SWADLINCOTE’S Shaun Winfield (pictured) made his British Superbike debut as Burton team Anvil Hire TAG Racing enjoyed a fine second outing in the championship on Monday.
Top rider Richard Cooper narrowly missed out on a top six finish at Oulton Park, while 20-year-old Winfield – in for the injured Mitchell Carr – had two solid results.
Team manager Steve Randle said: “Shaun went out on the superbike and did a really good job, especially considering he’d never ridden the bike before.
“He put in two good finishes and was improving his lap times, so we’re really happy with that.”
After making it through all three rounds of the knockout style and qualifying to start from eighth on the grid, 30-year-old Nottingham rider Cooper fought hard during Bank Holiday Monday’s opening 18-lap race, missing out on sixth place by less than a 10th of a second to fellow Kawasaki rider Dan Linfoot.
Race two saw Cooper again start on the third row of the grid, ninth as a result of his first race lap times, and after holding position in the opening laps, again found himself involved in a battle for seventh with Linfoot, as well as BMW rider James Westmoreland and former race winners Jon Kirkham and John Hopkins.
Unfortunately the TAG Racing rider was unable to maintain his 100 per cent points-scoring record in 2014 after high-siding spectacularly out at Hizzy’s Chicane on lap 13, thankfully avoiding injury.
Cooper said: “It was a really positive weekend.
“Although we didn’t get the result we wanted in race two we were certainly trying hard.
“Unfortunately the gear lever touched the kerb and knocked me down a gear, so going through the corner in a lower gear than usual led to a big highside.
“It’s been a good job by the team and we’re looking forward to Snetterton next month.”
Team-mate Carr missed out on his debut at the Cheshire circuit after crashing in Saturday’s practice session.
The Australian rider broke his left hand, leaving the team’s Superstock 1000 rider Winfield to step up to make his debut on the number 35 ZX-10R.
Despite having never ridden the more powerful superbike prior to Sunday’s practice, the youngster posted two solid 21st place finishes.
In the British Supersport Championship, Sam Hornsey had a mixed weekend on the team’s Triumph Daytona 675.
After qualifying a career best sixth for Sunday’s sprint race, the 20-year-old unfortunately crashed out on the opening lap. Starting from 14th on the grid in Monday’s 16-lap feature race, Hornsey rode a determined race to battle through to ninth place at the flag and now occupies 11th in the championship.
The championship now takes a break of over a month before heading to Norfolk’s Snetterton 200 circuit on the weekend of June 14-16.
Randle said: “Overall it’s been a positive weekend, despite several crashes.
“Richard has been on it all weekend but unfortunately clipped the kerb with his gear lever in the second race, which led to him crashing.
“His bike is in a pretty sorry state but thankfully he’s ok.
“Mitchell unfortunately crashed on Saturday but went straight away to see a specialist in Oxford.
“It looks like he doesn’t need an operation and hopefully we’ll see him back and fit for Snetterton.”
MALLORY Park are giving motorcyclists the chance to take to the track and ride their own machines alongside racing legends at the Mallory Bike Bonanza this summer.
The event at the Leicestershire circuit will allow any biker to race with the likes of world champion Giacomo Agostini, home-grown hero John Cooper and 20-time Isle of Man TT race winner John McGuinness in the road bike and race bike parade laps.
By pre-booking and meeting the necessary criteria fans can savour the joys of track riding and emulating the sport’s big names who have graced the Mallory Park circuit over the years.
To find out more and book a place, visit www.malloryparkcircuit.com and complete the application form, or call 01455 502214.
Entries are limited and subject to heavy demand.
Another key element of the weekend is ‘Club Central’, where clubs from all over the UK will gather to display their motorcycles.
Certain to be buzzing with bikes and bikers keen to talk about their own club and its activities – it is the ideal recruiting ground for new members.
Interested parties will find information and the application form online.