- Jeremy Ryan
Eugene strikes back to take 6th in The Feature Race
McManus endured the high and lows of motorcycle racing at Brands Hatch in the British Supersport Championship. A solid qualifying position of 5th went unrewarded after a huge crash on the opening lap of the Sprint Race. Despite the setback, McManus was able to race from 11th on the grid to 6th at the finish line in the Feature Race on Sunday.
The weekend started well for Euegene McManus as he finished FP1 in 4th position. His lap time of 1:29.524 put him fourth overall. FP2 only saw four riders venture out as a damp track and drizzle ruined the session.
Qualifying on Saturday was halted early on after a red flag incident at Druids. When the riders returned to the circuit Eugene McManus was quickly into second place. By lap 6 his time was down to 1:28.962 before he entered the pits.
Whilst in the pits he lost some positions but on his return he set a 1:28.584 putting him third at that time. A couple of riders managed to dislodge McManus from the front row and he would line up in the middle of row two in 5th position, for race one.
After a solid qualifying earlier on Saturday the Sprint Race was cut very short for the number 15. Trying hard to get a good get away from fifth on the grid McManus lost the front going into Paddock Hill Bend and crashed out of the race.
Sliding across from the inside of the bend McManus, unfortunately, collected another rider on his way to the gravel but both escaped serious injury.
If there were any doubts about how McManus would perform after Saturday’s crash he immediately dispelled them in Sunday morning Warm Up. Just 0.764 seconds behind the fastest rider McManus ended the session in fourth position.
For the 18-Lap Feature Race, McManus made no mistake this time on lap one. He was circulating in 9th spot at the end of lap two behind the number 69 of Rhys Irwin. By the end of the fourth McManus moved ahead of the Triumph of Irwin and with another rider taking a tumble, he was running in 7th position.
Around a second down the road was the other Triumph of Mason Law. McManus took several laps to close in on Law before passing him on the tenth lap of 18. Law fought back a lap later and McManus had to settle for 6th position at the line, a great result after yesterday’s huge crash.
Eugene remains 8th overall in the Championship with a total of 60 points.
“There are lots of positives to take from the weekend, unfortunately race one didn’t work out after crashing on lap one. That meant I had to start from 11th on the grid for race two, which made things difficult. We made a few changes to the bike for the race, but they weren’t the right changes. However, I had good pace throughout the weekend, but we didn’t capitalise on the race results. I’m really looking forward to Thruxton where I’ll be giving it everything again!”