Tough weekend but James remains Championship leader
Snetterton played host to the latest round of the British Junior Supersport Championship last weekend. James McManus worked hard throughout both nine-lap races to bring his Completely Motorbikes /Affinity Sports Academy Kawasaki across the line in sixth in race one and fourth in race two. The rider from Randalstown was unable to produce his usual podium finishing pace but remains the championship leader by 8 points. The next round is at Oulton Park in two weeks.
The weather was making lives difficult for the British Junior Supersport riders on Friday during the free practice session. They were out on a wet but drying track. James started the weekend in a positive fashion finishing the session 4th quickest just 0.630 seconds from the quickest rider.
Friday evening the Completely Motorbikes /Affinity Sports Academy rider was back out on track for the 20-minute qualifying session.
Having kept himself inside the top six for most of the session McManus’ final flying lap was compromised by traffic and he had to settle for tenth on the grid for race one.
James McManus made one of his customary fast getaways from tenth on the grid to move into fourth position halfway through the first lap. He had dropped back one position to fifth as they crossed the finish line to start lap two.
On lap three as McManus turned into the first corner another rider almost collided with the number 14 from Randalstown but both managed to come through the corner unscathed.
Unfortunately, for James three riders managed to pull away at the front of the race. McManus was battling to stay at the head of a huge group of riders from 5th place down to 18th.
By the end of lap eight, he had dropped back to 8th position but a final push on the last lap saw McManus end the race in 6th place.
James McManus again started from tenth position. The team had made some adjustments to the bike for race two and McManus made another superb start. The number 14 turned into the first corner in 6th position before quickly moving up to fifth within a couple more corners.
A lap later he was fourth and able to open a small gap to the riders behind. The leading trio had managed to make a break of more than two seconds which McManus was unable to close.
On the fifth lap, McManus was able to profit from the deployment of the safety car. This allowed him to close the gap on the leading riders. When the safety car pulled into pit lane he moved up to third into turn one on lap seven. There were now five riders in the leading group battling for the podium and although McManus lost out on the podium by 0.438 seconds he managed to take fourth place and maintain his lead in the championship.
James said," It was a bit of a tough weekend for me, thankfully we got some valuable Championship points, and we are looking forward to Oulton Park. I struggled a little bit at the circuit and with the mixed weather conditions. I worked hard and feel like it wasn’t my strongest track but will be pushing hard at the last few rounds to try and win the Championship.
I’d like to thank all my sponsors and to the Completely Affinity team for a great job once again.”