Crash anguish for Kieran

MOTOR SPORT: Ipswich racer Kieran Murphy suffered heartbreak after a crash robbed him of a first place finish at Brands Hatch. Murphy crashed out after leading for long periods of the second round of the 2002 British Superstock championship.

IPSWICH racer Kieran Murphy suffered heartbreak after a crash robbed him of a first place finish at Brands Hatch.

Murphy crashed out after leading for long periods of the second round of the 2002 British Superstock championship.

Missing out on a podium spot was a bitter blow for the talented 23-year-old from Copdock.

Murphy – who works as a fitter at Felixstowe docks – rides for Chrysalis Racing on a George Walker Transport-backed Suzuki GSX-R1000 machine, supplied by Rob Willsher Motorcycles.

He had already claimed a creditable fourth place in the opening round of the championship at Silverstone.

Murphy was locked in a fascinating duel with eventual winner John Crockford in the latest race when he lost control on lap 11.

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"This is all part of a steep learning curve for me," he reflected.

"I should maybe have tucked in behind Crockford with a long way to go before the end of the race, but racing is sometimes a psychological sport too. I was keen to keep the upper hand."

Murphy had produced an encouraging performance in qualifying, eventually taking third place on the grid.

And, in front of a 22,000-strong crowd, he made a good start to the race the following day, slotting neatly into fourth position as the pack – led by Crockford – embarked on their first circuit.

"I felt very relaxed and was happy going at my own pace," he said.

Murphy moved up to third at the start of the second lap behind Roundstone Suzuki duo Chris Burns and Crockford.

Burns had led the previous Silverstone round from start to finish and it was clear neither Crockford nor Murphy wanted the Geordie to get away.

Murphy then slipped past Crockford at Paddock Hill Bend on lap three and was soon past Burns on the same lap. He began to lead from the front, looking solid and assured as he began to make a break.

By lap seven the Suffolk star held six bike lengths, but at Brands it was obvious that it was proving difficult to pull away from the pursuers.

Eventually Murphy saw Crockford dive underneath him at Druids. Murphy got better drive on the way out and left his braking that little bit later than his rival going into Graham Hill Bend, only for the front end of his machine to wash out on him.

Chrysalis team manager Lee Morris was clearly disappointed by the premature end to Murphy's involvement but encouraged by the promising display.

"It's never nice to walk away from a meeting empty handed, but Kieran has now proved that he can lead a race at the top level," he said.

"It's an encouraging start to our season and I think a healthy lesson in ours and Kieran's continuing development."

Murphy – who slipped to eighth place in the championship table – now heads for Donnington Park on April 27-28 for the third phase of the series.

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