Suffolk duo's mixed fortunes at Brands

MORE than 42,000 spectators packed in to Brands Hatch on bank holiday Monday as the Kent-based circuit played host to a thrilling start to the British Superbike season, and two of Suffolk's top road-racers came away with mixed fortunes.

MORE than 42,000 spectators packed in to Brands Hatch on bank holiday Monday as the Kent-based circuit played host to a thrilling start to the British Superbike season, and two of Suffolk's top road-racers came away with mixed fortunes.

The British Superstock Championship saw Ipswich-based Kieran Murphy finish tenth in his first competitive outing for Goldstar Suzuki while Woodbridge's Martin Buckles pulled of the circuit after his X-Bikes MV Agusta showed early signs on an engine failure.

Twenty-seven-year-old Murphy qualified 9th on the grid and was 11th after the first turn, hanging on to the leading group. He then gained two more places on lap 12 when Adam Jenkinson crashed and then Murphy passed John Laverty.

By this time, however, the rear shock on Murphy's Suzuki had begun to overheat, causing the rear of the bike to soften and Laverty re-took ninth place.


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“We've made some good head-way with the new Kais Ohlins shock during testing,” said Murphy, “but we still need to continue development to increase longevity and consistency.

“I'm pleased with the bike overall, particularly since we are a brand new team, but the new shock we're expecting this week should see us further towards the front at Thruxton on Sunday.”

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Woodbridge-based Martin Buckles had a torrid weekend aboard the X-Bikes MV Agusta. The 26-year-old qualified down in 23rd place after a clutch failure and the race didn't get much better.

He was black-flagged during lap two when his machine began to puff blue smoke from the exhaust and he pulled over in the wooded section of the circuit.

“It was a disappointing start but this has only spurred us on to double our efforts for round two - when we'll have the 2007 spec bikes race-ready.

“Chassis-wise the '07 bike is the same as the '06 spec machines we've been using, except the new bike has a

further 9bhp.

The extra power will give us that little bit more acceleration to help us stay in the running.”

n Round two of the British Superbike Championship - which will be featuring the Supersport and Superstock championships - takes place on Sunday at Thruxton in Hampshire.

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