British Superbikes: Lack of practice time costs Simon Andrews

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A crash in free practice one and a clutch problem in morning warm-up hindered Lloyds British Jentin Yamaha’s Simon Andrews incredible race one start at Brands Hatch, purely because the team only had a single 30 minutes session to prepare for race day.

Andrews had a crash in the opening practice session on Saturday, and with the spare bike not quite ready, the 24-year-old had to sit out the remainder of the session. And then a clutch failure in warm-up reduced his track time further.

Andrews said: “That was better than I thought. I didn’t know what the bike would be like. After five laps the front tyre churned up and I went backwards after that.

“I felt fine going with the front boys until the tyres went off and the front tucked and I lost a couple of places to (Leon) Haslam, (James) Ellison and (Stuart) Easton.

“Going backwards did give me the chance to wave to a few fans and pot the ice cream van for later on.

“The bike did jump out of gear a few times which cost me a bit running out of corners, too.”

Andrews, who rocketed to fourth by the end of lap one and then third when Michael Laverty crashed in front of him on lap two at Druids, commented on how much easier it was when starting from sixth position rather than further down the field.

He said: “When you start from 13th the first turn is a bit like Celebrity Death Match.

“It’s a hell of a lot better from sixth position today – there was so much room and nobody in front of me so I could just pin it!”

Rob Hull

By Rob Hull