- Johny Wills
Round 11 Review - Assen
Eugene McManus Junior came to Assen with very little experience of riding around The Cathedral of Speed so "steady away" was the order of the day for Free Practice 1 and 2 on Friday.
He finished 13th and 10th respectively in the two sessions saving a little back for Qualifying on Saturday morning.
Qualifying proved difficult with the track conditions drying after overnight rain, Yet again all sessions had been dominated by Tom Booth Amos who smashed the Motostar lap record around the TT Circuit and picked up another pole ahead of team mate Jake Archer in second. Eugene took an unfortunate tumble coming out of De Bult and had to settle for eigth on the grid in Race 1.
Heavy rain had been forecast and the heaven's opened as predicted, Assen is a technical circuit with twists and turns, complicated enough in the dry, so this was always going to be a difficult race. Tom Booth Amos put on another masterclass storming away at the front to win his 16th race of 2017 and almost secure the Championship from his team mate Jake Archer, who finished second again. McManus Junior got embroiled in a mid pack battle with 6 riders who were all struggling in the conditions, The Wee Bull eventually limped home in 14th and gave an open and honest assessment afterwards;
"I'm struggling a little with confidence on the bike, since Cadwell Park I've lost some of the feel I had early season. It hasn't helped by making mistakes or falling off. The team have been supportive all year and I want to repay them for all the work they have done for me. I am still in the top 5 of the Championship so I have to be happy with that achievement. This season Tom Booth Amos has just clicked with his bike and been sensational, I hope he gets the chance to ride on the world stage next year, It shows that British talent is out there and it's where I would love to be one day too"
Mcmanus junior started Race 2 in 18th position, and was immediately involved in another pack scuffle for positions. As Booth Amos and Archer stormed off at the front The Wee Bull was left battling with the usual Motostar suspects and some of the stars of the European ADAC Championship. They had joined their British counterparts for the second time in 2017. McManus to his credit, fought well for a 12th place finish but some 35 seconds behind the new Motostar Champion Tom Booth Amos.
Possibly not the weekend E15 Racing had hoped for but more valuable race experience in the bag, McManus was happy enough;
“This weekend has been tough,very tough.Gp circuits like Assen take time to learn and master and that’s only the second trip around for me. We move onto Brands now, I’m going to enjoy the weekend, relax a bit and show my team and sponsors what i can do. Without their support, this season wouldn’t have been possible so thank you to each and everyone one of you.”