FIRST POINTS FOR RAF RESERVES AT KNOCKHILL

The whole team is behind Andrews all the way - Tim Keeton / www.impact-images-photography.co.uk

The whole team is behind Andrews all the way – Tim Keeton / www.impact-images-photography.co.uk

Royal Air Force Reserves Racing, in association with Honda, returned to short circuit action with a 13th place at Knockhill in the National Superstock championship this past weekend.

Rider Simon Andrews took no time adapting back to short Scottish circuit after the high speed Isle of Man TT circuit course, where he led the RAF Reserves team to an impressive Silver Replica debut.

Alterations to the red, white and blue RAF recruiting Honda Fireblade’s rear suspension during free practice gave Andrews the feeling he has been looking from the bike all season and the confidence to push hard. The result of this fine tuning saw an impressive 6th place qualifying position on Friday and 2nd in the wet on Saturday, transferring to an 11th grid position on the fourth row for Sunday’s race.

Come race day, Andrews made a great start off the grid but, cautious with a full fuel load, lost a few places into the ultra slow hairpin on the first lap. With the Fireblade’s strength being corner speed, Andrews wasn’t able to exploit this advantage in a close pack riding a point-and-squirt style.

Andrews and the RAF Reserves Fireblade swoop down into a turn at the Knockhill circuit - The whole team is behind Andrews all the way - Tim Keeton / www.impact-images-photography.co.uk

Andrews and the RAF Reserves Fireblade swoop down into a turn at the Knockhill circuit – The whole team is behind Andrews all the way – Tim Keeton / www.impact-images-photography.co.uk

Having clawed back up to 13th and with four riders ahead firmly in his sights, the 29-year old from Evesham wasn’t given the chance to break the top ten after the race was red flagged due to a crashed bike being in the track and the results declared on lap 17.

Rider Simon Andrews said: “The last few rounds we’ve had problem with trying to carry corner speed and have absolutely tried everything with the bike. Now we have a set-up and a feeling with the chassis that gives me a motorbike I can really push. OK, so it didn’t work out in the race today, but the team and I will focus more on qualifying to not give us so much work to do in the race. So we leave this race with not many points but a lot of confidence for the rest of the season.”

Team manager Lee Hardy said: “We’ve had such a busy time going from the North West 200 to Donington WSB, to the TT and to here. I can’t believe how much abuse the Honda CBR1000RR has taken. The Fireblade covered in excess of a 1000 miles at the TT alone, so its time for a refresh ready for Snetteron.”

NEXT RACE: National Superstock 1000 Round 6: Snetterton, July 7

 

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