JOSH Day picked up exactly where he left off last season with a nearly perfect weekend of big bike action at NG Road Racing’s Brands Hatch season opener.
The club king converted two pole positions in the Phoenix Open and Bluebell Lakes Powerbikes classes into five wins from six as he got to grips with his brand new Dayo Racing Yamaha R1 weapon on a slippery Brands Hatch circuit.
NG riders were forced to take on wind, rain and low temperatures as they braved round one, but it was business as usual for Day as he claimed the top spot in qualifying for both of Saturday’s big bike scraps.
Right beside him on the grid, however, was long-time BSB paddock regular and former Ducati TriOptions Cup champ Jonathan Railton, who was shaking down his FIM Endurance-spec GSX-R1000 in preparation for some fun in the World paddock this season.
But Railton dropped out of the first Open race early doors, leaving second open to Via Moto’s Joe Sheldon-Shaw, who chased Day all the way to the flag as the latter took victory, while PMD Contracting’s Paul Dawson bagged third.
Day and Sheldon-Shaw made it a repeat 1-2 in Saturday’s Powerbikes battle, while Railton gave chase to National Superstock regular Sheldon-Shaw to snag a podium finish.
It was yet again another lights-to-flag victory for Day in Sunday’s first Open race ahead of Railton and reigning Sound of Thunder champ Dave Mackay, before the former Superstock 600 champ made it four from four in the second Powerbikes race of the weekend, leaving AFB man Chris Pope and Dawson over 18s in the distance.
And while the final Open affair was curtailed by red flags as Day made it five wins, again ahead of Railton and True Heroes rider Mackay, the defending champ decided not to go out and make it six from six with rain lashing down and no wet tyres left to spare. This left Pope to take a dominant victory over Dawson and Sukhminder Rai.
But Day is already looking ahead to the second round at Snetterton, where he hopes he can finally don his top-shelf rubber and continue his title defences.
“We had a great start to the season, but it would be an understatement if I said the conditions were crazy this weekend,” he said.
“I’m getting on with the R1 and really loving it. We didn’t have the weather to let us run slicks, but I managed to get down to the 47s on the Bridgestone R11s, which was pretty awesome.
“We missed the last race as I killed three sets of wets in the dry on Saturday, and it was really wet Sunday. But hopefully it’s dry at Snetterton and we can see what we can do on the weapon.”
*Images: Dale Baldwin