With Storm Hannah bearing down on Snetterton for part of last weekend, many Thundersport riders were left in two minds when it came to tyre choice, as downpours came and went for much of the two race days.
However, that weather did little to deter C & J Racing rider Chris Lavisher who has in the past shown himself to be something of a wet weather expert in the Pre-National 600 class. After stepping up to the Sportsman 600 this season, Chris made a great start by securing strong top ten finishes at Brands last month, but in April at Snetterton he went even better.
A combination of correct tyre choice and some gutsy riding despite the conditions saw him take the runners up spot twice on the Saturday, before clinching his first class win on the Sunday, much to the delight of wife Jamie cheering on from the pits as he storms into the series lead after round two.
Tyre choice also proved crucial for defending GP1 Classic champion Ryan Strafford, who was once again up against Classic TT rider Craig Neve who is doing testing ahead of a trip to the Isle of Man later this year. On the Saturday, Ryan would take a gamble on running slicks with a dry line emerging, only for the rain to fall mid race. Thankfully he brought the bike home safely despite the conditions, with several other riders not so lucky, as he went on to secure one of four podium places that weekend and more solid championship points. Running on the same grid, he was also joined by Golden Era SBK competitors Andy Denyer and Andrew Meachen. Denyer took four solid wins at Brands, and came away with four 2nd places at Snetterton, while Meachen made a tentative return to racing after a nasty accident a year earlier, taking a well earned podium on Saturday afternoon. Ryan’s Superteen academy riders Christian and Kieran Smith also made great strides in their second ever race meet, with Kieran unlucky not to make the podium on the Saturday.
Alberto Solera maintained his great start to the Stocktwin championship at Snetterton, picking up three wins from a potential four, although teammate Craig Szczypek didn’t fare quite so well in the Supertwins with two DNFs and a single podium in the tricky conditions. Neil Gregory would also pick up a podium in the final of Sunday’s two races for Knight Road Racing on the Ducati.
In the other Golden Era classes, Ben Doolan dominated on Saturday in the supersport running on the ContiRaceAttack Rain, as he picked up two solid wins, followed by a second place on the Sunday. Dave Langley also made great progress after the step up from Steelsport, taking an impressive 4th in Race Two on the Saturday, and further top ten finishes on Sunday, where he was joined by Liam Vella who was also celebrating the birth of his first child.
The next Thundersport round is due to take place at the end of May at Cadwell Park, and we’ll see you in the paddock as always!
Image credits – Ian Boldy Superbike Photography.
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