It was a perfect start for Tysers Yamaha new boy Rory Skinner as he took a dominant double win at Donington Park as the Bennetts British Superbike Championship celebrated its long-awaited series ‘get go’, albeit behind closed doors.

Last year’s title runner-up Brad Jones had a less happy experience as he struggled slightly after an accident at the circuit just a week ago logging 4-5 after a series of unfortunate events.

The Colin Appleyard Motorcycles run team are looking strong contenders for their fourth consecutive British Supersport Championship as they fly the flag for Yamaha on their immaculately prepared YZF-R6 machinery.

Eighteen year old Rory shocked the paddock from the off with his lap times in practice, often visibly faster than the rest of the pack, topping the sheets in every session before setting pole position by 0.311 seconds, on his very final lap. Brad did not have great ‘feel’ to push on during qualifying with his seventh fastest time leaving him on the fourth row of the grid.

With Saturday’s Datatag Extreme Qualifying session completed on Saturday morning, the mercury started to rise as the clock clicked down and expectation built, towards the first race since last October!

The 20 lap Supersport Sprint race gridded up with a 40C track temperature looking to test riders and tyres to the max at 3.45 on Saturday. Both riders made a good start with Brad charging through from the third row to get away with the leading bunch and Rory slotting into second behind James Westmoreland.

The young Scotsman took the lead on lap one to cross the line first and started eking out a lead, whilst Brad moved up to third by lap five. Rory started smashing in fast laps to have an incredible 7 second lead by lap 17 which he controlled to the flag. Brad had an extremely busy race, battling with a big group of riders with third place in his grasp but a last lap incident pushed him back to a final fourth position.

Sunday’s longer ‘Feature’ race was held in much cooler conditions to the relief of the riders but for Rory it was more of the same! Never headed, Rory not only dominated the race with a stunning 9.3 second win, he took a new lap record in the process.

Brad again had a strong race with a long battle with a gaggle of other riders around him with many ‘spirited’ moves exchanged. The quiet West Country man eventually crossed the line in third but the team was surprised to see him shown as fifth, after being awarded a time penalty for running across a ‘green’ section of the track as he avoided a backmarker.

After an incident packed opening round, the duo sit in first and fourth respectively in the Quattro Group British Supersport table.

Brad Jones said: “I can’t believe it to be honest, the time penalty pretty much sums up my weekend! We had a slow start in practice and it took a while to get up to speed but after race one I knew we could nail a podium. I guess all you can say is some reasonable points and on to the next one!”

Rory Skinner said: “It’s been the perfect weekend, a dream start to be honest! The team are so calm and professional and gave me the tools to get the job done. On to Snetterton and let’s see if we can do the same!”

Team Owner Robin Appleyard summed up: “We had great hopes for Rory but to be honest he was on a different level all weekend, just amazing really! Pole, double win and fastest lap says it all really. On the other side of the garage you’ve got to feel for Brad. He was struggling a little with confidence to start with after his crash here but was turning it around and should have really had two podiums, if situations hadn’t conspired against him.”