After the disappointment of round one at Brands Hatch last weeeknd, the CN Racing team got their Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship season up and running at Thruxton on Sunday with both Danny Buchan and Gavin Hunt recording strong top ten finishes.
Buchan qualified the highest of the three-rider team in 11th but a brilliant start saw him leap up the order to hold fourth at the end of the first lap. Part of a nine-rider group battling back for the win, the Basildon man found himself overpowered in some sections of the ultra-rapid Hampshire circuit and although he was never dropped, he had to settle for eighth place at the end of 15 hard fought laps.
Isle of Man rider Hunt, who’s enjoyed some of his finest moments at Thruxton, looked strong throughout qualifying and he was right in contention with the leading pack in the early stages, just over a second behind team-mate Buchan. However, a missed gear was enough for him to lose the tow and he wisely settled for his position, taking a fighting ninth place for his first points of the season also.
The third member of the team, Josh Day, was forced to take part in Saturday’s last chance Shoot-Out race after only managing 40th in qualifying but 10th place allowed him to take the last spot on the grid for Sunday’s main encounter. With a lowly grid position though, it was always going to be difficult for the Cirencester rider although he put in a fine ride and overhauled numerous riders to take a fighting 23rd place.
Danny Buchan: “I got a really good start in the race and surprised myself a bit so got the elbows out and tried to keep the rest of the boys behind me. The chassis is working superbly but we’ve been struggling a bit for top end speed and with Thruxton being such a high-speed circuit, I lost a few places. I was trying to make the ground up in the twisty bits and also maintain the tyre for the last third of the race but it was chewed up by mid-race distance so it was a battle to the end. I’d like to be higher up obviously but, after the disappointment of Brands, it’s good to get a good, solid top ten result and get points on the board.”
Gavin Hunt: “I was right with the leading group for the first third of the race but missed a gear out the back of the circuit and it was enough to lose a little bit of ground and also the tow. I was safe in my position, comfortably ahead of the rider behind me, so just backed off for the final third and brought the bike home for a solid top ten finish. The bike’s working really well and we’ve found a really good set-up now so it’s a good result and something for us to build on.”
Josh Day: “I’ve been struggling a bit with the set-up of the bike but we’ve been making progress all weekend and the bike’s been getting better all the time. The wet weather set-up was great but we’ve got a bit more work to do in the dry and I’m still getting used to the bike in those conditions. Coming from last on the grid was a big ask but to get up to 23rd is pleasing and I certainly passed a few people. The bike’s more than capable so if we can keep improving, I won’t be too far away.”
Dwayne McCracken: “Overall, it’s been a good weekend and whilst the weather’s been difficult for everyone again, our wet weather set-up now is pretty much spot on. There’s still a bit of work to be done in the dry but both Danny and Gavin scored good top ten positions and we’ve got to be happy with that. Josh had a tough weekend but worked his way through the field well and passed a lot of riders so that was pleasing to see. We’ve got some solid points on the board now so we can look forward to Oulton Park, move forward and look at getting all three riders into the top ten.”
1 Keith Farmer (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki)
2 Howie Mainwaring (BMW)
3 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)
4 Victor Cox (Kawasaki)
5 Jonathan Railton (Kawasaki)
6 David Johnson (BMW)
8 Danny Buchan (CN Racing Honda)
9 Gavin Hunt (CN Racing Honda)
23 Josh Day (CN Racing Honda)
1 Farmer 50pts
2 O’Halloran 32
3 Mainwaring 24
4 Jenkinson 22
5 Brogan 20
6 Cox 20
14 Buchan 8
15 Hunt 7
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