Clarke edges closer to second spot

Aaron Clarke in action. Photo: Dave Yeomans.
Aaron Clarke in action. Photo: Dave Yeomans.

Draper Racing riders Aaron Clarke and Tommy Philp were at Silverstone for a round of their respective championships.

Clarke finished fourth in the National Superstock 600 race and Philp completed the short sprint race on Saturday in the British Supersport championship in 11th, but retired from race two with an engine failure.

The racing was transferred from the International circuit because of the problems with the track at the MotoGP round two weeks earlier and took place on the short national track, which made things difficult for all riders as, being the first time on the short circuit, there was no set up from previous races.

Clarke, from Coningsby, began his race on Sunday from the third row and held station in ninth place for a couple of laps before making his move forward.

By lap 10 of 22 he was up to fourth and involved in a fierce battle for second place.

On lap 16 he made it up into second place but was pushed back to third by Korie McGreevy one lap later and, with three laps remaining, he was demoted back to fourth by Aaron Clifford.

Despite his best efforts, Clarke (pictured) was unable to make a pass on either rider and settled for a very close fourth place at the flag.

The really good news is that he has reduced the gap to Joe Sheldon-Shaw to just one championship point in the chase for the runner-up spot and, with two races left in the campaign, he could easily end his season in second place.

East Kirkby’s Philp secured his best qualifying of the season in fifth place and began the 18-lap sprint race on Saturday from the second row.

He was seventh on the first lap but then began to slide down the order to 10th on lap six.

But he was always very close to the riders ahead and was ready to make a move forward on the final lap when he was pushed wide at the last left hander and was overtaken by the three riders right behind him.

He crossed the finish line in 13th place but, because two riders ahead were in a different class, Philp was awarded 11th place and five championship points which bring his total to 63.

Starting the feature race on Sunday from the fifth row Philp was running in eighth place before dropping back as his Yamaha developed a problem.

He retired out of 13th place on lap 14 at turn five with a blown engine.

It is a quick turnaround for the team as the next round is at Oulton Park at the weekend (September 14-16).