Following positive set of free practice sessions, James qualified strongly on Saturday afternoon. A 45.145 second lap in Q3 saw him line up in third, on the outside of the front row for Sunday’s opening race & only a tenth of a second off of pole position. As the lights went out James made a tough start and dropped back to eleventh after the opening lap. He soon regrouped and went in search of Danny Buchan who was ahead. James then had a tyre issue, meaning he couldn’t push as hard as he wanted too & dropped back in the pack. He then made a move on Taylor MacKenzie in the final few laps to pick up 16th place as he took the flag. By virtue of his lap times from race one James would start the second outing in 14th.
Prior to the start of race two, light spots of rain started to fall as the riders lined up on the grid, however James started on slicks and made a great start, holding his grid spot of 14th. However, the rain started to fall heavier on lap seven, thus forcing the organisers to stop the race. The team worked around the clock to change the settings of both bikes, although James ran out of time and was forced to start the race from the back of the grid. As the lights went out for the 22-lap re-start James made up a handful of places, crossing the line in 17th and then started to pull in the group ahead. By mid-race he’d made his way into the points, sitting in 13th. He continued to carve his way through the pack, eventually taking eleventh place as the flag came out, picking up vital points.
James: “It’s frustrating because we’ve been really strong all weekend, I’m gutted for everybody in the team and myself. I had a great grid position for race one, but I had a duff tyres, front and rear, and a couple of guys behind me had the same issue. Both tyres just had no grip, and we hadn’t had that issue all weekend long, which was really frustrating.
“Because of the issues we had I didn’t get a good lap time in, which set me back for race two on the grid. The heavens then opened, I missed the exit for pit lane because we were setting the bike up for the wet. But I fought my way through to get some solid points from the back of the grid, so I’m fairly happy with that.
“These last two races aren’t a showing of what we’re really capable of, so we’ll take away the positives and work towards Oulton Park.”