THIRD ROW START FOR BURNS' SUPERSTOCK COMEBACK
CHRIS Burns has qualified ninth ahead of tomorrrow's round of the Metzeler National Superstock 1000 Championship at Silverstone, as he makes a last-minute return to the series.
The 29-year-old from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne is riding the Lenzkes Racing Suzuki GSXR1000 K9 machine owned by Derek Gulbrandsen after striking a late deal to contest the penultimate round of the season.
Burns arrived at the famous Northants circuit this weekend with very little experience on the Suzuki. After a brief test, he contested the NG Road Racing Phoenix Open race at Oulton Park last weekend, where he took a win and set the fastest lap, but was unsure of how he would fare at a track which he has not ridden since 2005.
After finishing seventh in Friday's first qualifying session, he hoped to make up a few more places in this afternoon's second session but after making a few changes which he wasn't happy with, he was disappointed to drop to ninth. He starts tomorrow's race from the third row.
"I'm disappointed not to have qualified a little higher up the grid, but we'd made a few changes overnight and the bike just wasn't running as well. We don't have much track time in this class, so there isn't time to change things back," he said. "But we know where we're going wrong and hopefully we can make the changes back so we can be stronger tomorrow.
"I haven't ridden at Silverstone for a few years so was initiually worried about how we'd go, but the bike is good, and I'm sure if we can get it all back to how it was yesterday, we're in with a chance of a top six tomorrow. That's what I've been setting my sights on and I'll be doing everything I can to get a good start and an even better race."
It's been a strange season for the former WCM MotoGP rider. After initially inking a deal to remain with the STP Motorsport outfit racing the MV Agusta in the Superbike Cup, he did not start the season after the squad suffered budget woes. He then guested in the IDM German Superbike Championship for three rounds, deputising for injured reigning champion Martin Bauer on the Holzhauer Racing Honda, alongside F1 legend Michael Schumacher. His best result was a second place at Nurburgring.
He returned to the BSB paddock in August where he contested the Brands Hatch round on the Jentin Yamaha superbike, before teaming-up with Gulbrandsen earlier this month.