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Kennedy 'lucky to finish' maiden WSS race
26 February 2013
British Supersport Championship runner-up Jack Kennedy secured a top ten finish on his World Supersport debut at Phillip Island despite encountering severe tyre issues in Australia.
Kennedy, who is competing for the Russian Rivamoto Honda team, had qualified in a terrific fifth position on the second row of the grid on his maiden visit to the awe-inspiring Aussie circuit.
The Dublin rider was lying fourth in the early stages of the race until his Pirelli tyres began to blister, forcing the Irishman to drop down the order.
Kennedy also experienced a technical issue with his CBR600RR and following the race, Rivamoto team manager and former Grand Prix racer Jeremy McWilliams said the WSS rookie was 'lucky to finish at all'.
The 25-year-old was satisfied with tenth position but felt he was denied the chance of a higher finish due to the tyre issues that proved such a headache for competitors at Phillip Island.
“I was happy to get a top ten finish at my first World Supersport race but a little frustrated to slip back out of the lead group when my tyre went away.
“I had a good battle trying to hang on to eighth place but then the sensor went and that just made it too difficult,” he said.
“All in all we had a great weekend and I'm happy with the progress me and the team have made so far.”
Team manager McWilliams said there were 'plenty of positives' to take from Kennedy's performance at the opening round of the championship.
“We had a tyre issue this morning in the warm-up - our first problem all week - and then again from mid-race distance,” said McWilliams.
“We weren't the only ones with severe blistering but it hampered Jack's progress from mid-race on.
“During the last couple of laps he lost a wheel sensor that caused the bike to cut out, so he was lucky to finish at all but he is a bit disappointed not to score a top six as he had the speed all week,” he added.
“Still, we came away lots of positives, points and no crashes over the test and weekend so we are lucky compared to some others.”
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