Bar a brief shower on the Monday morning, conditions remained dry for the duration at Norfolk’s Snetterton 200 circuit over the Bank Holiday weekend as the Thundersport GB paddock rolled into town.
Keen to make up some ground on Golden Era SBK leader Ritchie Thornton, Ryan Strafford qualified in second place on the grid right behind the Kawasaki man. A poor start to the first race saw Ryan pushing hard on the RC-51 SP2 as he closed in on Thornton before he narrowly avoided a massive high side. After a heart in mouth moment for Dad Chris, Ryan eased off to ensure he secured 2nd place for the team.
The next two races again saw Ryan hunting down Thornton, and a fastest lap in the third contest saw Ryan leading into the final corner of the final lap. With just fractions of a second separating the pair, the Kawasaki got the better of Ryan’s Honda exiting the last corner to just cross the line in front. However, Ryan was able to turn the tables in the final race with Thornton taking a tumble as he tried to break away from his rival, taking a valuable win at closing the points gap at the top of the championship.
Ryan’s teammate Andrew Meachen, in only his second ever race meet, qualified in 9th place on a packed Golden Era grid. Riding his SP1, Andrew brought home four top ten finishes coming home with a career best 7th place in the final contest of the weekend. Also running on the same grid, Mike Gover took a hard earned 3rd place in the GP1 Classic to make a visit to the podium in Norfolk.
Fresh of the back of his win at Croft, RAP Racing’s Richie Harrison put the team’s Yamaha R6 on pole position in the Golden Era Supersport class, keeping series leader Robert Goodall at bay in the opening race to break his Thundersport GB duck and take top honours along with maximum points. He followed that up with another two 2nd placed finishes, saving the best for last as he got the better of Goodall and McRae in the final race to take another win much to the delight of team boss Alan Edwards whose hard work on the bike is really starting to pay dividends. Also running in the same class, Mark Foster had a string of top ten finishes, just missing out on the podium on Monday’s first race as he came home in 4th. Liam Vella also made the switch to Continental race tyres as he continued to improve his lap times around the super fast Snetterton circuit.
Tyres 4 Bikes backed Dave Langley put his CBR600 on pole position in the Steelsport class, but couldn’t quite get the better of Jon Wright with a lack of drive coming into the straights costing him one win by just 0.008s as he went home with four 2nd places.
Running in the Supertwins class 15 year old Rishon Hickey and Knight Road Racing backed Lara Small both came home with solid top ten finishes during the weekend, whilst in the Stocktwins Jason Markham picked up a podium for the Army Mens and Joshua Crew snuck into the top ten in both his second and third race of the weekend.
The Pre-National Sport 600, which is sponsored by Continental, was once again our busiest class of the weekend with Jeremy Watson certainly the standout performer as he took his first racing win and followed that up with a 2nd place in the final race. Our previous rider of the meeting Chris Lavisher was one of several riders to break into the top ten as he climbed as high as 7th joined by Nick Barnes, Paul Wilson and Alun Brooks. Competing as a Freshman, Texan rider AJ McDaniel qualified in 3rd place, and took three well earned podiums on the RS Racing Honda. Tom Collinge also recorded strong results in the Sportsman 600 class qualifying in 10th place but climbing up to 7th in his first three races to score some well deserved points.
After breaking his Thundersport GB duck with not one but two wins, Richie Harrison is our ‘Rider of the Meeting’ at Snetterton and claims a free race tyre for the next round of the championship.
Congratulations to everyone who raced this weekend, and we’ll see you later this month at Cadwell Park.
Photo credits to Ian Boldy Superbike Photography.
Find out more about the Continental race tyre range here.