Smaller spare bike brings fifth and sixth places
BRITISH SUPERBIKE SUPPORT SERIES, DUCATI TRI-OPTIONS CUP, ROUND 7 SILVERSTONE
After another long gap since the last outing, Rugby racer Keith ‘Bugsy’ Jaggard and his fellow Ducati Tri-Options Cup competitors converged on Northamptonshire’s Silverstone circuit for the penultimate round of the 2017 championship, writes Colin Hill.
On a cloudy Friday afternoon, with a wet track, the riders headed out for their first session. Keith set about working on his settings as the forecast was looking to be wet all weekend but after four laps the bike developed a problem which meant ‘Bugsy’ had to head back to the pits. After a little tinkering with the bike the problem was diagnosed as terminal, thus effectively ending his weekend. Deciding this wouldn’t be the end of his weekend Keith quickly headed for home, making the 60-mile round trip to collect his smaller spare bike so at least he would get some race action.
After the early afternoon drama of having to collect his spare bike and getting that set up in time for the last track session of the afternoon, Keith once again headed to track, this time for qualifying and despite the drama managed to qualify the bike 10th in class on a wet track.
Waking up Saturday morning to bright blue skies and sunshine was a relief but they knew they’d be in for a long day with their session being the last of the day. The forecast did not bode well for later in the day, with heavy rain due in just after lunch and set to stay. Keith would spend the day sorting out his bike and entertaining his guests whilst visiting fellow riders’ awnings.
With the time now upon them to get down to the serious business of racing, but thankfully the rain had stopped leaving the riders with only a wet track to deal with and no further rain.
Despite the dramatic change around of machinery ‘Bugsy’ actually felt comfortable as the lights went out and immediately got into the job of making up time and places on the track. With the race only being an eight-lap dash opportunities to move up the standings would be few and far between with all the bikes being equal, nevertheless by the chequered flag he had managed to leapfrog five places from his start position, finishing in an impressive fifth place.
Race two would give the Ducati riders their first opportunity of the weekend to ride the track in the dry, so lap times were expected to fall dramatically and once again Keith would go all out to improve the position from which he started.
Once again, as with race one, the race distance was a mere eight laps so Keith would have to pick his opportunity to pass other riders carefully. With the eight laps again passing quickly Keith managed to elevate himself to a respectable sixth position, which alongside the fifth of race one and slashing his personal best laptime by over a second, meant the weekend would finish on a high despite the earlier problems.
The championship goes international for its final round as the riders pack up and head to Holland’s Assen circuit which is nicknamed ‘The Cathedral of Speed’ a venue that sits highly on his list of favourite circuits at which he has a lot of local support.