Despite the diabolical weather conditions at Oulton Park today, AP Kawasaki rider Leon Hunt took his best result of the season with a 10th position in the Metzeler National Superstock 1000 Championship to score points for the third time this season.
The Brighton rider carried on his good form from Snetterton and was quick in both the free practice and qualifying sessions held in dry, bright weather on Friday. Hunt placed himself provisionally 13th on the grid following the opening qualifier and with second qualifying on Saturday held in the damp, he duly took his spot on the fourth row of the grid.
But race day saw torrential rain hit the Cheshire venue but Leon put in a strong race and, 16th on the first lap, he’d worked his way up to 12th when the race was stopped early on the fifth lap. However, upon post race scrutineering, two riders in front of Leon were excluded meaning a top ten position and despite only half points being awarded, it was just reward for Leon and the team’s efforts.
For 600cc teamster Freddie Russo, it was very much a case of what might have been. Second at the corresponding meeting back in May, the Brentford rider was running close to the front right from the off and took a superb third place in qualifying to put himself well in contention for the race win on Sunday. However, last on the schedule, the race was ultimately cancelled because of deteriorating conditions and will now be held at one of the later rounds.
Leon Hunt: “We did a track day at Brands Hatch before we came to Oulton Park and as soon as we got here, I felt a lot more comfortable with the bike. The whole weekend went a lot better and we made good progress, ending up something like a tenth of a second off the second row. I felt really confident throughout practice and qualifying and the race itself was going well although I was having a few problems with my visor steaming up. The race being stopped helped me in that sense and, overall, were heading in the right direction and I’m now running regularly in the top 15 so fingers crossed for more of the same at the next round where I’ll be looking to get into the top ten again.”
Freddie Russo: “We had great pace throughout the weekend which allowed me to claim my first ever front row position so I’m gutted that we never got to race! I felt really confident going into the race and a podium was very much on the cards as it’s a circuit I’m really happy at but the weather obviously had other ideas. The bike is set up really well now and we’ve an excellent base setting whereby we can just go to each circuit and get stuck in straightaway so a big thanks to the team for all the work they’re putting in and I’m sure it will pay dividends next time out.”
Alan Greig: “Leon’s again shown good pace throughout the weekend so it’s good to see we’re constantly heading in the right direction and making progress. He’s a bit of a slow starter in a race and it takes him a while to get up to speed so the shortened race worked against him but he was comfortable and confident with the bike and still claimed his best result of the year so that was pleasing.
“For Freddie, it was definitely a case of what might have been. He qualified very well and we all had high hopes of a good result but it wasn’t to be. MSV do a terrific job in organising the meetings but there’s nothing they can do about the weather and it’s just one of those things so we’ll look forward now to the next meeting at Brands Hatch.”
Metzeler NationalSuperstock 1000cc Championship race (4 laps)
1 Adam Jenkinson (Honda) 7m47.285s
2 Victor Cox (Kawasaki) +4.582s
3 John McGuinness (Honda) +9.843s
4 Richard Cooper (BMW) +11.484s
5 Jonathan Howarth (Kawasaki) +11.750s
6 Luke Quigley (BMW) +13.440s
7 Conor Cummins (Kawasaki) +21.892s
8 Marshall Neill (Aprilia) +22.400s
9 Joe Burns (Kawasaki) +22.800
10 Leon Hunt (AP Kawasaki) +28.606s
Championship positions (after 7 rounds)
1 Buchan 117
2 Palmer 115
3 Cooper 110.5
4 O’Halloran 61
5 Quigley 57
6 Jenkinson 56.5
24 Hunt 5
Source: Cartersport Motorsport Media
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