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Eazi Grip

Two podiums each for Christian Iddon and Ben Currie at Snetterton

Ian ‘Hammy’ Darbyshire reports back from Snetterton, Round 5 of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.

Superbike

Hammy: “As the 2024 season has proven so far… nothing is straight forward! After a very tricky Knockhill we were hoping to keep our heads low and strike off the races but maximising the points that were on offer. We knew from the off the weekend was going to be plagued with inclement weather and choices that could dictate our future.

Both Chrtistian Iddon and Ben Currie had a fairly straight forward Friday although the weather was unsure of what it was doing, and became the theme of the weekend. At the end of play Ben was top of the combined sheets and Christian was 6th, but not without drama!”

Christian Iddon: “I came into this weekend confident but under no illusion how tough it was going to be. This weekend was a huge one for us at the midway point, but we did start on the back foot. Unfortunately, I had a tip off in FP3 which just came out of nowhere. It happened so fast I didn’t have time to react. By the time me and the bike were back it only left the lads 29 minutes to strip the bike, fix it and get it out for qualifying. They pulled it out the bag and I left pit lane with enough time for about 8 laps. P9 was the best I could do but the bike was back in one and we had some work to do.”

Hammy: “In all honesty Race 1 saw everything thrown at us. Through making a mistake we lost time in the pits and Christian didn’t make the grid. We were absolutely devastated as the lads had worked so hard to get the bike perfect again. This meant we started from pit lane. As the lights go out all we can see is all our rivals riding away from us.”

Christian Iddon: “We opted for a slick rear as starting from the back we had nothing to lose and with the track looking to dry I could try push through if it did and also set a quick time to aim for Pole in race 2. I just struggled as it didn’t dry quick enough. I was lucky to even stay on the bike. In a quick change of luck, the race was red flagged, and we had the opportunity to get things right. A quick restart saw us overtake around 10 people into the first corner and I was on the charge. We went from looking at scoring no points to taking home a P6 and incredible slice of luck.

We made mistakes and Saturday could of been fatal for us, but we managed to salvage something from the race. We certainly took a lot from that race, learnt, and formed a plan to make sure we came back stronger.”

Hammy: “Race 2 saw us start from P7. The race set off with a hot pace but yet again we were seen to be playing chess with the weather. The race got stopped again and we were pulled into the pits. We were held for a short time as it became dry, we chucked in some fresh rubber and reformed on the grid. Got a great start which was ace as there was a couple of groups before the restart. We were racing hard, and places were changing corner by corner. We ended up in a great, close, and fair battle with Kyle Ryde. We were absolutely thrilled to come over the line in P3. To turn things around was so satisfying and validated the team’s efforts.”

Christian Iddon: “We started race 3 from P2 wedged in the middle of the championship leader and 2nd. I just needed to get my head down and try and win. Lights went out and I got the holeshot. I set into an early rhythm and started to try stretch the group a little. Before I knew it Tommy and Glenn were on my tail and pushed me back to 3rd. I could see those two were riding amazing but crazy hard. I wanted to sit and follow but lost some pace and dropped off a little. As the fuel lightened, I started to close the gap again. I was running out of laps but gaining each time round. One lap to go and I was close enough to have a go if the right gap was there. But I ran wide as I was right on Tommy’s tail and that was it. Rolled over the line in P3. I’m happy as the weekend could have been so much worse for us. We also gained positions in the championship and left in 3rd, 17 points off P1.

Brands is a track I love and with the package we have I can’t wait to get there and see what we can do together! I just want to thank Oxford Products, the team, their sponsors, and my personal ones too.”

Supersport

Ben Currie: “Snetterton was another crazy weekend really with high drama and high action, but I guess that’s what it’s all about when you’re battling for a British title. But I’m thoroughly enjoying every challenge that’s thrown my way, and I think we’re dealing with it pretty damn well, both individually and as a team.

I also feel like we’re currently maximising the points that we can get as well, so playing for the long game. Unfortunately, this weekend I could have had two wins, but lady luck was against us ever so slightly

The whole weekend I was on the pace from free practice, top in FP1 and top in FP2. We had really bad weather for qualifying where I managed to qualify fourth, which I felt was using my head a little bit, but also making sure that I wasn’t in the danger zone back in the pack.

The Sprint race on Saturday got going after many delays, and in and out laps, and it ended up being a shortened race at held about 6:30pm in the evening on a really wet track. But it was really cool wet race, and one I enjoyed a lot. I was battling really hard with Kennedy after not feeling the greatest in the wet on my motorcycle. But we managed to make quite a big step, which was super, super positive for me because we needed to improve this area and we took it all the way down to the wire.

But what was potentially going to be cruising home to a comfortable five second win, after Kennedy fell out of the lead right in front of me on the last lap, was not to be as unfortunately I ran into a slight mechanical issue in the last corner and my bike completely died on me. I thought that was going to be that, and zero points. But I managed to fire my bike back up and because we were so far in front, I managed to limp it across the line in second place somehow.

I felt good going into Sunday and a dry race. I knew this was probably going to be a little bit better for us, and what a race it was. It was just a back and forth battle the whole race, trying to get to the front of the race, just in case the race was stopped at any point.

After leading on and off I finally got to the front of the race with one and half laps to go and really trying to close it out to get the win but unfortunately the red flag came out because of the weather. It felt a bit premature for me, but the decision had been made. It was a bitter pill to swallow because when you get beaten on track it’s easier to take because you’ve been beaten on the day, beaten by the better man, and you go back to drawing board and try and improve and get better.

But in these circumstances, I feel like the win was taken away from me and I wasn’t able to have a chance to actually win the race, especially after being in the lead when the red flag came out, and that’s really disheartening.

But we’ll take and use that feeling to stoke the fire for the next round and try and take the wins there. The most important thing is we’ve come away from this weekend with a ten-point lead, and after trailing by nine points coming into the weekend at Snetterton, turning that deficit round is a huge positive.”

 

Posted on Tuesday, July 9th, 2024 in News

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