Round 9 Review - Silverstone
The Wee Bull arrived at Silverstone full of confidence and keen to continue his Motostar apprenticeship and add to his points haul. It turned out to be an eventful weekend for the Randalstown protégé.
This weekend the Moto3 riders were joined by their european counterparts from the ADAC NEC Championship. The classification was split into two groups with MotoGP and Standard bikes competing in their own races..
Friday's Free Practice day began in miserable conditions with many of the Motostar grid deciding to sit out FP1 and wait for track conditions to improve. Eugene decided to go out and get a few steady laps under his belt, to gain a better understanding of the Northamptonshire circuit that he has very little riding time around. It was a similar tale in FP2 with the track drying, Eugene finished in the top ten but only managed 5 laps in the session.
Qualifying on Saturday saw further improvements, both in lap times and track conditions, City Lifting's Tom Booth Amos pinched another pole from his team mate Jake Archer and set the quickest lap of the weekend so far, with an impressive 2'16.236. The Wee Bull battled hard to complete the front row but was pipped by Ed Rendell and Richard Kerr, all riders were in the 2'20's but Rendell took thrid spot less than half a second ahead of Mcmanus Junior.
Eugene would start in P5 on the second row for Race 1.
Race 1- A start nobody anticipated but an unfortunate one for Eugene, as he was left standing on the grid as the pack moved away, his bike had cut out and once restarted he found himself over half a lap adrift. A 4:14.729 first lap mean't The Wee Bull would have to ride alone but as ever he dug deep and set about reducing the deficit. To his credit he recorded lap times good enough for a top 7 finish, unfortunately he slid out with 3 laps remaining. Behind the scene's Eugene Senior was heading off to Nottingham to get some crash damage repaired ready for Race 2 the next day.
" Eugene has had an exceptional season so far and we couldn't be more delighted, you can't turn up to racing of this caliber and not expect mechanical breakdowns or issues to arise, and we have been fortunate to only have one or two this season. I'm still pleased with the progress made and the lad still picks himself up off the floor and has another go. He is learning from mistakes and Sunday's race 2 gives us another opportunity to take something positive away from the weekend"
Race 2 brought a much needed return to form as The Wee Bull battled in a four way tussle for third place. Title contenders Booth Amos and Archer had opened up a lead at the front leaving McManus to fight it out with Ed Rendell and Richard Kerr. The race was red flagged during lap 8 due to the deteriorating weather conditions, with Rendell just snatching the final rostrum place from McManus by 0.434 of a second.
Yet again the Wee Bull displayed the characteristics needed to bounce back after a frustrating end to the previous race. When you consider the talented young irishman has only been riding a couple of seasons it's no wonder he has caught the eye of many in 2017. With three rounds to go McManus Junior sits fifth in The Motostar Championship on 167 points, a great haul so far and with a further six races to come, starting at Oulton park next weekend, then a Fornight later the championship visits The Cathedral of speed in Assen!