McManus brothers in the points at damp Donington
Eugene McManus Junior picked up points with 14th in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 race with two races of the season remaining. Younger brother James McManus finished the Junior Supersport season with a 12th and 11th place finishes in a weather affected Donington Park.
James McManus had taken a tumble in the drizzle affected free practice session on Friday. Thankfully he was unhurt but the team were left with a badly damaged bike to repair. The programme for Saturday had to be rescheduled by the organisers due to the forecast bad weather. However, it was only a slight change of time for James and the Junior Supersport riders. On a wet track and on a bike rebuilt overnight James was careful to get some laps under his belt and bring the bike home safely. He did and also managed 19th on the grid for the first of the two races.
Qualifying was cancelled for the other categories, including the Pirelli National Superstock 600 class of Eugene McManus Junior. In fact, the weather only permitted a couple more races before the organisers decided the conditions were too bad to continue.
This meant that the free practice times from Friday would be used to set the grid for the Superstock 600 riders. Eugene McManus Junior would like up sixth after his FP1 time on Friday.
Junior Supersport Race One
James’ first ten-lap encounter of the weekend was at 09:25 Sunday morning. Heading row 8 James made a good start but was forced out onto the grass on the first lap which dropped him all the way down to 27th in the running order. It didn’t take him long to start making progress, however. He scythed his way up 8 places on lap two and into 19th spot. By the half-way stage he was sat 14th and in the points. As the chequered flag was waved after 10 laps James crossed the line to take 12th place.
Superstock 600 Race One
The Superstock race had been rescheduled for 12:00 and Eugene lined up in sixth place on the grid. Eugene didn’t make the start he would have wanted and was crowded out. He dropped to 12th position before slipping further back to 18th. Shortly after the safety car came out. When normal service resumed a couple of laps later he quickly picked up a place. On lap six of twelve he gained three more positions as he began his recovery. He then sat in thirteenth place for most of the remainder of the race just losing out on the final lap to cross the line 14th.
Junior Supersport Race Two
James started three places higher for race two in 16th spot. By now the weather had changed dramatically at Donington park. The sun had even come out to add some brightness to the afternoon.
Having made up a place on the first lap James followed it up on lap two with four more positions. Unable to catch the group ahead on this occasion, the number 14 made a comfortable gap to the riders behind as he secured himself in 11th spot at the flag.
Eugene McManus Junior still has two more races at Brands Hatch before he finishes this season. However, the Donington GP round brings a close to James’ racing in 2020. James has improved significantly over the year and during the season he took a podium and only narrowly missed out on the race victory. He finishes 2020 in 12th overall and with 52 points.
As always E15 Racing Eugene and James McManus would like to thank Kawasaki Team Green, the Affinity Sports Academy and MV Commercials for all their efforts and support.
The final round of British Superbikes is at Brands Hatch on 16th to 18th October.