NG Road Racing riders descended on Donington Park for round three this weekend and as expected, club chiefs welcomed full grids.
Just a fortnight ahead of the British Superbike Championship’s visit to the National circuit, the packed programme of racers included Motostar, Supersport and Superstock regulars all looking for a leg up on the competition.
But it wasn’t all up to the BSB paddock boys, despite George Stanley’s nearly-unbeatable run of form in the big bike scraps.
Sean Able took another three dominant wins in the F125 class on his Hire Standards Ltd Aprilia despite the best attempts of James Chapman. He now has a 45 point advantage in the championship.
The experienced multi F400 champ Tim Bradley showed the Ninja kids the way to go on Saturday in sketchy conditions with his trusty FZR that was built before any of the chasing pack headed by Kade Verwey, Luke Verwey, Owen Jenner, Lynden Leatherland, Lewis Jones, Cameron Hall, Brody Crockford and Chloe Jones were even born. However, when the sun was out on Sunday Kade Verwey took both wins, one over little brother Luke and one over reigning Ninja Team Green champ Owen Jenner. Bradley took third and fourth placings though to extend his series lead over Dan Hanby who had no answer for the new breed of F400 / Supersport 300 bikes this weekend.
Bradley stole the Open 500 march on his A and Z Taylor FZR in the short-sharp-shower effected race on Saturday afternoon to take a clear win whilst on Sunday in the gorgeous sun it was Kade Verwey that too both wins on the XG Racing 400 Ninja. He was made to fight for the final win though as brother Luke was again all over his rear wheel and had a final attempt to grab that elusive win with a drag race to the like which failed by just 0.024 of a second.
Liam Delves used his old R6 here in preparation for the upcoming BSB round as his ViaMoto Kawasaki is being prepped after an Oulton Park crash, but he took his first NG 600 win over Max Symonds and Owen Hunt. But former British Motostar champ Charlie Nesbitt joined the fray on Sunday, taking both wins in impressive style and setting a new class lap record on his Rapidforfliment R6. Series leader at the start of the meeting Ross Walker suffered all weekend picking up just 3 points.
Minitwin series leader Dan Harris went into the weekend with a one point advantage and things were looking good as he took a win on his HP Racing SV after early race pressure from close championship rival Olii Warren and class new boy Ben Harrison on his recently-built 650. But Harrison adapted quickly and took the next two wins in impressive style on the BH Racing / Carby Crew Suzuki, not only taking the wins but setting a new class lap record in the process removing a seven year old mark that had stood to Dale Thomas since 2012.
The younger Harrison, Tom, bagged the opening Super Twin victory aboard his WSC Performance / St Ives Signs SV650, but Masters exam prep limited him to one day only. Series leader Paul Wardell had been setting the pace on his ER6 but pulled into pit lane with a problem that ended his weekend on track. With neither in the way, new winner Edward Giles stepped up on the Giles Motors SV to take the spoils in races two and three.
Series leader and reigning Sound of Thunder champ Dave Mackay took his True Heroes Panigale to Saturday’s win over 675 Triumph Daytona runner Paul Pridmore and Ben Broadway. But Mackay’s 959 suffered a cracked header pipe forcing some running repairs courtesy of sidecar chassis builder Richard Lumley, who wheeled his welding kit in to put a temporary fix in place.
Mackay then nursed the Ducati over the next two outings to fifth and third, not reving the big twin over 6000rpm. Up front in both of those races was Josh Day, getting some valuable track time on his Host-it.co.uk 959 that he uses in the Ducati Cup series and setting a new class lap record on his way to victory over Broadway.
Streetstock 700 rider Simon Bastable took Saturday’s wet race on his WSC / Wincanton R6 over acknowledged rain-man Adam Grosch and reigning champ David Irons. But TWR Racing’s Irons was back to winning ways, taking both victories and setting a new lap record.
In the bigger 1300cc class, series leader Jason Hill took his JT Racing / Weston M/C’s ZX10 to the race one win over Chris Oliver and Damon Hill with Jon Wright in an uncustomary fourth. Wright bounced back on Sunday with two wins and a new class lap record to make a three way battle for the title.
Daniel Nelmes continued his winning ways in the 700 Pre Injection class on his R6 Yamaha, again getting the better of Gary Rodwell and Daniel Jones. Jones again suffered machine issues on Saturday and had to use his unfavoured wet bike all weekend, while Nelmes is starting to build a good lead in the series and is over 75 points clear of trouble.
The PI 1300 series had a win for Daniel Boucher on Saturday with Wright in second. Wright, who was later given the Performance of the Meeting award, took both wins on Sunday with Boucher in close company.
Duncan Baillie leads the Desmo Due series this year on the Saddletramps 620SS but as yet has not had to pit himself against multiple class champ and defending champion Andy Blomfield as the latter had not raced at Brands or Snetterton. Blomfield’s refreshed BB Racing 620 Monster broke cover this weekend but had to follow Scotsman Baillie over the line in the first two outings. But the reigning champ got back to winning ways, only by a bike length at the line.
The 600 B-class had two more wins for Austin Lachlan, but James Topliss took his maiden victory under the Sunday sun.
Rookie Chris Oliver extended his lead in the Open Newcomer ranks with a win on the Garage Trowbridge R1 after his nearest rival Boucher was excluded from the results after not heeding the black and orange flag. Antony Stroud took second to elevate himself in the series, while Mini Twins ace Olli Warren bagged his third win of the year on the Boutiqueolii SV650, this time over Grant Seymour. The 500 competitors were a little thin on the ground, but Theodore Pope snatched victory on his CBR400 by just 0.3 sec.
*Image: EDP Photo News