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FIRST PODIUM FOR HALSALL AND FRANCIS AT SNETTERTON

Joe Francis and the Movuno.com Halsall Racing team celebrated their first podium of the season – but were then denied their first win after a technical fault in the second Dickies British Supersport Championship race at Snetterton.

FIRST PODIUM FOR HALSALL AND FRANCIS AT SNETTERTON

As the team headed to the Norfolk track, 19-year-old Francis was looking to make amends after two crashes at Knockhill a fortnight ago, and certainly looked to be doing his best as he ran consistently in the top three during all the free practice sessions.

After a strong qualifying, he lined up second on the grid for Saturday’s Sprint race, and got a good start, holding position behind poleman Farmer.

The 19-year-old kept in close contact with the race leader, but when Alistair Seeley – who races the Spirit Moto2 machine and does not score points - caught him on the seventh lap, he decided to let him through as he stood to lose nothing other than track position.

With a gap of more than two seconds back to Jack Kennedy, Francis was able to hold the position all the way to the flag, crossing the line third but scoring points for second.

Starting third for Sunday’s feature race, he enjoyed a clean getaway and took the holeshot to lead into the first corner.

As his rivals jostled for position behind him, Francis began to pull away at the front and had the best part of a second lead as the pack headed into the fourth lap. But disaster struck moments later when his Yamaha R6 suffered technical problems, forcing him into retirement.

Despite being disappointed at missing out on what looked set to be his first win of the year, Francis left the track feeling happy with his Saturday result and confident for the season ahead.

“I’m gutted we missed out, the team has worked so hard and they have given me a fantastic bike which would’ve won today, but things like this can’t be helped,” he said.

“But I’ve got to be happy with yesterday’s result. Getting my first podium of the year was brilliant, especially after the tough time we had at Knockhill and we’ve never been out of the top three all week.

“I got a great start today and led from the start and the bike felt great until the problem struck. We would’ve won today and I know that first win of the year is now just around the corner, and I’m excited about the rest of the season.”

Team owner Martin Halsall praised his rider and team for a solid effort all weekend.
“These things happen and while it’s not the result we wanted, we need to look at the positives here. Joe was way out ahead and looking good there and we now know we have the pace to run at the front.

“He did a great job in the first race getting second place, and I’m certain that this is just the start of things to come. As I have said before, you have to get your bad luck out the way and hopefully this is it for us.

“We move on to Brands Hatch now in a few weeks’ time, a track Joe loves and one where we know we can run well. We just need to get the bike back, give it a look over and get it ready to roll and we will come out fighting next time.”

Dickies British Supersport Championship Snetterton 300 Sprint Race result:
1. Keith Farmer
2. Alastair Seeley (M2 class, does not score points)
3. Joe Francis
4. Jack Kennedy
5. Benjamin Currie
6. David Allingham
7. Ross Twyman
8. Jamie Perrin
9. Graeme Gowland
10. Kurt Wigley

Dickies British Supersport Championship Snetterton 300 Feature Race result:
1. Alastair Seeley
2. Andrew Irwin
3. Jack Kennedy
4. Ross Twyman
5. Jamie Perrin
6. Graeme Gowland
7. David Allingham
8. Kurt Wigley
9. Tom Ward
10. Ryan Dixon

Championship positions after Round 10
1. Tarran Mackenzie 150
2. Keith Farmer 145
3. David Allingham 145
4. Andrew Irwin 140
5. Jack Kennedy 120
6. Benjamin Currie 116
7. Ross Twyman 95
8. Joe Francis 77
9. Jamie Perrin 67
10. Tom Ward 49

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