McElnea: The team is gutted.

Rob McElnea, team principal for Rob Mac Racing, has admitted he is 'gutted' Karl Harris has been forced to withdraw from the Brands Hatch meeting just as it looked like he was mounting a challenge for victory over the weekend.

Following a season beset by various injury woes and mechanical dramas, Harris was determined to give his year to forget one final flourish with a strong performance around the Kent circuit.

Going on to top two of the three practice sessions, Harris was looking a strong bet for pole position come qualifying before it emerged he had been forced to withdraw for personal reasons.

Although it isn't clear what these reasons are, Harris was replaced on the Yamaha at the last-minute by new Henderson R1 Cup Champion Jon Kirkham, who went on to qualify an impressive ninth.

Having endured dismal luck throughout the year, McElnea was devastated to see the last opportunity of a good result with Harris this season go wanting.

"The whole team is totally gutted,” he said. “We were all on such a high, Karl had been riding so well, consistently fast all weekend. We wish Karl well and hope things get sorted for him, it's such a shame that he won't get the chance to end this nightmare season on a high.”

Even so, McElnea was delighted to see Kirkham step up to the Superbike and prove quick straight away.

“Jon did an amazing job, to jump on the Superbike with 10 minutes notice and pull off a qualifying position like that has astounded us. Obviously he is race sharp from his Superstock and Henderson R1 Cup duties, this provides us with real proof that the R1 Cup works for these guys.

“It's great to see another young rider come up through our ranks, fingers crossed for Jon's performance tomorrow but we have every faith in him to do us proud."

Related Pictures

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BSB Brands Hatch. Qualifying. Roll for Pole. Jon Kirkham
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Stuart Easton, ePayMe Yamaha, [Credit:]
Stuart Easton, ePayMe Yamaha, [Credit:]
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Stuart Easton, ePayMe Yamaha, [Credit:]
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John Hopkins, ePayMe Yamaha, BSB [Credit:]

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james ewart

October 16, 2008 9:45 PM

re post by jason,i find it hard to beleive its as bad as you say.surely top team managers are not going to let any rider(who they know or suspect to dabble in illegal substances)anywhere near asuperbike,you would not let them wash it never mind ride it. And i also think any other riders who knew of this going on would bring it to someone,s attention rather than be racing alongside them,for the sake of their own safety.I certainly would.

Gill Boakes - Unregistered

October 14, 2008 2:18 PM

Poor Karl, whatever the rumours are it doesn't take away the facts that he is still a top guy, a great racer and always has time for a chat with the fans. I really wish him well for the next season and he will come back stronger. Gill xxx :)

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