Superb display on Donington GP debut sees James McManus score his first championship points
James McManus sliced five seconds off his lap time over his amazing weekend at Donington Park on the GP circuit, in the British Junior Supersport Championship. The Randalstown rider had never raced at Donington GP before. Having made a steady start qualifying 31st he went on to finish 24th in the first race. His lap time meant he started race two from 23rd and he made a huge impact taking his first two championship points by finishing 14th. Then to top off an already great weekend McManus secured five more points in race three as he finished just 0.057 seconds away from the top ten.
There was a huge field of 44 riders battling for position on the grid. Those with no previous experience of the track are somewhat handicapped with just one free practice session for the British Junior Supersport Class.
Having registered a 1:53.660 on a drying track in Free Practice, McManus recorded a 1:50.824 to put his Team #109 Kawasaki 31st on the grid.
On the first lap James McManus managed to gain a position and was running behind Able, Dickinson and Offer. Dickinson soon crashed out and after overtaking Offer McManus was up to 28th by the end of the following lap. Another lap and another position as McManus dispatched Maher to move into 26th place.
Battling in a group of riders he rose to 24th on the fifth lap and with half the race gone. He then further improved reaching 22nd on the penultimate lap but had to settle for 24th at the flag. His lap time during the race was a 1:47.753 which would give him the benefit of starting from 23rd for the second race of the weekend.
Just a few hours later and the fifteen-year-old was back on the circuit to compete in the second race of the weekend. He started 23rd in between Jack Bednanarek and Oscar Pinson. McManus made a flying start gaining six positions on the opening lap but after things started to settle down after lap two the gain was a more modest two positions.
McManus continued to work hard improving further still on lap three as he rose to 18th place. He was in a group of seven or eight riders.
By the end of lap five McManus was just over half a second away from 15th and the possibility of his first championship point. He managed to move ahead of Large-Taylor on lap seven and into a points scoring position and then by the end of the ten lap race he crossed the line in an excellent 14th. Not only did he claim his first two championship points but he further improved his best lap time with a 1:47.753.
McManus must have been full of confidence as he lined up 16th for the final race of the weekend. He launched himself off the line to claim six scalps on the opening lap. He was riding with Shelton and Jones and managed to find his way into 9th position at one stage of the race.
The riders were swapping places regularly and after the final ten laps of the Donington GP circuit McManus crossed the line 11th to claim another five hard earned and well-deserved championship points. He just missed out on a top ten finish by 0.057 seconds.