TEAM WD-40 CELEBRATES CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLE AT SILVERSTONE

Joe Francis celebrates the Monster Energy Motostar and Moto 3 championships with his family and Team WD-40

Joe Francis celebrates the Monster Energy Motostar and Moto 3 championships with his family and Team WD-40

Joe Francis completed a remarkable first season for Team WD-40 after wrapping up the Monster Energy Motostar and Moto 3 championships at Silverstone.

The 15-year-old, from Backford near Chester, secured the points he needed by finishing fifth in the Moto 3 class to spark wild celebrations among Team WD-40 and GR Motosport.

But the jubilant scenes continued as Tommy Aquino recovered from a horrific fall in qualifying, climbing off his sick bed to narrowly miss a podium finish in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000.

He eventually finished in fifth place to keep his hopes alive for a top three finish in the championship.

Grafham rider Jon Railton finished in 18th place just outside the points.

Motostar

Francis was crowned the double champion at Silverstone after winning the Monster Energy Motostar and Moto 3 titles.

He drove a conservative race, carefully keeping an eye on the riders in front of him to know what he had to do to win the championships.

Fifth place in the Moto 3 class, seventh overall, was enough to claim Team WD-40’s first British championships as his closest rivals, Tarran Mckenzie and Tom Carne could only finish 4th and 8th overall, respectively.

The 15-year-old qualified in fifth place after a fall in qualifying, but he and the team know what was required to secure the silverware.

Knowing he had to finish within two places of rival Mckenzie, Francis always had him in his sights while making sure he brought the bike home.

“I can’t quite describe how I feel about winning both championships”, said a stunned Francis.

“It’s been a season of tough challenges and I couldn’t have done it without the support of Team WD-40, particularly my mechanics Danny Wright and Tom Wood, team manager Brent Gladwin and mentor Roger Marshall.

“Their work and words of advice have played a huge role in winning the championships and I couldn’t have done it without them and the rest of the team.

“Of course the support from my family has been immense and it really has been a team effort to end the season with two championships.

“Team work is key to any success and there is no team I can think of that has worked so hard together to put together a championship winning bike.

“The race itself was hard because I had to focus on where I finished in relation to Tarran, and not worry about being at the front of the race.

“Brent and Roger was brilliant in explaining what I had to do and help me remain focused on the most important job of all – bringing the bike passed the chequered flag in one piece.

“We have one race left at Brands Hatch, but it’s fantastic to be able to say we are British Champions. Now I have to get back to my school work and look forward to Brands as I want to go out on a high and claim another win.”

Number 1! Joe Francis celebrates the titles with his mentor, Roger Marshall.

Number 1! Joe Francis celebrates the titles with his mentor, Roger Marshall.

Superstock 1000

Despite nursing a bruised back and ankle following a very heavy fall in qualifying, Tommy Aquino battled the pain barrier to secure a brilliant fifth place in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000.

Aquino was looking good for a front row place on the grid when he was launched from his bike during the second qualifying session.

The impact his body suffered on landing caused severe bruising to his back and meant he finished qualifying in 15th place.

Painkillers, rest and a massage proved to be the tonic he needed to start the race and he then went on to deliver one of his best performances of the season.

In the shortened ten lap race Aquino was quickly up to the top ten and by lap five he was in a four way battle for the podium places.

As the effect of the painkillers wore off the battle for second and third place went down to the last lap, and despite a late push he narrowly missed out on the podium by just over a second.

“I’m aching all over and can hardly move now, but I actually enjoyed the race,” said Aquino.

“It was so frustrating to take such a big hit and it was always going to have an impact on the race itself.”

“We had the pace for a top three finish, even a win, so with the crash and subsequent injuries finishing in the top five was a really good result.

“There is still a possibility of third place in the championship, but for now I’m going to get my body right!”

The sister bike, ridden by Jon Railton, qualified in 18th and after dropping a couple of places on the first few laps, he fought back to just miss out on a points finish.

It was such a close race that Railton was only 14 seconds behind Aquino when the chequered flag came out.

He said: “I had a good race and it goes to show that in the Superstock 1000 you can be so close to the front in terms of time, but still be far down in terms of places.

“I’m hoping to get back to claiming some points in the final race meeting at Brands Hatch in two weeks.”

Comments

Team WD-40’s manager, Brent Gladwin, said: “The weekend has been one of my most memorable in motorsport, not only for Joe’s brilliant double championship, but to see Tommy be helped on to his bike and produce a miraculous performance.

“When we started this team back in March we wanted to win races and see how the championships unfolded.

“As the season went on we could see Joe, Tommy and Jon develop and become more in tune with the team, which then delivered numerous race wins and many podiums.

“The highlight for Team WD-40 will obviously be winning two championships with Joe, but winning both races at Cadwell Park and watching Joe, Tommy and Jon produce brilliant performances despite injuries will also be remembered fondly.

“The celebrations will be short-lived as we have another race weekend to compete in and hopefully see Tommy go for a top three finish in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000.

“Once that meeting at Brands Hatch is over we’ll then start planning for 2014 and hopefully more success for Team WD-40.

“We’ve had brilliant sponsors this season who have contributed greatly to the success of the team, not least the excellent product from WD-40 Specialist Motorbike.

“The reason we have enjoyed a great season is down to everyone working together, pulling in the same direction and helping achieve the title of British Champions.

“It is my pleasure to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone involved in Team WD-40 and all of my team.

Amy Briggs, of team sponsors WD-40 Specialist Motorbike, said: “It’s been a simply fantastic first season as title sponsors of the team and we’re delighted to see Joe claim both British Championship titles at Silverstone.

“He rode exactly as he should have done although it was very nerve-wracking for us all until he passed the chequered flag.

“Everyone at WD-40 Specialist Motorbike sends huge congratulations to Joe and hope he can sign off the season in style at Brands Hatch.

“Tommy also had the team jumping up and down during the Superstock 1000 race and it was great to see him finish so strongly, within a just a few bike lengths of another podium finish, when we all saw the difficulty he had just getting on the bike to start the race.”

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