MOTORCYCLING: Philp and team-mate suffer frustrating weekend’s racing at Thruxton

Tommy Philp on track at Thruxton. Photo: Dave Yeomans
Tommy Philp on track at Thruxton. Photo: Dave Yeomans

It turned out to be a difficult weekend for the two DraperRacing riders as neither was able to bring points back to the team from Thruxton.

Tommy Philp, of East Kirkby, was riding in the sixth round of the British Supersport Championship but couldn’t quite find a good set-up for the tricky conditions on the fast and bumpy Hampshire circuit.

He qualified the Yamaha for a seventh row start to the short sprint race on Saturday but the hot weather conditions, coupled with the difficult track surface, made short work of the tyres and he completed the race in 21st position.

He started Sunday’s feature race from the ninth row, near to the back of the grid. But he got his head down and once his tyres had some warmth in them he began to reel in the riders ahead. He was riding well and circulating at the same pace as the leaders.

The 21-year-old was running at a consistent lap time of 1min 19sec and while his pace remained the same throughout the race, the riders ahead began to drop into the 1.20/1.21s.

In the final four laps, Tommy was circulating faster than the top five and made up three seconds to the riders ahead, completing the race in 21st place. In a twist of fate, two riders who finished ahead were disqualified after a post race check on their bikes and so Tommy was elevated to 19th place.

He said: “Considering I started the race from so far back, I was really pleased to make up so much ground. I made it such hard work for myself with such a low grid position but my lap times were on a par with the leaders so if I had started a lot further up the grid I would have been looking at a strong points finish.

“The bike worked well and so did the tyres in the feature race, so I am a little disappointed with 19th.

“I hope the 65 DraperRacing guests enjoyed their time at the track with us on Sunday to watch us race. It was a pleasure to meet them all.”

Meanwhile, Tommy’s team-mate Aaron Clarke was also struggling with the hot weather and lack of grip with his tyres. He began the Superstock 600 race from the eighth row and got away to a fantastic start. But as he went into turn three a rider ahead fell, taking another rider with him who in turn clipped Aaron and also took him down; an unfortunate early end to a race that held promise for the Lincolnshire rider from Kirton.

Aaron said: “I got a mega start and was heading towards a strong points finish but it was all over at turn three when I was taken down. I have hurt my ankle again and have a few bruises but otherwise I am ok.

“The bike has suffered only cosmetic damage which is a relief. I am so annoyed as once again it was not my fault. But that’s racing and we have to take the rough with the smooth.

“I have to thank the team at DraperRacing and our sponsors for their continued support. We will regroup at the next round and do our best to bring some points home to the team.”

The next round is at Brands Hatch over the weekend of August 5-7.