Jon Kirkham was ecstatic after taking victory in the opening race of the 2012 British Superbike Championship and believed his cautious approach was the key. The Samsung Honda rider leads the standings after race two was cancelled and was proud to take maximum points on his debut for the team.
“First race and first win for Samsung Honda and I am ecstatic. I knew there would be a few incidents but I just kept my head down. The safety car mixed me up a bit but then Alastair Seeley nipped up the inside of me at Druids and got away a little bit. I started closing back in on him and tried to make a pass at Paddock Hill but it was sliding underneath me. I just knew I needed to stay as close as possible to Alastair and then he got a bit sideways out of Clearways and I just went for it!”
Fortunes for teammate Michael Laverty couldn't have been more different with the Northern Irishman crashing at Druids on lap one. Laverty admitted fault for the accident and is looking to make amends at Thruxton this weekend.
“It has been a nightmare day for me; this morning was the first time I had any wet practice on the Samsung Honda and we planned on making some changes for the first race and I felt more comfortable even on the warm up laps. I just pushed as I knew I needed to make up some places early on and I just pushed too hard out of Druids and the bike bit me. This wasn't the start I obviously wanted to the season but we will be looking to turn it around this weekend at Thruxton.”
Team Manager Havier Beltran chose not to criticise Laverty given the difficult conditions and also paid tribute to Kirkham for his sensational ride.
“It was fantastic for Jon to give the Samsung Honda team a victory in the first race of the season. He has gelled well with the team and he rode a controlled race and knew where he would have a chance to pass Seeley, and when he did he was able to make it happen. For Michael it went wrong in qualifying and that gave him a lot of work for the race and unfortunately he got caught out, like many others, in the conditions.”