MOTORSPORT: Jaggard at Assen and Brands Hatch

Rugby rider Keith Jaggard at Brands Hatch     PICTURES BY COLIN HILL
Rugby rider Keith Jaggard at Brands Hatch PICTURES BY COLIN HILL

Final races of season for Ducati rider

The penultimate round of the 2017 Ducati Tri -Options Cup was to take place at Holland’s Assen circuit, writes Colin Hill.

Rugby's Keith Jaggard meeting the crowd at Assen, Holland

Rugby's Keith Jaggard meeting the crowd at Assen, Holland

Affectionately known as the Cathedral of Speed, it’s a circuit that Rugby racer Keith Jaggard really enjoys, not just for its fast flowing form, but for the fans that have taken Keith and his bright Orange machine to heart. And so as a thank you Keith unveiled a new livery featuring the dutch flag.

The race weekend itself would be a busy affair as Keith wasn’t just entered in his usual Ducati championship, but had also entered his bigger bike in the Dutch Open Superbike race.

Setting about Qualifying his Ducati Championship bike Keith laid down some consistent times and placed himself 27th on the grid for the weekend’s two races.

RACE 1 and Keith settled into being smooth over the race distance, a tactic that would reward him with a 24th place finish whilst carving four seconds off his fastest time round the 2.8 mile circuit.

RACE 2 would go almost identically and again a 24th place finish was his reward, and again dropping his time by another 3/4 of a second.

DUTCH OPEN SUPERBIKE

With two Qualifying sessions Keith would again pace himself to reacquaint himself with the bigger bike, again a tactic that would pay off as he moved up 10 places between the two qualifying sessions. Onto the race itself and with a mix of bikes on the grid Keith would be in for some fun during the 13-lap race .... but sadly Keith’s race would come to a sudden and dramatic end when his engine decided to lock up part way into the first lap leaving him to wrestle the bike to a standstill.

Even with the ending to the Superbike race Keith and the team had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend racing and meeting all the fans.

BRANDS HATCH ..SEASON FINALE

With the season coming to an end as the championship rolled into Kent’s Fast Brands Hatch circuit, Keith, the team and the rest of the championship runners were all hoping to carry on where they left off at Assen and put on an exciting pair of races for the crowds.

Making use of his time on track to sort the set-up of the bike, Keith kept himself in a steady upward plain and ended the first free practice in 26th place overall, but with a good direction forward into Qualifying.

Into Qualifying and once again Buggsy chased time for positions but despite chiseling a second off his previous time he was unable to move any further up the grid for race 1.

RACE 1 Lights out and Keith set off in pursuit of the riders ahead but was mildly cautious due to a damp track. Settling into a steady rhythm and keeping tagged onto the riders ahead the laps ticked away and by the end of the race Keith had maintained his starting position, which in the conditions was no mean feat.

RACE 2 With the track now drying and for some the Championship on the line, this is what the whole season had come down to ... the last eight laps of the season. So from the second the lights went out riders were jockeying for places right through the pack, Keith being no exception to this wanting to get a good result as much now as he did in the first race of the season. With this in mind Keith pushed hard but so did those around him and as places were exchanged and this would be the pattern for the whole eight laps with Keith managing to take a solid 25th.

Keith and the team would like to take this opportunity to thank all the sponsors and supporters that have helped them throughout the season and hope to see you all back on board for next season. Also if anyone wishes to join in with helping out with next season’s effort, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Pictures by Colin Hill

Pictures by Colin Hill