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.
Buildbase BMW’s Lee Jackson escaped disaster on the start line after stalling on the line, only to regroup and charge through from dead last to seventh place. The Lincoln lad secured a front row grid spot only to stall at the start of the race, in an exact re-run of teammate Kiyonari’s start line error at the first round of the year.
The apprentice plumber started the weekend off well, ending the free practice session just 0.9 seconds off of the pace setter, champion to-be Danny Buchan, in third place. He continued this form into the first qualifying session on friday afternoon, where the talented teenager provisionally took third place on the grid. He went back out to try and jump further up the timesheets only to crash out, fortunately unhurt. This was to be become his permanent spot on the grid after Saturday morning saw delay after delay due to heavy rain, which eventually lead to the cancelation of Jackson’s second Superstock 1000 qualifying session.
The race on Sunday saw Jackson confident of a strong run and challenging for a win but that soon wasn’t to be. His BMW HP4 jumped out of first gear when he tried to charge off the line leaving him stranded on the grid as everyone flew past him. A scary moment for all watching but luckily he escaped without incident. This left him two seconds back off last place as they went through the first corner but he quickly recuperated and began fighting his way back through.
He came through to eleventh place by half race distance and quickly charged past a trio of riders battling for eighth place in the space of two corners. He dived under the inside of two at Village before taking eighth at the following Loop. The diminutive rider had a gap of three seconds to bridge in order to pick up seventh place and that’s exactly what he did. With four laps to go he slipped back seventh place on the brakes and picked up some valuable points from a near impossible position.
With just one round remaining, Jackson has confirmed his place on the overall championship podium. He sealed third place in the title standings after the nine points he secured at Silverstone.
The weekend started off well, with me rounding out the first session in third place. I was already getting down to some very good times as well. Later in the day it was time for qualifying and having made some minor changes I was looking forward to getting out on track. The green flag was shown and I was straight out and into a rhythm. I managed to get up to third place before I came in, then going back out on track only to jump up to second. But then a lap later I lost the rear and unfortunately crashed. Luckily myself and the bike slid across the floor unscathed and this left me in third place at the end of the session. The rain came for Saturday and this meant a lot of the track action was cancelled including my second qualifying, which was really annoying. So onto Sunday morning warm up and it was very cold, with no need to push but we managed a good session, ending up in second place.
I was soon sat on the grid and I felt I could push for the win, this soon wasn’t to be. As the lights went out my bike jumped out of 1st gear, which left me sat on the grid whilst everyone was flying past me. Luckily I wasn’t collected but I had to wait til my engine revs had dropped before getting into first gear and getting going. Leaving the first corner, I was two seconds behind the guy in last place so I had a lot of work to do. I made sure I got my head down and pushed on. With five laps to go I got into eighth place, chasing down seventh, which I managed to catch and eventually finish in seventh place from dead last. The race was real good fun coming through the pack but it wasn’t the ideal situation to be in. I’d just like to thank my team for an awesome bike and top work all weekend. Also I’d like to thank all my sponsors, supporters, friends and family for everything you do for me because I have now secured third place in the championship.
– Lee Jackson
Photo courtesy of Jon Jessopp Photography, showing Lee Jackson (14) in action.