The Movuno.com Halsall Racing Suzuki team has taken huge steps forward after banking a solid haul of points as the Bennetts British Superbike Championship returned to Brands Hatch.
In the squad’s second round under the reign of team manger Colin Wright, series newcomer Chrissy Rouse scored an 11th and a 14th at the Kent track as Superstock rider Tom Ward celebrated a seventh place finish.
Rouse, who made the step up to Superbike action earlier this month, had once again emerged the strongest of the series rookies in qualifying, making his way into Q2 to start today’s opening race from 15th.
After a strong start he began to pick his way through the pack, making several moves to climb up to 11th, finishing just outside of the top 10 as he scored his first ever BSB race finish.
And race two brought similar success. Starting 14th on the grid he held his position throughout the 20-lap race to take another points finish – and was also the highest finishing Suzuki.
“I’m really happy, it’s been a fantastic weekend and I’m pleased with the results, particularly the first race,” he said. “I thoroughly enjoyed both of the races as I feel I’ve learnt so much more about the bike.
“Of course, there is still a long way to go but I’m thrilled that I can take home points in just my second BSB race, and to know I was so close to the top 10 is a real boost for me.
“I’m definitely making good progress. I’m learning more about the Superbike and how I need to ride it to get the best from it, and the improvement from my first race a fortnight ago is clear. I’m really excited about doing it all over again at the next round.”
In the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship, Tom Ward banked his best result of the year so far as he crossed the line seventh in Sunday’s dramatic race.
The Canterbury-based rider bounced back from a tough race on Saturday where he scored a DNF after a coming-together with another rider, to enjoy his best race since stepping up to the 1000cc machine this year.
Despite not scoring any points on Saturday, his best lap time was enough to secure him 13th on the grid, and this time he was determined to make the most of it. Getting a good start, he was lucky to avoid a huge crash involving five riders on the opening lap which brought out a red flag.
“We made a change for the race and it turned out to be the right way to go,” he said. “Luckily I didn’t get caught up in the big crash; I was just on the outside of it. When we restarted I just concentrated on getting away well and trying to keep up with the frontrunners.
“The bike felt really good and I made a few moves to pick off a few people and then I got as high up as sixth. I was able to see the lead group and I was trying to keep up with them but my pace just dropped a little bit towards the end.
“I had a bit of a tussle with Leon Jeacock in the closing laps and he got me at the end, but I’m certainly not disappointed with seventh. I feel I’ve really turned a big corner with the bike and it’s been my best race so far.I’m buzzing for the rest of the season now.”
Team Manager Colin Wright was happy with his team’s progress. “It’s been a good day, we’ve got two riders in the points and the improvements by everyone are clear to see,” he said.
“We need to remember that this was only our second race meeting together, it was just Chrissy’s second time on a Superbike and it’s been very much a case of us all still getting to know each other and how we all work.
“I am happy with both of the riders’ progress today. Chrissy has once again shown me that he has what it takes and deserves to be in this class, while Tom has also taken a huge step forward.
“It certainly bodes very well for the second half of the season, and these results have fired everyone up to come back even stronger at Thruxton in a fortnight.”
Name: Chrissy Rouse
Born: Newcastle Upon-Tyne
Bike Number: 69
Name: Tom Ward
Bike Number: 7