PROMISING START FOR APPLEYARD MACADAM RACING
With two new riders, Harry Hartley and Danny Webb, competing in the British Supersport Championship, Team Appleyard Macadam Racing, backed for the 2015 season by Doodson Insurance and Rapid Solicitors, enjoyed a promising start in the Donington Park sunshine over the Easter weekend.
After a disappointing opening outing both riders fought back well to gain top ten finishes to kick their season on Easter Monday.
Free practice saw both Webb and Hartley inside the top ten but over a second behind the pace setters prompting overnight changes with the electrics on the Yamaha R6 in order to find some more speed in time for qualifying the following morning.
Sunday brought bright weather and the first qualifying of the year. Experienced Tunbridge Wells rider Webb was lapping with a group of the front runners and looked to be on course for bagging a grid spot within the front rows. However, with half the session remaining, Webb fell victim to a slowing rider ahead of him.
The rider slowed up around the last corner of Goddards causing a domino effect to ensue. Webb was left with nowhere to go and clipped the back of the rider ahead of him, ending his session prematurely. This meant he slipped down the order eventually finishing the session in 12th with young Burnley lad Hartley a place behind him in 13th.
Later in the afternoon the first race of the year got underway but it was to be a disappointment. Hartley was forced to pull in halfway through the race due to a clutch problem and Webb crashed out heavily at the Craner Curves.
After the pit team brilliantly rebuilt Webb’s bike overnight after his crash the day before, Monday brought hope of getting the season properly underway.
Webb was 13th on the grid and Hartley back in 19th but both riders made great starts to the 18 lap feature race. Hartley quickly began to make his way through, passing four riders in one lap during the opening stages. He eventually caught up to the rear of Webb before passing him.
Despite having the pace to run nearer the front, the talented teenager came home in eighth place. Webb meanwhile, struggling with his left wrist that he injured in Sunday’s crash, battled through to cross the line in tenth place.
Afterwards Harry Hartley said:
“This weekend has been up and down really. Sunday was a massive disappointment not only for me but the whole team after the preseason build up. However, Monday’s result was a great confidence boost and I can’t wait to move on to Brands Hatch now. The team worked tirelessly all weekend and that showed with the pace of the bike in Monday’s race. Eighth is the benchmark now and we need to build from here throughout the season.”
Commenting on his first outing Danny Webb said: “A couple of crashes left us on the back foot and in the first round especially track time is vital. Everyone learns so much from the races and to crash out was a big disappointment. The bike was a bit of a mess but the team were fantastic in putting it back together in time. I was struggling with my wrist, an injury that seems to reoccur, but I kept going and to grab a top ten finish at the end of it was pleasing. There’s a long way to go from here but it’s a positive start.”