It was a fantastic weekend for the Andover area as Thruxton played host to the British Superbike circus that visits this time of year. Huge numbers of fans made their way to the fastest circuit on the British Superbike Calendar to enjoy a weekend of action packed racing.
For Andover residents it was a great opportunity to see 18-year-old Jake Archer, who lives in the town and is currently leading the British Moto3 class.
The first race ended in disappointment for Archer after another rider barged him off the track in the final chicane on the ultimate lap. However, in the second he finished on the podium to the delight of the local fans.
Jake Archer got the weekend off to the best of starts setting the fastest lap time of the day in free practice one on Friday. Although he was unable to match that performance in FP2, where he finished third his 1:21.048 was enough to end the day leading.
The thirty-minute qualifying session was very competitive with the first five riders finishing just nine tenths of a second apart. Archer set the pace early on before dropping down to third mid-session. His teammate Jack Scott then put in a late fast lap under the current lap record. But Archer hadn’t finished and on his last flying lap he went on to finish with a time of 1:19.955 and take pole position for race one.
Archer was one of the main protagonists in a hugely exciting first race of the weekend. He didn’t make a good start dropping to sixth on the first lap. He soon recovered and it became 12 laps of non-stop position changes with Archer always in the hunt for the victory. On just the fourth lap he set a new Moto3 lap record a 1:19.842, more than four-tenths quicker than the previous Thruxton record.
On the final lap Archer was in amongst a group of seven riders, all fighting for the race victory. As they approached the famous chicane at Club another rider tried an over ambitious move that sent Archer skittling off into the dirt. Fortunately, Archer suffered a sore ankle and whilst the culprit received a twenty second penalty Archer scored zero points.
Having broken the lap record in race one Archer started on pole. However, his ankle injury was more painful than had been first thought. Perhaps this was why he didn’t make a good start dropping down to sixth position. Pushing hard he was soon into second place but his teammate Jack Scott had already started to breakaway. On a track where slipstream is an important factor Archer was unable to get away from the other riders in the chasing group which enabled his teammate to extend his lead. For the crowd it was exciting racing as Archer broke the lap record again with a 1:19.795 and four riders battled for the two remaining podium spots. Positions were changing lap by lap, corner by corner and the slipstream effect saw a rider move from fourth to second and then back again. On the penultimate lap Archer overtook for second position through the final chicane and tried hard to make a gap. However, the three riders behind quickly closed him down and as they went through the same chicane for the final time another rider came out ahead and Jake Archer crossed the line third. It was a valiant effort considering the injury he had sustained the day before.
Jake Archer said,” Very disappointing weekend at Thruxton. Being taken out in race one and scoring no points isn’t what we wanted. Then having to ride race 2 with an injury to my ankle wasn’t Ideal. We managed to get as many points as we could to try and salvage something from the weekend. Hopefully I be fully fit for Cadwell and come back stronger.”
Jake Archer now has 211 points and leads the championship by 37 points. The next round is at Cadwell Park on the weekend of the 17 -19 August.