Practice Crash Costs Jon Kirkham At Thruxton

Jon Kirkham put his qualifying struggles down to a crash in Saturday practice which had dented his confidence and left him down in 13th.

The Derby rider came into the weekend on a high after claiming his maiden BSB win at Croft but a crash at Goodwood left him on his back foot for the rest of the weekend.

Kirkham admitted he had crashed at one of the worst possible corners on the circuit and the incident was still in his mind when he went out to qualify.

“We didn’t start the weekend too badly and I found I felt ok on the bike despite being sore after the Croft crash. Then yesterday afternoon’s crash at Goodwood really set us back. That’s a fast corner to crash on and it did knock my confidence. It didn’t do my crew any favours either; another rebuild after they’d already rebuilt the bike after the Croft crash.”

The Crescent Suzuki man felt that things didn't quite fall into place for him on Sunday afternoon, believing he had the pace to make it into Q3.

“In qualifying what I was missing was a good tow to bring my time up; many of the best times have come by using the slipstream of another rider. I was set up to get a tow off Chris Walker in Q2 when he went on the grass so I didn’t get the full benefit and my time just wasn’t enough. But I’m feeling good for tomorrow. The last three practice/ qualifiers have all been troubled for me but we have had the speed for the race, so I’m looking to improve.”

Team manager Jack Valentine accepted that the disrupted build-up had proved costly but expects his rider to make up for lost ground tomorrow.

“For JK he’s had another less than perfect run-up to the races. He was going well, building up his speed steadily when he crashed. That created a further set-back in final practice. He suffered the same tyres/ grip issues as Hopper in Q2 but wasn’t able to find enough speed to stay in the running. I’m sure – as JK has proved every race – that he’ll improve dramatically come race day.”