It was a successful weekend for Lee Jackson wildcarding in the tenth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at the iconic TT Circuit Assen, with the Lincolnshire youngster bagging an impressive tenth place in Sunday’s first race.
Having never ridden the 2.542 mile Dutch circuit before, Jackson spent Friday’s two practice sessions familiarising himself with the track aboard his Buildbase BMW S 1000 RR. Starting the weekend with a lap time of 1’42.352 in the first free practice, the 19-year-old improved by over three seconds come qualifying on Saturday where he set a commendable time of 1’39.285 to qualify in 22nd place.
Sunday’s first race was held in difficult conditions after a heavy rain shower drenched the circuit shortly before proceedings were set to get underway. Keen not to take any unnecessary risks, Jackson opted for the wet rear tyre and made great progress in the opening stages. Finding himself in the top ten by lap eight, he pulled a gap on the riders behind and started to think about making further progress. However with heavy rain starting to fall once again at the mid-point, the Lincoln-based teenager took it steady to cross the line in tenth place taking his best ever superbike result in just his fourth round on the bike.
Starting from 16th in the second outing in dry conditions Jackson had to take evasive action to avoid other riders’ incidents in the first few turns. After that he soon settled into a rhythm and began to fight through the pack. Once again he found himself on the back of the battle for tenth place, this time behind his Buildbase BMW team mate James Westmoreland. Suffering with a small brake issue, he made several mistakes in the closing stages losing a position to Dutch wildcard Kevin Valk. He eventually crossed the line to take three points in a respectable 12th place.
I felt comfortable from the off in race one so I got my head down chipping away at those in front. A couple of people crashed out which helped me out and I felt really comfortable. When it started to rain again I had a bit of a gap on those behind me so thought it’d be best to bring it home in tenth. The tyres had pretty much had it, the rear had worn so much so it would have been a huge risk to push further. It was good fun though, I really enjoyed it.
I didn’t get the best of starts in the second race but a few people got caught up in the first few corners so again I got my head down, made up a few more positions and got on the back of the top ten. I felt comfortable in the dry and was sat behind my team mate James Westmoreland. I made a few little mistakes as I had a small brake problem but that wasn’t something I could change. When Valk came past me I just concentrated on bringing her home in a decent position.
“It’s good to be inside the points and to have shown that I can be strong in both dry and wet conditions. I’m really happy with how the weekend went and would like to thank the team for giving me the opportunity this weekend by running a third rider.
– Lee Jackson
Jackson will be back out in his regular series, the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 championship, at Silverstone between 3-5 October as he looks to add to his already-impressive 2014 podium haul.