Completely Motorbikes / Affinity Sports Academy rider Eugene McManus put on a great display at the Knockhill circuit for long-time local sponsor MV Commercial in the 4th round of the British Supersport Championship. The number 15 took fifth place in Sunday’s Feature Race to add to his 11th-place finish in Saturday’s Sprint Race.
It proved to be a great start to the weekend in Scotland for Eugene. The circuit was bathed in beautiful sunshine on Friday for both Free Practice sessions. He topped FP1 and finished the day 4th overall after FP2.
On Saturday morning Eugene set about claiming his place on the British Supersport Grid.
Straight through to the 15-minute Q2 session Eugene posted the sixth-quickest lap time.
Sprint Race (20-laps)
Eugene started from 6th on the grid but struggled off the line. He dropped to 14th by the end of the first lap leaving himself with a lot of work to do.
Eugene was setting a good lap time but was finding it difficult to overtake on the short 1.3-mile Scottish circuit. He did eventually come across the line in 11th position after 12 laps taking five championship points.
The lap times in the Sprint Race set the riders' start positions for the Feature Race on Sunday. Eugene would line up 8th.
Feature Race ( 26-laps)
The second race of the weekend was shortened from the original 26 laps to 20 after the first attempt to run the race was cut short by a red flag on lap one.
From the re-start, Eugene McManus held the position on the opening lap crossing the start finish line in eighth place.
By the end of lap three McManus was looking to close in on the riders in 5th and 6th spots. It only took a couple of laps for McManus to continue his progress as he overtook the first of the two-rider group ahead.
The following lap he looked to overtake at the final hairpin for 5th but couldn’t make the move stick. It didn’t matter though as Eugene managed to pass on the inside into turn one at the beginning of lap seven.
McManus was 2.5 seconds behind the rider in fourth with 11 laps remaining. He then put in two of his fastest laps of the race, including a 49.820 as he closed the gap on the rider ahead. In doing so he dragged the riders he had just passed with him.
By lap 15 there was a four-rider battle for fourth place with Eugene McManus now leading the group. Despite his best efforts, he was not able to shake the riders behind and was under constant pressure to maintain his position.
In the end, he crossed the line fifth having been pipped for fourth on the final lap by just 0.034 seconds.
Eugene McManus said,"Thank you to all the team that worked hard all weekend. We had good pace this weekend, we had a challenging first race but we kept working towards race two and we got a better result today which we can build on and make some more progress for Snetterton. Thank you to all my sponsors that make it happen.”