Eugene McManus Junior celebrated his birthday with his first points in the Dickies British Superspor
Photo: Hairy Beast Pix
Supersport rookie Eugene McManus Junior, who celebrated his 20th birthday this year, fought his way from the back of the grid to score his first championship points in race one. The second race was cut short with a fall at Becketts on lap four.
Free practice one was early on Friday morning and the track was still cool under the cloudy skies overhead at Silverstone. Eugene McManus Junior consistently lapped 58 seconds on his Yamaha R6 finishing with a best of 58.090 seconds.
The sun came out for free practice two and the track was much warmer. McManus Junior continued his progress dropping his lap time to 57.754 to end the day a very pleasing 13th overall.
Younger brother James McManus, riding in the Dickies Junior Supersport class, had a small technical problem that delayed him getting out in his sole free practice session. However, he made the most of the time he had cutting his lap time by around two seconds during free practice. He finished the day 22nd with a time of 1:07.839.
Good weather prevailed at the Northamptonshire circuit on Saturday for qualifying. Eugene McManus Junior started making progress almost immediately. In his early laps he was three places better than he had been in free practice. He then moved up to 15th overall. Towards the end of the session he came into the pits and a chat with his crew.
Six minutes remained when McManus Junior went back out. He was determined to improve and surprised everybody when, in his first qualifying session, in his rookie year, he clocked a 56.836 and eighth on the grid for the first race later in the afternoon.
James McManus had his Junior Supersport qualifying about an hour after his brother. He went on to further reduce his lap time on the Team #109 Kawasaki. He finished with a 1:07.282 and would start the first of his two races on Sunday 23rd on the grid.
Eugene McManus’ joy in his qualifying position turned to disappointment on the starting grid for the race in the afternoon. He was pulled from the starting grid as his tyres were found to be marginally under the legal pressure allowed. The result was he had to start from the back of the grid.
McManus didn’t let this setback distract him, in fact it may have even motivated him because he put in a superb performance. Having started 31st he scythed his way through the field and was quickly up to 18th position.
Eugene McManus Junior then managed to pick off a few more riders before the 18 lap finished. After making a fantastic recovery he crossed the line in a magnificent 14th overall and 11th in the Supersport class.
McManus lined up 11th on the grid for race two and was feeling positive after finishing the morning warm-up in seventh. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the start he wanted losing several places on the first lap. McManus quickly recovered one position but it was to no avail as on lap four he fell uninjured at Becketts.
Photo: Johny Wills
Dickies Junior Supersport Race 1
James McManus made a good start to his first Junior Supersport race. Starting 23rd on the grid he quickly worked his way into 18th place in the opening laps of the race. James continued to move through the field to 16th position. Unfortunately, his race was cut short when another rider collided with him and they both crashed out with 6 laps remaining.
Dickies Junior Supersport Race 2
The final race of an exciting opening BSB weekend was the Junior Supersport race. With grid positions allocated on fastest laps from race one James McManus started from 22nd on the grid. In the jostling of the opening laps McManus slipped to 25th. He then found himself in a group of around five riders. Battling hard with Lewis Jones, James McManus reached 18th un the penultimate lap. On the last lap Jones fought back and he went on to cross the finish line in a very commendable 19th place.