Jack Kennedy’s winning streak came to an unceremonious end at Donington Park this weekend after a crash in the first race resulted in a cracked scaphoid. Brad Jones continued his impressive learning curve with a two more podiums.
The race meeting at the shorter National circuit started well for the Integro Yamaha squad as the Yamaha YZF-R6 equipped duo featured strongly in each of the free practice sessions.
Reigning Champion Kennedy took his third successive pole of the season finishing just 0.1s ahead of teammate Brad Jones. As usual with the Dickies Supersport format, the team then had but a few short hours to renew fluids and dial in a full race chassis set-up before Saturday’s short Sprint race.
Race one started in good conditions and Brad Jones actually grabbed the early lead before being overtaken by the ever-present Alistair Seeley. It was disaster for Kennedy though as he was highsided as he came out of Roberts Chicane on the gas, landing heavily on his right wrist. Seeley went on to win the race from Brad Jones.
Jack initially felt OK as he tried the front brake and gripping but after a trip to the Medical Centre, the determined Irishman was diagnosed with a cracked scaphoid, meaning an end to his progress for the rest of the meeting. He then stayed to urge his young teammate Brad on and carry out some interviews with Eurosport and journalists before setting off back to Dublin to see a specialist for the best course of recuperation.
Sunday’s longer ‘feature’ Supersport race was one of the best races of the season as Brad Jones, Seeley, Tom Oliver and Kyle Ryde fought tooth and nail throughout. Brad led the race for many laps in difficult conditions with a narrow, drying line and a wide mix of tyre choices. With the top three changing positions every single lap it seemed like the result could be ‘anyones’ but unfortunately for Brad it wasn’t to be his! Squeezed out on the final lap, he had to settle for third but keeps his impressive 100% podium record.
Jack Kennedy said: “I’m gutted to be honest. The weekend was going well but a big highside has cost us massively. I felt I could have ridden but rules are rules. We need to get back to see the specialist and rest up for Brands Hatch.”
Brad Jones added: “It’s actually been a good weekend our side of the garage after the disappointment for Jack. We have a good set-up now that seems to work in all conditions with a nit of tweaking. Battling with Seeley has been good for me, I know I can lead and win… I just need to put it all together.”
Team owner Robin Appleyard summed up: “We’ve experienced the highs and lows of racing this weekend. It just goes to show how quickly it can all change but we also know it’s a long season and anything can happen. We saw a great performance by Brad this afternoon, he couldn’t have done anything more and was so close to that win.”