MJR Sidecar boys Mike Jackson and Harry Payne are confident about the season ahead after leaving the opening round of the FSRA British F2 Sidecar championship in fifth place overall.
Reigning F2 Cup champ Jackson and new passenger Payne made the trip across from their homes at the Isle of Man to the North East of England as the 2018 season opened for business at Croft.
The series joined the North East Motorcycle Racing Club (NEMCRC) for its first round of the year, and it was a chance for the team to get used to all conditions as the weather played havoc with timetables.
The pair scored a fifth and a sixth place over the weekend, but put themselves well and truly on the map during Sunday’s race, when they scorched off the line and led their second ever race together for a while.
“The weekend went really well, we were happy on Saturday in the wet as we knew the field would level out and give us a better chance of a higher position,” said Mike.
“When Sunday came and we were on the front row, I knew if we got a good start and pushed on, it would give us a better chance as the top boys would be going faster.
“It was my first meeting with Harry, he was great to have on board, on and off the bike, and on Sunday in the dry we gave it our all and tried our best, and that’s all we could do. Our bike was reliable and great as ever.
Harry, meanwhile, was just as happy with the opening weekend and believes it puts them in a good place for the season ahead. And, he also tipped his driver for great things.
“Michael continued to impress everyone this weekend,” he said. “We ran well together and were able to get the maximum out of our limited resources, which is really satisfying.
“I am in strong belief that Michael has the talent for outright wins. I think he is doing an impeccable job with the equipment he has. We are just giving too much away in straight line speed.
“I am really looking forward to seeing what we can do with a tuned engine in the brand new bike, currently being built by Dave Molyneux.”
The boys are hosting a fundraiser back home at the Isle of Man at Sulby Glen Hotel on Sunday April 21 – for more information visit the MJR Sidecar Facebook page.
*Main image: Dirk Wharton
*Headshot: MJR Sidecar Team