TOUGH WEEKEND FOR KRYSTAL BOYS Krystal Racing Space Air riders Paul Veazey and Kelvin Reilly endured a tough weekend as the Metzeler Racetec National Superstock Championship hit Donington Park for a double-header. In the absence of team ...
TOUGH WEEKEND FOR KRYSTAL BOYS
Krystal Racing Space Air riders Paul Veazey and Kelvin Reilly endured a tough weekend as the Metzeler Racetec National Superstock Championship hit Donington Park for a double-header.
In the absence of team rider Lee Jackson, who was sidelined with a chipped ankle bone following a crash at the Bol d'Or in France last week, the squad drafted in KTM rider Reilly to pilot the number 22 machine.
Reilly, who has not ridden a sports bike for more than a year, had less than half an hour to get to grips with the outfit's distinctive blue and yellow Yamaha R1 before first qualifying, and managed to line up 30th on the grid for both Saturday and Sunday's races.
The London-based rider finished Saturday's event in 28th spot, and Sunday's in 22nd, and admitted although it had been hard work, he had enjoyed the experience.
"I'm used to riding the KTM now, so getting back onto a sports bike was actually a lot harder than I'd imagined it was going to be," he revealed. "In the first race I slipped down to 32nd at the start but kept my head down and managed to make up a few places to 28th.
"The second race was similar, but I managed to climb up to 22nd and didn't drop any places so I was more than happy with that. It's been very hard, you can't just jump on a modern superstock machine and expect to put it at the sharp end, so I'm pleased I was able to finish both races. I'm extremely grateful to Tony and the team for giving me the chance this weekend."
Veazey meanwhile had started the weekend on a high after a good start in Friday's wet qualifying session. But it was bad news for the 21-year-old from Middlesbrough when a shoulder injury sustained earlier in the year came back to haunt him. After qualifying 22nd on the grid, he finished the first race in 26th spot, following it up with a 21st in the second while riding in severe pain.
"My shoulder was so sore that I struggled just holding onto the bike," he said. "I came back after the break thinking it was better and I was well up for a good weekend, but by Saturday morning I realised it was never going to be strong enough.
""I'm absolutely gutted to be honest. My head was in the right place and I genuinely felt I could do a really good job this weekend, but I just hadn't bet on the injury flaring straight up again. A couple of laps in, I found the pain was so strong, I was lucky just to cross the line at the end. I'm really disappointed and very frustrated that my season has been so blighted by injury.
Meanwhile in the Superstock Cup class, Gary Jackson was happy to come home with a 12th place in race one, and a sixth in the second after qualifying 14th on his Newell Plumbing/Krystal Racing Yamaha R1.
"That'll do me, I'm happy with that, especially getting sixth in the second race. It's been a funny old weekend with Lee not racing, so he's been supporting me this time. I enjoyed both of the races and I think I did the best I could, so I'm going home quite happy tonight."
Team Manager Tony Astle reflected on his team's difficult weekend. "Paul was in a lot pain and I'm surprised he even managed to finish, it shows how much determination he has," he said. "He could hardly even hold on to the bike yet he brought it home safely both times.
"And Kelvin did a good job too. He's not ridden anything like this bike since the GP round in July 2006 and the fact that he finished safely and not at the back is a testament to his ability. He should be happy with that, I know I am.
"It was also a good one for Gary, and I think in the absence of Lee, he did a great job of flying the flag for the Jackson family. We may not have come back with as a good result as we'd hoped for, but that's the nature of racing--everyone is back safe and in one piece and that's all we ever ask for."