Great day for Ten Kate Honda on the 'day of the red flags'.
The World Supersport race at Brands Hatch was red flagged an unprecedented three times today as rider after rider crashed heavily at the historic British circuit. Ten Kate Honda man Fabien Foret was among the several riders to crash and his own crash caused one of the race stoppages! But Foret remounted and ignored the pain to ride to second place.
Foret's championship rival before Brands Hatch was Stephane Chambon, but he crashed out - another incident that resulted in the race being stopped. Chambon was unable to remount due to a laceration to the arm and that left Foret clear to stretch out his championship lead to nine points.
"It was very hard today," said Foret. "All the crashes and red flags effected me, I was very nervous at the restarts. But the Honda was really good and the tyres allowed me to push hard in the last heat of the race. I'm happy that the team's hard work has been rewarded with an extended championship lead."
His team mate Iain MacPherson reckoned that the restarts gave him an advantage; "The mayhem helped me in a way," admitted MacPherson. "Firstly I got further up the grid as crashed riders failed to restart. And it was such a joke having so many restarts that I couldn't help laughing at the situation, that helped me to relax. Everything was working well, the WP Suspension coped with the bumps well and the Pirelli tyres gripped well allowing me to ride really aggressively. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season as I think I'm settling down well on the Honda CBR600FS now."
The race was a team manager's nightmare. With so many restarts many teams were struggling with clutch problems and several pit garages were mayhem. "Our team coped excellently with the situation, everyone stayed calm and just did their job," said Team Manager Ronald ten Kate. "I had predicted an exciting race for today but I never imagined it would be like this. I'm happy for Fabien, he rode very well and to come back straight after a big crash like that to secure second was brilliant. I also think that Iain had a superb ride today, especially in the final restart. He is settling down more and more with the Ten Kate Honda."
The team will now exploit the month-long break before the next race at Oschersleben by doing more testing and developing.
1 Katsuaki Fujiwara, Japan (Suzuki) 35m 09.441s,
2 Fabien Foret, France (Ten Kate Honda) 35m 09.727s,
3 Paolo Casoli, Italy (Yamaha) 35m 10.883s,
4 Iain MacPherson, GB (Ten Kate Honda) 35m 14.396s,
5 Jorg Teuchert, Germany (Yamaha) 35m 15.739s,
6 Christian Kellner, Germany (Yamaha) 35m 17.182s,
7 Alessio Corradi, Italy (Yamaha) 35m 21.816s,
8 Chris Vermeulen, Australia (Van Zon Honda TKR) 35m 23.853s