This weekend saw the Thundersport paddock descend on Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire for the 2016 season finale, with plenty still to fight for in the various championships.
After securing the Golden Era Superbike title with one round remaining, Continental rider John Dieterman is already looking ahead to next year with the Team Baxi Yamaha complete with ContiTrack Slick rubber off to a new owner. In his absence, leading the fight for Continental were Ryan Strafford and Richard Blunt, with the former still looking to secure second place in the championship.
Unfortunately for Ryan qualifying didn’t exactly start well as he lost the front of the RC-51 at Hall Bends on the out lap, putting him at the back of the grid. Kawasaki mounted Blunt would start from the second row of the grid, bringing the bike home in 4th.
Richard dominated the opening race to take a hard earned win and set the fastest lap of the race on the Portico Racing machine, whereas Ryan shot through the field to take 4th, and more vital championship points. The second race saw Richard do the double, with another race win and fastest lap, with Ryan in 3rd, allowing him to secure second place in the championship with two races to go. On Sunday as weather conditions worsened, Richard took another two strong wins, with Ryan taking 2nd place and the fastest lap in the final contest of the season.
Richard’s excellent finale weekend took the field by surprise and elevated him to third place in the championship – meaning all three riders in the Golden Era Superbike series ran Continental race tyres.
Ryan Cooper has had a very difficult season in Golden Era Supersport, losing a finger earlier in the year following a nasty crash on the Race HQ prepared Yamaha R6.
Qualifying in 3rd place, Ryan took four podiums from four races over the weekend on his ContiRaceAttack Comp treaded tyres – three 3rds and a 2nd. His excellent results allowed him to secure 3rd place in the championship overall despite some of the difficulties he has experienced in 2016. EB Racing’s Martyn Bloomfield secured 6th place in the series with a number of top ten finishes at Cadwell Park, with new teammate Richie Harrison also taking a 10th and 9th place in his only two outings on the second bike this weekend.
Dave Langley was still in with a shot of the Golden Era Steelsport title on the Tyres 4 Bikes sponsored Honda, and started well by taking pole position in qualifying, and embarrassing several of the Supersport field in the process. Dave went on to win the opening race, but a third place behind series leader Mark Biswell in the second contest was not enough to keep his championship hopes alive – if he hadn’t missed a round earlier in the year, the title would surely have been his.
Several riders made use of the excellent outright grip offered by the ContiRaceAttack Rain tyres on the Sunday, with Kawasaki rider Alex Laureys taking a win in the Pre-National Sport 600 series and Luke Blackburn also taking a 1st and 2nd place in the GP1 Freshman class on the Track Prep UK supported ZX-10R.
That marks the end of the 2016 domestic racing season for us, and we’d like to thank everyone who has made it the most memorable one to date!
We’ll be back in 2017 – and we can’t wait!
Photo credits to Ian Boldy Superbike Photography.
Find out more about the Continental race tyre range here.