AFTER a strong start to their 2021 Pirelli National Superstock Championship campaign, round three at Brands Hatch at the weekend proved to be a lot tougher proposition for Richard Kerr and the Dumfries-based AMD Motorsport team as they failed to finish either of the two races at the famous Kent venue.
After Friday’s free practice sessions took place under fine, sunny skies, where Richard made solid progress on the factory-prepared Honda, conditions constantly changed thereafter and Saturday’s qualifying saw a damp track all round the 2.43-mile circuit with lap times subsequently more than ten seconds slower.
However, as the 30-minute session wore on, the track began to dry slightly and the Kilmacrennan rider was one of the first riders to switch from wet to dry tyres, which he hoped would elevate him up the leaderboard. Conditions still proved challenging though and although he improved his times, he had to settle for 32nd place.
That placed him on the 11th row for Saturday’s 15-lap race and with plenty of work to do although conditions were, thankfully, completely dry. A good start saw him make up six positions on the opening lap but, second time around a brake issue meant the 21-year old had to take to the grass at Paddock Hill Bend. It dropped him right to the back of the field and he pulled in to retire at the end of the lap.
It meant he had to start Sunday’s race, where conditions were fine once more, from 38th and the penultimate row although 17th in morning warm-up was a good confidence booster. Indeed, as has become customary, he made another superb start and moved up an incredible 11 places on the opening lap!
However, the good news was short-lived as he crashed at the high-speed Hawthorn Bend next time around ending what was promising to be a strong ride. Fortunately, Kerr was uninjured and will now look to bounce back at the next round in just a few days time..
Kerr said: “The weekend started off well and after the first two practice sessions I was only 1.2s off pole which I was quite happy with given it was my first time at the track on a big bike.
“We started qualifying with a soft wet but with the track part dry and part wet, it didn’t last long so we tried the dry tyre but it was still that little bit too wet and we couldn’t get the heat in the tyre we needed. That meant I had a bad grid position for Saturday’s race where I made a good start but knew straightaway I had a brake problem.
“I went into turn three and had zero brake so had to run onto the grass although it was fortunate to be on a corner where there was plenty of run off. Sunday warm up went well and we thought we’d got to the bottom of our problems ahead of race two where I made a really good start.
“Unfortunately, the brake issue returned when I went into Hawthorn and although I tried to get round, I had to go onto the grass where I came off. It did quite a bit of damage to the bike so it was quite frustrating for the whole team and myself but we’ll bounce back.”
Fraser Dykes, Team Owner, added: “It wasn’t such a good weekend for the team this time around but as we have said from the start, it’s a big step for Richard into one of the most competitive classes in world motorsport.
“A bad tyre choice and mechanical issues could be excuses but we come away from the weekend having learnt a lot and we can guarantee Richard and AMD Motorsport will come back stronger! We’re looking forward to Thruxton now in what will be another highly-competitive weekend.”