High hopes started the weekend for Lee Jackson on his home turf for the MCE British Superbike Championship. But a crash in race one ended the number 14 rider’s hopes of a podium finish at Cadwell Park near Louth in North East Lincolnshire.
Jackson had been running consistent times on the track during practice, making the top five at almost every stage. And while he narrowly missed out on the front starting grid, he still secured a personal best of 1’26.209 overtaking Leon Haslam’s lap record and eventually qualifying in fourth place.
Yet it was in the first race where issues became apparent. Racing well at the front lines, Jackson had a healthy, strong beginning and took the track at a good pace. But disaster soon struck and he lost the front end of his bike on lap three at Charlies. Though unhurt, the BMW bike had clearly seen better days and needed to be rebuilt by the team for race two.
The Buildbase BMW team worked solidly throughout the afternoon to make sure Jackson was able to come back out smiling to a home crowd. Hopes dashed, the number 14 rider refused to be pulled down and finished in 11th after starting in 16th place on the grid.
“We had the pace to take our best ever result and even fight for the podium this weekend, so to end it all with a crash at that point in the race is devastating,” Jackson said. “I hit a bump at Charlies that I’ve not hit all weekend and that was enough for me to just tuck the front. And that was it, the bike was completely destroyed.”
Buildbase BMW team manager Steve Hicken said: “It was a mixed weekend for Lee and Richard. The weekend started positive and we were set to battle at the front. It’s a shame the practice didn’t follow through into the racing. A few unfortunate events set us back. We managed to re-build the bike from Lee’s crash and get him back up and running for race two. He rode well at a tricky circuit and was the second BMW to cross the line, coming in just shy of top ten. We have some areas to work on read for the next round. I hope to get Richard back into the top six and Lee challenging at the front end.”
Undeterred, Jackson made sure to thank his fellow team for working so shrewdly on the day. He said: “Thank you to the team for doing a great job all weekend and rebuilding my bike for race two. After a fantastic start to the weekend I’m gutted I couldn’t get my first podium and gain some more solid points!”
The ninth round of the MCE British Superbike Championship takes place at Oulton Park on September 9 – 11. Make sure to keep up to date with Jackson and his Buildbase BMW teammates on Twitter and Facebook.
Image Courtesy // Double Red Photography