Eugene McManus recovers for top ten finish at Thruxton
Eugene McManus survived a late scare in the chicane when another rider collided with him to battle from 16th on the grid to take 9th at the flag in the Pirelli National Junior Superstock Championship at Thruxton.
The first free practice session was wet for the Junior Superstock riders. Eugene managed fourteenth position in FP1. FP2 took place on a drying track and lap times dropped accordingly. Although McManus finished 7th overall he was just half a second from the fastest rider.
Qualifying was the first dry session of the weekend and as a result McManus had no real data with a Kawasaki for this circuit in these conditions as both the free practices had been wet.
The Completely Motorbikes / Affinity Sports Academy rider was out of the pits straight away to make the most of the time available. In the early part of the session he was inside the top ten. After coming into the pits with around ten minutes left Eugene McManus did improve his lap time finishing with a 1:19.998. However, in such a competitive group this left him down in 16th position on the grid for this weekend’s race.
The adjustments they had made for the dry track had not worked as intended.
With just one race again this weekend Eugene McManus was determined to make the best of it. Last night he had sat down with John Laverty to try and work out a way of improving his bike set up and pick up some other tips for the race. It was time well spent as McManus gained four positions on the opening lap.
He quickly moved up into 11th before gaining another position and leading a three rider group chasing down a 2.5-second gap to the rider in seventh. Initially progress was slow but from lap ten to twelve McManus brought the three riders across the gap.
Then one of his rivals made a mistake at the chicane and hit McManus’ Kawasaki machine but luckily the number 15 stayed on whilst his rival headed for the grass before returning to the circuit. McManus lost a position as a result of that incident.
On the final lap the rain began to fall and the red flag came out to end the race. McManus had fought his way from 16th on the grid to 9th at the flag and pick up seven hard-earned championship points.
He sits 6th in the overall standings on 56 points.
Eugene McManus said,” I am satisfied we finished 9th having qualified down in 16th position and thank my team for giving me a great bike for the race and to John Laverty for his advice and guidance last night. We had a difficult job to do after qualifying so all in all a good recovery. I am already looking forward to Donington Park.”
The next round is at Donington Park on 13- 15 August.