Jake Archer continued his improvement on the Kovara Projects Kalex Moto2 machine with a superb qualifying performance put him 15th on the combined British Supersport and British GP2 grid. However, a technical problem on the first lap of the race spoilt would have otherwise been a successful weekend. Having had to pull in the pits on lap two in race one, he was forced to star race two from the back of the grid.
The Knockhill circuit had received a layer of new tarmac since last year and the first two free practice sessions would prove important for all the riders in setting the bike up. In the morning Archer set a lap time of 51.336 before reducing his time to 50.853 in the afternoon. The put him 18th as a sunny day one came to an end.
The morning brought sunshine again to the Fife circuit. The 24 riders of the British Supersport and British GP2 classes got their qualifying session underway late morning. With 14 laps completed Archer had clocked a best time of 50.974. Archer returned to the garage to give feed back to the team and make some final adjustments. He then went back out to put in another long stint of 15 laps. Pushing hard he improved his lap time to 50.206 which put him 15th on the combined grid and fifth in the British GP2 class.
Jake Archer was keen to get going despite the wet conditions after his superb qualifying on Saturday. The Sprint race had been held over after the sunshine at Knockhill in the morning gave over to heavy rain later in the day. As soon as the race got underway it became immediately apparent Archer had a problem. The rain had got into the pit limiter button which stops you speeding when you are going in and out of the pit lane. Unfortunately, his best qualifying of the year so far came to nothing as he has forced to cruise into the pits to retire.
It was going to be difficult to get a good result in race two as the grid positions were determined by your fastest lap in race one. Having been unable to complete a lap at race pace he had to start from 23rd and dead last on the combined British Supersport and British GP2 grid.
Halfway through the 26 lap feature race progressed Archer managed to catch fellow GP2 rider Jorel Boerboom. The two fought for seventh position in their class. Despite his best efforts Archer was unable to find a way through and had to settle for sixth.
Jake Archer said, “It might sound daft when you look at the race results but it was a really good weekend. Our qualifying was superb and when I saw the pace of the riders in the wet first race I knew I could have done really well. As it was we had the unforeseen problem with the pit limiter button. That really compromised our weekend because in race two I had to start last on the grid. Yes, the results were far from ideal but we know we are getting things right with bike set up and I’m much more confident in riding it.”
Round six of the British Superbike Championship and its support series is next in action at the Snetterton circuit 19 – 21 July before the local round at Thruxton on 2 – 4 August.
Photo: Bonnie Lane