COLIN Parker and series rookie Anthony Johnson shared the Reactive Parts MRO Powerbikes honours as Bemsee’s 2018 season roared into action over the weekend.
In what was to be a memorable weekend for both riders, the pair took a win and a third apiece at Brands Hatch, in a round cut short by potentially dangerous track conditions.
Parker, who UK Clubsport recently revealed was returning to the series to try and reclaim the title he won in 2016, was thrown a huge curve ball on Friday morning when wife Kelly went into labour – on his birthday.
A new son arrived later that day giving Parker the best birthday present he could’ve wished for, and he managed to make it to the track the next day in time for qualifying.
After qualifying his Global Robots Yamaha fourth on the grid, he proved the Parker magic was very much alive and well as he stormed into the lead on the opening lap and led all the way to the chequered flag, beating Peter Baker over the line by 4.811secs.
Johnson, in his first race on 1000cc machinery, scored an impressive third as he brought his Bexhill Gearboxes BMW home a further two seconds behind.
However, the 2017 DFDS Seaways Yamaha Past Masters champion came out fighting even harder on Sunday.
Taking the lead on Lap One, Johnson controlled the race from the front for the full 14 laps, taking the win by more than 12 seconds over Baker, while Parker took third.
Unfortunately, the grid didn’t get the chance for the third race of the weekend, after race chiefs were forced to take the decision to abandon the event on Sunday afternoon after ruling track conditions were unsafe.
After such a dominant win in his debut meeting on the big bike, Johnson admitted he couldn’t be happier.
“I would say it was a brilliant weekend,” he said. “I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot, but I also have a lot more to learn.
“I feel like there is a lot of potential with the bike and I can’t wait to get to the next round. I have to thank all of my sponsors for getting me here, and I plan to keep progressing and trying my hardest.”
For Parker, Saturday’s win and Sunday’s third were the icing on the cake for what had been the perfect birthday weekend.
“I’m really happy, it was a great result because on Friday I wasn’t expecting to be there at all,” he revealed. “I am very lucky to have a very understanding other half!
“To come in with no testing and straight into qualifying, I was pleased to start the first race from fourth, and getting the win followed by a third on Sunday was great.
“The last race was cancelled because awful conditions on made the track unrideable in my opinion, and I think the right decision was taken.”
*Main image: Gavin Elliott
*Colin Parker and baby image: Colin Parker
*Anthony Johnson image: Jenny Wells