It was yet another weekend of high drama for the Appleyard Macadam Yamaha team at Cadwell Park as Bradley Perie crashed out on Saturday but put himself in back into contention with a mature podium on Sunday. It was bad luck for Rhys Irwin with a double DNF.
The weekend started brightly enough as both Brad and Rhys went significantly faster than previously at this highly technical circuit, which rewards smooth, flowing riding. Brad closed to within a second of pole during free practice but was ready to step up the pace for qualifying, with Rhys approximately a second behind, in his first visit to the track on a Supersport machine.
Saturday schedule was altered to allow for heavy rain later in the day, giving the Supersport warriors just one hour between qualifying and their Sprint Race! With “don’t crash” ringing in their ears, the riders set about methodically moving up the leaderboard with rain threatening. Brad put in his fastest ever lap at just the right moment to take second on the grid and Rhys went half a second quicker than previously to put him on Row Four.
The 12 lap race set off at a frenetic pace; with all riders setting their fastest laps after just 2-3 circulations. Brad held a strong second position, keeping the two Kawasaki’s of Currie and Kennedy at bay but then on lap ten, disaster struck, as he slipped off at high speed at ‘Charlies 2’. Then on the last lap, Rhys crashed at the Hairpin, out of a good ninth (sixth in class) place. Both riders were relatively unscathed but frustrated with their situation, although remained on row two and four for the next race grid.
Sunday’s longer Feature Race was held over sixteen laps in dry conditions and it was a good start from both riders. Rhys was unfortunate to have to pull out early in the race with a technical issue, ending his weekend ‘pointless’. Brad chipped away to get up to fourth, with his mind on some solid points. On lap five Jack Kennedy slipped off on in a similar accident to Brad, throwing the championship race wide open again. Brad brought his Yamaha YZF-R6 home for a sensible third place, holding off Lee Johnston.
The points situation is now: Kennedy 182, Perie 179, Currie 176…. 12th- Irwin 53.
Bradley Perie said, “It’s been a tough weekend for sure but we bounced back from yesterday’s disappointment and did what we needed to do. Once Kennedy came off I knew I just had to keep it together and get that podium. Basically, we’re still in the game.”
Rhys Irwin added, “It seemed like I had good pace throughout, especially in Sector one. Unfortunate to slip off yesterday and with a mechanical today it was a pointless weekend. However it was my first time on a Supersport bike here and I felt like I could go with the next group so that’s a positive. We just a wee bit of luck!”