The opening round at Darley Moor hasn’t been too kind to Lancashire racer Joe Walton in recent seasons.
Over the past two years, Joe has blown an engine and crashed out of contention, so he was understandably nervous as the season got underway this weekend despite the reassuring age-old adage of ‘third time lucky’.
This was Joe’s debut on the Melted Sliders GSX-R 600 SRAD using ContiRaceAttack Comp tyres, which was the only Suzuki on the grid in the Pre-Injection 600 class at the former airfield come race-circuit.
Unfortunately the red flag came out in qualifying, when Neil Mclaren went down heavily. Following a break from the action, Joe went out and put the bike on the front row of the grid.
Running at the same time as the Steel Frame riders, the track was crowded during the early stages of the opening race. However, Joe managed to keep his head up, and as things spread out he opened up an impressive 9 second gap to take the opening win.
Later that day after a brief foray in the ultra competitive Formula 600 series he’d claim a well deserved flag to flag victory, to take the maximum points haul and lead the championship after round one.
Over in the Sound of Thunder class, Continental newcomer Rich Stubbs was also enjoying life on his eye-catching Kawasaki ER6 Supertwin. Rich secured two 2nd places, and also fought his way onto the podium in the All Comers 650 contest.
A few more tweaks to the bike, and Rich is hoping to take to the top step of the podium next time around.
Congratulations to both riders on some great opening results.
Images courtesy of Steve Snelling Photography.
You can find out more about the Continental race tyre range here.