- Jeremy Ryan
McManus brothers suffer highs and lows of motorbike racing
Eugene McManus Junior finished 19th in his first Superstock 600 race of the weekend but then crashed out in race two after another rider collided with him. James McManus also suffered mixed fortunes. In his first race he finished a superb fourth whilst in race two he suffered an engine problem on the last lap whilst in second position.
James McManus qualified 15th for the first race of the weekend. Afterwards, he received some more great advice from the Affinity Sports Academy on how he could try and improve his mid-corner speed. He clearly took this on board as he was 6th fastest in the warm up for the first race.
Eugene McManus Junior was one of the first riders out onto the track as the qualifying session got underway. He continued to improve his lap times putting in a total of 13 laps. On the final lap he registered a time of 1:43.265 to qualifying inside the top 20 in 19th place on the grid. He was just over a second from the top-ten.
Junior Supersport Race One
Although James was starting 15th he had made the podium at Silverstone from just one place higher so was still feeling confident about the race.
He got off the line well and immediately made up two places moving into 13th on lap one. Lap two was even better as he rose a further four positions ending the lap in ninth.
As we have seen before James is not fazed by the pressure of leading a group of riders. He was soon into eighth spot and leading a train of 9 competitors around the 2.7 mile Cheshire circuit.
Despite their best efforts James McManus held off his rivals for the full remaining six laps and went on to cross the line in a fantastic fourth place.
Superstock 600 Race One
Eugene McManus Junior had a difficult first race of the weekend. He initially gained a position and was involved in a 12 rider battle for 12th position in the early laps. He struggled to feel as comfortable on the Kawasaki as he had done at previous rounds but as always gave everything he could. Never one to give up he brought the bike across the line in 19th position.
Junior Supersport Race Two
James put in a fantastic performance in race two but it went unrewarded. As a result of injuries to two riders from the last lap crash yesterday James was elevated to seventh on the grid. He made a great start to the race as he roared off the start line and into 6th through the first turn. He made sure he was among the leading group from the off and was quickly into fifth spot.
Positions changed quickly over the ensuing 10 laps. James found himself pushed wide and dropped to seventh but fought back to third at Shell Oils He was then into second place as another rider ran off track.
His teammate Owen Jenner managed to make a break in the closing stages and James was left fighting with six other riders for second spot. Battling hard with Crump and Pinson and Crockford until the latter fell, James looked certain of a podium. It looked like we would see an Affinity Sports Academy one-two.
Unfortunately, on the very last lap James suffered an engine issue and was forced to retire from the race.
Superstock 600 Race Two
The second race saw Eugene McManus Junior start from 20th on the grid. He would have his work cut out to make a points scoring finish but anyone who knows Eugene will know he would be giving 100%.
In the early laps he was battling with team mate Asher Durham and also Connor Thomson but the race was red-flagged when a rider fell at the Hizzy chicane on lap six.
The race was restarted with the riders in grid positons based on where they were when the original race had been stopped. Eugene McManus Junior started 18th.
Eugene seemed more determined than ever and whilst he was aided by a couple of riders sliding off on the opening lap of the re-start he also passed two more to quickly move into 14th.
On the second lap he quickly overtook another rider and then his team mate Asher Durham to end lap two in 12th position.
At the rate Eugene was passing riders he looked certain for a comfortable top ten finish. Unfortunately, another rider made a mistake and collided with two others, including Eugene which sent him down at the exit of Cascades and out of the race.
Eugene McManus Junior and James McManus would like to thank Kawasaki Team Green, the Affinity Sports Academy and MV Commercials for all their efforts and support.
The fifth round of British Superbikes is at Donington Park GP circuit on the 2nd to 4th October.
Images: Bonnie Lane