MIXED FORTUNES FOR KRYSTAL AT SNETTERTON Krystla Racing Space Air suffered a controversial and disaster-hit weekend as the Metzeler Racetec National Superstock Championship made its annual visit to Snetterton in ...
MIXED FORTUNES FOR KRYSTAL AT SNETTERTON
Krystla Racing Space Air suffered a controversial and disaster-hit weekend as the Metzeler Racetec National Superstock Championship made its annual visit to Snetterton in Norfolk.
Jay "Fandango" Fernandez was the only rider who took part in this afternoon's race after Howie Mainwaring withdrew in protest over the result of a stewards inquiry on Saturday afternoon, and Michael Pensavalle, who rides the Krystal Racing Ital machine, spent a night in hospital after a serious crash during qualifying.
The drama began after Mainwaring was penalised after a coming-together with another rider in the closing stages of Saturday's second qualifying session. After being given three penalty points, he was advised he could start the race from the back of the grid, but was not allowed to make any moves which could be deemed "dangerous" into any of the corners, leaving only the straights available to him for overtaking.
With his bike seriously damaged, Mainwaring and team manager Tony Astle decided there was little point in running if they would not be allowed to actually race, and Howie announced he would not take part in protest.
"If Howie had started the race from the back of the grid, but not been allowed to overtake anyone, it would have been dangerous to everyone," explained Tony Astle. "You can't put a fast rider like Howie at the back and then tell him he can't overtake. What would have been better would have been to let him go out and race from where he had qualified and then given him a time penalty at the end.
"As it stood, neither Howie or the team wanted to run today. It isn't a race if a rider is told he can't make any moves, and we just didn't wish to be part of it. As a matter of protest, we withdrew."
But it was a better day for Fandango, who qualified 35th and brought his Yamaha R1 home in a credible 27th place, despite getting knocked onto the grass in the first lap.
"I made a good start and avoided some carnage ahead of me, and had moved up one place down the back straight," he said. "But then I was sideswiped and shoved onto the grass. I managed to get back onto the track and the bike was ok so I just put my head down and plugged away.
"I pushed it as much as I could and was able to get a couple of places back. I was pleased I was able to catch the pack up again and to be able to get some passes was good for me too.
"We've done a lot of work on the bike and I'm a lot happier with it. I do wish I had been able to catch and get past some of the others, but I've got to be happy with the job I did under the circumstances, and it has given me a lot more confidence ahead of the next round at Donington in a fortnight."
Meanwhile Michael Pensavalle's weekend ended up with a night in hospital after crashing out just seconds after Mainwaring on Saturday. After being hit in the shoulder by another bike, "Piddy" was taken to hospital and was found to have torn muscle in his shoulder and broken a couple of ribs. Doctors held him overnight concerned he may have damaged some of his nerves, but he was released this morning. At present, it is not known how long he will need to recover.
Astle concluded: "It's been a bad weekend for the team, but Jay has done us proud today. The team has had a restless 24-hours. We were all concerned for Michael and were angry over the way Howie was treated. But Michael is home now, Jay has showed he is a good little rider and we're all looking forward to Donington. Howie will be back out there, and we've just got to put this weekend behind us and move on."