Kieran targets top-four spot

MOTORSPORT: Exciting young Copdock racer Kieran Murphy has set his sights on a top-four finish in the 2002 British Superstock motorcycle championship. And he began well when he crossed the line in third place in the first round at Silverstone on Monday.

By Elvin King

EXCITING young Copdock racer Kieran Murphy has set his sights on a top-four finish in the 2002 British Superstock motorcycle championship.

And he began well when he crossed the line in third place in the first round at Silverstone on Monday.

This was subsequently amended to fourth after he had been part of the winning ceremony and interviewed live on the ITV Sport Channel. Dave Johnson, who originally finished fourth, made a complaint that Murphy made a pass while yellow flags were out because a rider had come off.

This was upheld and Johnson was officially placed third. Murphy, a 22-year-old who works as a fitter at Felixstowe docks, was delighted to finish 12th in last year's championship.

This year he is sponsored by Chrysalis Racing – and is much better placed to make an impact.

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"It cost £30,000 of mine and my family's money to compete in 2001," said Murphy today. "And I had sponsorship money on top of that.

"This year I have not had to spend a bean. Everything has been found and my team comprises of myself and three machines."

Murphy missed the main Silverstone practice session and did not do as well as he would have liked in qualifying, finishing tenth.

But he made a good start in the race riding his Suzuki and after one lap was in fifth place. From then on he competed with Johnson and Ross McCulloch for third position.

"We were bashing fairings and it was hairy at times," added Murphy. "I never saw the yellow flag until I had committed myself to make the pass.

"But I have to be happy with fourth place, and my aim must be to finish on the rostrum as many times as possible in the 14 heats. If so, I can stay in competition until the final meeting at Donnington Park on September 29."

Monday's result: Chris Burns 25 pts; David Jefferies 20 pts; D Johnson 16pts; Kieran Murphy 13pts; Andi Notman 11pts; Ross McCulloch 10pts.

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