THE LOUTH based Samsung Honda team narrowly missed out on scoring a podium finish at the seventh round of the British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch in Kent as Michael Laverty claimed a pair of fourth places.
In the opening race Laverty took the lead on the opening lap and ran in a podium position for over half the race before a move by Josh Brookes forced him back to fourth.
In race two Laverty again had a flying start but again was pushed down the order as the team worked hard throughout the weekend but were unable to find a setting to close the gap to his title rivals.
Two fourth places meant Laverty remains inside the top six in the overall standings in fourth place. Jon Kirkham meanwhile had another challenging weekend as he claimed a twelfth and fourteenth place finish in the two races.
In the Superstock 1000 Championship race Jason O’Halloran claimed his third win of the season to move to within one point of the title lead after taking the lead from standings leader Keith Farmer after a safety car period during the race.
Michael Laverty: “The first race was tough. We took the set-up the wrong way as we have been trying so many things over the weekend. We had used it in warm up but in the race I was missing apexes.
“I thought we were going in the right directions but we should have gone back to what we had in qualifying. I was struggling running wide but this weekend we have sort of tested a lot of things, making changes. And in the second race I was still struggling with the brakes, running on in the corners and that made it hard to get on the throttle out of them but it was better than in the first.”
Neil Tuxworth, Manager Honda Racing: “It has been a mixed day for Samsung Honda. Michael had a couple of fourth places but we thought this weekend we would have been capable of podium finishes. However we were not that far away so we can look at what we can improve for when we are back here in October. Jon has had another frustrating day and is still building his confidence back up and we need to see what we can do for Cadwell Park to return to the form we saw earlier in the season. Jason meanwhile did an excellent job to win the Superstock race and for Honda it was a fantastic result to have two Fireblades feature inside the top three.”