The late August sun shone on an estimated 50,000 fans who enjoyed a Bank Holiday weekend of spectacular racing including impressive results for Kawasaki riders in a wide range of classes.
With a strong chance of lifting the BSB Superbike title for a record fourth time, the Wolds circuit has not been kind to Shane “Shakey” Byrne in the past. However, his demons were pushed into the shadows for the first Superbike race with a magnificent second place and yet more podium credits to add to his formidable tally.
In an event that had four Kawasaki’s crossing the line among the first ten finishers, other highlights included a strong fourth place for Tommy Bridewell (10 seconds ahead of the fifth place man) on his Halsall Racing Kawasaki.
Chris Walker maintained his challenge with a well-deserved sixth place while Keith Farmer bravely fought to ninth despite still not being 100% fit.
In race two, Byrne struggled with what was thought to be a rogue tyre and could only manage fourth spot – good for points but not good enough to earn precious podium credits. Two places ahead of him was the vastly improving Tommy Bridewell in second place and recording the best ever Superbike finish for the fledgling Halsall Racing Team. Again “Stalker” was sixth with welcome BSB returnee, Karl Harris, in twelfth spot and hoping to ride his PR Racing Kawasaki at further selected rounds during 2013.
While local boy Lowes prevailed in the Superbike class, Lincolnshire hero, Ben Wilson, returned to the top step in the first Supersport race riding his Gearlink Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R. Determined to push hard at his home track, Wilson racked up 25 valuable points while team-mate, Alastair Seeley, was side-lined after just four laps and, uncharacteristically, no-scored.
Patched up by the medical staff, Seeley re-joined the fray in race two eager to maintain his Championship lead and scored 8 valuable points to end the day still at the head of the field with a massive 303 points. Wilson, who was obviously on a mission at Cadwell, visited the podium again and missed a double win by a slender 0.142 of a second from McConnell.
For a crowded Stock 1000 class (so large that two qualification groups were needed) the big news was the emergence as a solid front runner of American, Tommy Aquino. Hotly tipped as a prospect by some former Grand Prix stars – including Wayne Rainey – Aquino qualified first and finished first on his Team WD40 Ninja ZX-10R prepared by Brent Gladwyn’s GR racing outfit.
With no less than eight Ninja’s in the top ten finishers, the amazing day for Kawasaki continued with ILR Kawasaki’s Victor Cox passing over the line for the final podium spot followed by Jenkinson, Wainwright, Beech, Quigley, Brogan and Burns spread between fifth and tenth places.
There was much to cheer about also in the Stock 600 race with two out of three podium places occupied by Ninja mounted riders. James Lodge is becoming a force to be reckoned with on his Moto-Breakers Kawasaki and he made second spot his own while Nick Anderson on the Be-Wiser ZX-6R crossed the line just three hundredths of a second later.
Perhaps making the most impressive progress across the twelve laps was Chris Walker race school sponsored Mason Law. Struggling to make best of a lowly qualification of nineteenth place, the Benfleet Essex rider openly admitted to not getting into the groove quickly enough and needing to make good in the race.
Following an inspired pre-race consultation with his mentor – former WSS Champion, Andrew Pitt - the 18 year old ended firmly inside the top ten with eighth place and the motivation to qualify stronger at the next round at Donington Park.“Cadwell is an iconic venue and always deserves its immense crowds”,
said Ross Burridge, Racing Coordinator for Kawasaki Motors UK. “With such strong showings for Kawasaki riders across the board – and impressive rides by several Championship contenders, this Bank Holiday meeting may just be seen as a season turning point.
Great rides by Tommy Aquino and the likes of James Lodge show that a strong lime green vein of talent is coming through to augment the skills of Kawasaki’s established stars”.
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