Chris Burns celebrated his maiden win in the ONK Dutch Superbike Championship at Oschersleben last Sunday.
The Newcastle rider, onboard the GS Racing Honda, became the first in the championship this year to beat title leader Arie Vos on the BMW as he stormed to victory at the German track.
The win comes after a string of podiums in recent rounds for the former Moto GP rider and the Dutch team, and his brave performance in the wet in race two followed a slight setback when he crashed in the afternoon’s earlier race.
Arriving at the track suffering a bad dose of ‘flu, Burns had been told by team manger Gijsbert Spilt that he didn’t have to race if he wasn’t well enough, but the Geordie refused to let the illness get in his way.
Heading out to for the first qualifying session, he chose not to run a qualifying tyre and instead hold it until the second session later on Saturday afternoon. Ending QP1 in fifth place, he was disappointed when it began to rain ahead of the second session.
Taking to a wet track, Burns was more than three seconds faster than any of his rivals, but due to the rain no-one was able to better their earlier times, leaving him to take fifth on the grid for Sunday’s two races.
The weather didn’t change on raceday, and as Race One got underway he launched himself up to fourth place, despite having very little grip.
"There was no grip at all but after a few laps I got it back and the bike felt good,” he said. "I made up loads of time very quickly and was soon on the back of the top three and made my way past the guy in front to take third.
"I was flying at that point and my confidence was really high, and that’s when I made a mistake. We don’t know what happened or how, but on Lap Five in the last turn I high-sided . I tried to get the bike back up but the brake was broken so it was impossible."
Other than the brake, the bike suffered minimal damage and the team quickly repaired it and he was able to line up for a second go in Race Two later that afternoon, held under similar wet conditions.
This time he didn’t get such a good start and dropped back to sixth. However he was soon on a charge.
"I took my time this time because I didn’t want to crash. I got a bit of wheel spin off the line but I just took it easy, and was soon passing them.
"I went from third to first in one corner and from there I just put my head down. There was a bit of sliding about there but I kept it under control and kept a couple of seconds lead all the way to the flag.
"It’s absolutely great to take my first win here for the GS Racing team and be the first rider to beat the BMW this year."
Burns now sits fourth in the championship on 97 points. Vos leads on 195 ahead of Raymond Schouten on 128 and Danny de Boer on 111. Burns has a month’s break until his next race at Assen on August 7.