KR was still on a High!
After having immense success as a ‘Wild Card’ entry at the World Superbike meeting at Donington Park recently, the Nottinghamshire Motorcycle Champion ‘Kyle Ryde’ was still on a personal ‘High’, having achieved a podium position of 3rd place on board the ‘Pacedayz Trackday’s’ Yamaha, he was up against the best riders in the World, so this has boosted Kyle’s confidence enormously and he goes into the 4th round of the British Supersport Championship looking to strengthen is Championship title hopes.
The weekends meeting took place at the East Anglian circuit of Snetterton, near to the market town of Thetford. As always Friday’s day was taken up with ‘Free Practise’ in all the classes and straight away ‘Kyle’ was out to set the benchmark on his ‘Pacedayz’ machine in the Supersport Class. However he wasn’t given free reign entirely on a plate and title leader Luke Stapleford along with his team mate Sam Hornsey, put Kyle under immense pressure prior to Saturdays Qualifying slot.
Saturdays Qualifying was to be a follow on from yesterday’s free practise and again the front runners were to be Ryde, Stapleford and Hornsey, but this was to be exceptionally record breaking for both Kyle & Luke.
Kyle set the early pace and by lap 3 he had smashed the lap record for a Supersport bike at the Norfolk circuit and then produced another record breaking lap on lap 5, with six minutes of the 30 minute qualifying session to go, Stapleford was not taking this lying down and he retaliated by producing another record breaking lap and taking pole position from Kyle, with an amazing lap of 1.50.244. With the chequered flag out Kyle was on his final lap of this session and had managed to shrug off Irwin who was using him to achieve a slipstream, with open spaces now appearing on the circuit Kyle pushed his tyres to the limit and as he took the flag for the his final lap, he blew Luke’s pole position clean out of the water, with an amazing 1.50.122 Lap!
Saturdays Sprint Race
The Saturday Sprint race was later in the day and this was to be a extension of the earlier battles in qualifying between Kyle & Luke Stapleford and as the red lights went out, so did the battle commence! This ten lap sprint race soon became a personnel fight between these pair as they dropped off the remainder of the pack of Hornsey, Rispoli, Dixon & Reid. By half race distance Kyle was managing to hold off Luke, then on lap six Kyle made a dramatic mistake and ran off onto the dirt, allowing Luke to take the lead. As Kyle gained his composure he then went onto to yet again break the lap record for the Supersport class at this circuit, but Stapleford was having none of this from this young-gun and by lap eight he also smashed the earlier record set by Kyle.
The last two laps turned into a huge battle between these two very talented ‘Gladiators’ and it would be anybody’s guess as to who would finally take the chequered flag. With Luke finding a false neutral gear, Kyle went in to the lead on the ninth lap and it began to look as if Kyle was going to be climbing onto the top spot on the podium, but Luke yet again managed to dig deep and fight back to get in front of Kyle. As the pair made the dash up the incline to take the chequered flag, Kyle was still trying to slipstream the powerful Triumph mounted Stapleford but to very little avail as the British made machine, just showed it’s extra horsepower to glide Luke to the victory by a mere 0.09 seconds, something to cherish for Luke, as you can be sure that Kyle will be hunting him down yet again in tomorrow’s main race.
Sundays early morning warm-up session and Kyle was on the boil! over a second quicker than yesterday’s winner & Pole sitter Luke Stapleford and with this pace; Kyle was looking to give his Father his ‘Father’s Day’ present with a top spot on the podium.
The race was mid afternoon; slotted in just before the main Superbike race and as the lights went out it was the Irish lads of Reid & Irwin who tried to storm up front and upset the party, Reid was leading for part of the first lap, but soon Kyle & Luke took the lead and Irwin tried to go with them. However as the race developed the two main contenders started to shake of the determined Irwin and by two thirds race distance was 4 seconds clear of him.
As the final laps unfolded Kyle was starting to gap on Stapleford and at one point was around 1.5sec ahead, but on the final two laps Luke managed to close the gap on Kyle and as the last lap unfolded and Kyle was heading towards taking the Chequered Flag to secure his second win in this Championship, a major impact on the outcome of this race happened! Kyle had just turned into the right hander to head off towards the Start & Finish straight, whilst Stapleford came charging down on the inside line to try and go under Kyle, a foolish move! as not only could he not stop the machine but he then side swiped Kyle and brought them both off and onto the run-off area.
So with them both being trackside spectators, all they could do was to watch 3rd place man Irwin take the top spot on the podium, something that he certainly couldn’t have imaged as he went into his final lap of this race. Irwin took the win with Rispoli 2nd and Hedger 3rd. Not a pleasant ending to what should have been a good finale to the weekend’s proceedings, battle recommences in two weeks time at the Knockhill circuit in Scotland.
(Note: Saturdays Race Results below)
Photographs courtesy of Polarity Photography