MOTORCYCLING: Emotional return to racing for Jaggard at Brands Hatch

Keith Jaggard returned to action at Brands Hatch in his first race since May 14 weekend   PICTURES BY COLIN HILL
Keith Jaggard returned to action at Brands Hatch in his first race since May 14 weekend PICTURES BY COLIN HILL

Family grateful to everyone for messages of support

PICTURES BY COLIN HILL

2017 Ducati Tri-Options Cup

Rugby racer, Keith ‘Bugsy’ Jaggard, returned to action at Kent’s iconic Brands Hatch GP circuit after an extended break having not raced since the weekend of May 14, where he achieved his best results of the season finishing the season high in 5th places at the North Gloucester Road Race Club meeting at Donington Park, writes Colin Hill.

The enforced break was down to a number of reasons; the return of an old niggling shoulder injury, which will require surgery at season end and the natural BSB summer break for the Isle of Man TT. The reasons above overshadowed by the sad, untimely passing of his Mother which forced him and his team (his father and son) to withdraw from the Snetterton BSB round.

BRANDS HATCH RACE WEEKEND

Returning to full British Championship action after the sad events of the three weeks prior, at the full request of his family, the weekend would be an emotionally charged event where he will also celebrate his birthday.

Keith decided to use the first practice session to reacquaint himself with the feeling on the bike, so didn’t expect to set the world on fire and building his speed throughout the session, he finished in 22nd place.

SATURDAY QUALIFYING

Happy with yesterday’s performance Keith and the team made minimal changes to the set up of the bike for the short qualifying session and once again he improved his times, qualifying a creditable 21st for the afternoon’s race.

RACE 1

With weather conditions having changed and rain an extreme possibility Keith and his fellow riders headed to track for the first race of their weekend but as they pulled away for the warm up lap rain began to fall so the decision was made to abort the start to give the riders the time to change to wet tyres. When the race did then start Keith took it easy due to the lack of wet running through the season. Feeling comfortable now ‘Bugsy’ started to push a little harder bringing his lap times down but the rain was now getting heavier and starting to concern race officials so much so that on lap 6 the red flag was shown and the race was stopped due to safety and declared a result with Keith running in 16th.

SUNDAY RACE 2

With yesterday’s rain truly in the distance, and starting from 17th position on the grid, Keith knew he would have some work to do but he was up for the challenge. Even before lights out the drama had started with a nasty crash at turn one of the green flag lap which put four fellow riders out of the race. When the race got started Keith got locked in to a race-long battle with the few riders around him and once again took the chequered flag in a creditable 16th place finish.

The championship now moves onto Hampshire’s Thruxton circuit, the fastest in the country and a circuit Keith fell in love with on his first visit last year.

Keith and the family would like to thank everybody for their messages of support through their tough times, it really has meant a lot.