spot but they were to slip off their bikes as they lost the front in almost identical circumstances. Weaving, taking advantage of the errors ahead of him pushed as hard as possible in an attempt to catch Phillips but the gap was just too big, however it’s another good result for the team and the rider putting solid Championship points on the board.
Weaving was delighted with his podium finish, but he is looking for even more in round four.
“That was a tough one! For whatever reason I couldn’t run the pace I wanted to in the race and I had to battle hard to keep with the guys around me. So in the end I’m happy with second place. While we got a bit of luck at the end, I’m happy to take it and I’ll be fighting to make another step forward in the next round and hopefully get the win.”
Weaving continued: Overall it’s been a really good weekend. I’m so happy to have secured my first pole position in the class, we’ve been so close to getting it over the last two rounds we knew it was only a matter of time and I can’t thank the NMT No Limits team enough for giving me the tools for the job, that Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R is a beauty to ride and I can’t wait to get back out on her.”
James East and Nick Anderson went into round three looking to continue to build confidence and obtain valuable set up information with the 2016 ZX-10R and following free practice things were looking up. East was within 0.8 seconds of the leader whilst Anderson was just 0.8 behind his teammate on his first outing on the big bike around the Indy layout at Brands. Qualifying brought quicker times from both riders in a session in which the top 30 riders were separated by just 1.5 seconds.
The race was a tough one for both riders, however they continued to pick up the pace and push the riders ahead of them. East was pushing the top ten whilst Anderson picked his way forward through the pack a little within ten laps, the number six of East would consistently lap around the mid to low 47second mark with Anderson in the low 48’s and he would then drop below 48seconds for the first time with confidence building. James Rose, Rob McNealy and East would battle for tenth spot for several laps before finishing the race separated by 0.6seconds with the NMT rider finishing in 12th spot. Anderson picked up five places from his starting position coming home in 25th place.
East is pragmatic about the events at Brands and is confident that lessons continue to be learned with the objective of making positive steps round by round. He said:
“We weren’t far off really, but at Brands you could also say you’re never far off because it’s such a short lap. We found something in the morning warm up that allowed me to run into the corners quicker and also found better initial grip too so we could get consistency in our laptimes but in the race after about 10 laps the tyre started to going off, so it was about getting into a rhythm.
“I was pushing as hard as I could without falling off, and it was getting more likely that would happen if I did push any harder. I wanted to bring it home, there’s so much work put in behind the scenes by the guys and I really appreciate everything they do in putting things together.
It’s difficult because we’re trying to tick all the boxes with the bike but most importantly we’re scoring points and that’s where we want to be.
“It’s hard work but I think we can get there, I’m going to dig deep and do everything I can to put us up at the front.”
“It was a tough weekend,” admitted Anderson who harboured ambitions to be higher up in the final standings at Brands but the 24-year-old is convinced the team has added focus ahead of the next round.
“I really have to look at the positives. The team worked tirelessly to sort things for me, it was a funny old weekend to be honest. We went down into the 47’s by the end of the race, so our laptime wasn’t too far off but it was a difficult race weekend after qualifying not being the best. We all know though we can’t worry about it and have to put it behind us and move onto the next race.”