Top six finish for James McManus at Snetterton
An early fall in race one did not dampen The Randalstown rider’s spirits as he fought back from 14th on the grid in race two to finish an impressive sixth and collect ten championship points.
McManus headed into the weekend on a positive note after his second-place finish and lap record at Donington Park back in the middle of August. Although race one did not go to plan his race two result puts him ninth in the overall standings on 69 points.
There is only one 25-minute free practice session for this support class of the British Superbike Championship. So at lunchtime on Friday 36 riders made their way onto the 3-mile Snetterton circuit. Coming into the pits after 6 laps McManus had recorded a best time of 2:10.703. On his return to the circuit, he immediately upped his pace finishing with three fast laps and a best of 2:09.320 putting him 7th at the end of free practice.
At the same time on Saturday, the Junior Supersport riders returned to the Norfolk circuit for their 25-minute qualifying session. James McManus completed 11 laps and registered his best lap time of 2.09.168 on his final lap of the session. His lap time was good enough to place him, in the middle of row three for race one.
James McManus made a solid start from the line. As the riders rounded turn one, Riches, McManus gained several positions and another rider and McManus almost touched in the congestion of the first corner. The racers then powered on up to Wilson, the tight right-hander. Unfortunately for number 14 he lost grip on entering the corner and slid off uninjured and out of the race.
The number 14 Kawasaki of James McManus had to start from 14th on the grid for race tow. He was on the pace from the off in the final nine lap event of the British Superbike weekend at Snetterton. McManus was quickly up to 9th position within a few corners although had to settle for 11th at the end of the first lap.
The five front-runners were quickly making a gap over the rest of the field. McManus was picking his way through the chasing group moving up to ninth position at the end of lap three. He was soon on the back wheels of the three riders ahead competing for sixth place and passed all three on lap five to lead the group.
With four laps remaining the gap to the rider in fifth was already 9.5 seconds so there was no chance of chasing them down with the laps available. McManus completed what was some achievement, coming from 14th on the grid to cross the finish line in sixth place and take ten championship points.
James said, “ After the crash in race one it was good to finish the weekend on a high. In race two I made some quick progress but the leaders had already got away. We did the best we could and made up 8 places so that was a major positive. Thanks to the team Completely Motorbikes / Affinity Sports Academy and I am now looking forward to the next round at Silverstone next week.”
James’s next race is on the Silverstone National circuit on the weekend of 10th to 12th September.