The eighth round of the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship at Brands Hatch turned into a gremlin filled nightmare for Tom Oliver and his Morpeth-based SGR Racing Yamaha team.
From the outset Oliver found himself languishing in 21st position during first qualifying, an unusual position for the talented rider and capable north east team.
After a few changes to the bike overnight he moved up just slightly in second qualifying, leaving him in 20th place on the grid.
As unusual issues with the machine continued the team worked hard to rectify the problem and in morning warm-up Oliver was in sixth position. Feeling the bike had improved the decision was taken to race.
Off the line Oliver got away well and was in 16th place an impressive, start gaining four places.
He soon found his rhythm and progressed to 12th place. Unfortunately, as the race continued he was unable to keep with the group he had been racing with and dropped off the pack finishing in an uncharacteristic 17th place, and sadly just outside the points.
Oliver said: “I wasn’t expecting to be so far down the grid after our great showing at Thruxton. You just don’t know when things like this can kick in.
“We all worked hard together to rectify the problems and I know we will have sorted it out by Cadwell Park. I can’t wait to get to the mountain circuit.”
Stephen Kinghorn, team owner, said: “It really has been a tough weekend. The bike has been running sweet all year and was fastest through the speed traps at Thruxton.
“To come to Brands Hatch and have a wealth of issues was unexpected. All we can do is regroup and look to the next round at Cadwell Park at the end of August.”
The ninth round of the Pirelli National Superstock 600 class takes place at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire on August 27 to 29.