JG Speedfit Kawasaki endured a disappointing weekend at Snetterton as they suffered three DNFs and lost the lead of the championship.
After missing out on the first Superpole session of the year, James Ellison was looking to make a good start from tenth on the grid in race one. He did just that but was caught up in a incident at turn two and was taken out of the race.
His luck didn’t change in the second race either, with the 35-year-old being forced to retire from the race whilst down in 14th position.
Looking back over the weekend, Ellison said: “This weekend hasn’t gone to plan. We had a few problems Friday but coming into that first race I was really happy with the package the team had given me and I felt we could be running at the front. Unfortunately we were taken out and couldn’t show what we could do. The team again rebuilt the bike and it was great, but we just had a bit of a problem with the clutch and couldn’t ride competitively.
“It’s absolutely gutting, but we’ll move on and refocus – we’ve slipped out of the Showdown position but we’re not far off so I will be looking to get back in at Thruxton.”
Peter Hickman was also taken out of race one in a separate incident with Glenn Irwin on lap four. Hickman was up in fifth place when the incident occurred and it was looking like he could challenge the riders in front of him.
The second race saw Hickman down in eighth place as the red flags were brought out due to Jenny Tinmouth’s crash at Brundle. The race was declared as a result but Hickman got caught out by the oil left on the circuit and suffered from another crash.
Hickman commented: “Today’s not been the best. The weekend was shaping up really well and we were consistently running top five pace and I honestly think we could have been challenging for the podium. Unfortunately, in that opening race Glenn had a problem right in front of me and down we went.
“In that second outing, our setting just wasn’t right and I couldn’t quite manage the same pace but it’s still good to get some points on the board – particularly as just as the flag came out, I hit the oil and crashed.”
It was also a tough day for Leon Haslam who was unable to finish on the podium in both races. A lack a grip saw the Pocket Rocket finish race one in fifth place, whilst in race two he was unable to match the pace of the top three and had to settle for fourth when the race was brought to a premature end.
With Shane Byrne taking victory in the second race it meant that Haslam had lost his lead the title race to the Be Wiser Ducati rider. The former World Superbike man now sits four points behind in second.
A disappointed Haslam said: “It’s been a pretty tough weekend if I’m honest. We’ve had a few problems that we just couldn’t seem to get on top of. In that opening race we opted for the softer tyre but I just didn’t have the grip to keep running the front guys. Although we hadn’t tried it, we changed to the harder option for race two which stayed consistent and I was actually surprised by the pace we had, but because we hadn’t tried it before out settings were just a little out so I couldn’t quite run with Shakey and Dan.
“I felt I had the pace to make the podium though and was lining up an attack, but unfortunately the red flag stopped that. It’s not been our best weekend, but we got points on the board and can look towards Thruxton where our goal will be to keep racking up the podium points.”
The team will be hoping that there luck changes in time for round six of the 2016 MCE British Superbike Championship, which takes place at the high-speed Thruxton circuit in Hampshire in two weeks time.