The British Moto3 season finally got underway last weekend, with round one of the HEL performance British Motostar Championship at Brands Hatch Indy. Jake Archer is again riding for the City Lifting Team for who he has finished runner-up in the championship over the last two seasons.
There were two free practice sessions on the 1.2 mile course on Friday in quite different conditions. In the morning session the track was wet but drying and ten minutes in Archer took the decision to come in and change the wet rear for a slick as a narrow dry racing line began to form. After waiting for conditions to further improve he went out and finished with a time of 51.818 and the fastest lap.
The track was dry for the second free practice session and lap times dropped further. Archer had a tougher battle this time with Liam Delves and his team mate Jack Scott pushing him hard. The City Lifting team had made some changes to the set up to avoid some front wheel bouncing Archer had experienced in FP1.
With around five minutes to go he was in second place behind Delves. Being the first round and highly motivated Archer managed to cut more than half a second off his previous best lap time to record a 49.237 and finish the day at the top of the timesheet.
The weather had become much warmer on Saturday and the track temperatures were probably double what they had been on Friday. At this point of the weekend the pressure was building. There were 38 bikes packed onto the short Indy circuit and it was Archer who set the pace early on in qualifying. Later in the session Archer struggled to find space and despite his 49.019 he was pipped to pole position by his team mate Jack Scott.
Jack Archer said, “Qualifying was a bit disappointing. There was a lot of traffic out there but I know we have the pace for the race.”
It was an exceptional race for Jake Archer despite having had a difficult start. He dropped to fifth position off the line. Whilst frustrating he kept calm and knew that he had the pace to work himself back to the front of the race. In fact, it only took him until the fifth lap. From there on Archer controlled the race pulling a two second gap over his rivals by the end of it. His fastets lap was a 49.116.
Archer started well and was running second behind his teammate by the end of the first lap. On the second he hit the front and although he broke away from the rest of the field his teammate, Jack Scott, managed to stay with him. By the eighth lap of twenty Archer and Scott were four seconds ahead of the field when they began to hit the first of the back markers. His teammate had the better luck when negotiating his way through them and re-took the lead. With four laps to go Archer made a mistake running too hot into Paddock Hill Bend and although he briefly regained first place he ran wide. He almost lost control as he ran over the cement dust that had been laid to cover a spillage from a previous race but did well to save the bike.
That small mistake was enough to enable his teammate to make a gap which Archer was unable to recover in the few laps remaining. Jake Archer went on to finish second. There was the consolation that in chasing Scott down his lap time of 48.921 beat the lap record that had stood since 2001.
After the first round Jake Archer leads the championship with 45 points. The next round is at Oulton Park on the 5-7 May.
Jake Archer said,” I was delighted with race one. Everything worked to plan and we got the result we deserved.” When asked about the second race he said, “The lap records a bonus but I’m very disappointed as that silly mistake cost me the race. I’m happy to come away with a win and a second and go on to Oulton [Park] and see what we can do there. Thanks to my sponsors and to Ryan Saxelby, RS Racing, for a superb bike.”
Photo: Kerry Rawson