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WSS Aragon 2013: Forward momentum continues for Kennedy
17 April 2013 By Neil Morrison
Dubliner Jack Kennedy continued his impressive start to his debut season in world championship racing by claiming a hard fought seventh place in Sunday's Supersport race at Aragon.
Kennedy had endured a tough weekend before the race, qualifying in 16th, but was involved in a race long seven-man duel that stretched all the way to a battle just on the fringes of the podium.
After a good start he made steady progress through his group, and although aided by a crash involving Florian Marino and Rafael de Rosa two laps from the end – and problems for Sam Lowes ahead -, a crafty move on Vladimir Leonov on the final lap gave him his best world championship result to date.
“I'm more than happy, especially after where we started, 16th on the grid. We took a little bit of a gamble going for another different set up for the race but it paid off and worked well. It was a crazy race out there. I was lucky enough not to get caught up with any of the crashes or commotion but really happy.
“I just stayed on the back of that group and plugged away and the positions started coming to me. I was happy to get by Leonov at the end there as well. It was a tough race, probably the longest race I've had in this heat but we're ready for the next one”
The result tasted all the sweeter as he ended just over six seconds behind third place finisher Luca Scassa, showing a clear progression from Phillip Island.
“I could see the front group for a good while down the start and finish straight so it's good to know we weren't that far off the front pace.”
Kennedy had been at a disadvantage throughout the weekend. Some of his competitor's teams familiarised themselves with the undulating 3.3 mile Aragon circuit at a test two weeks ago. The team seemed particularly unsure of race set up after Saturday's final qualifying session but a gamble in morning warm up paid off.
“It was in morning warm-up [when we found it]. We went backwards [in qualifying] trying to find the right set up. Missing that three-day test here really hurt us against everyone else. This track is easy to learn but very hard to go fast. It's very technical and it takes a lot of laps and a lot of knowledge around here.”
He and the Russian-based Rivamoto team now head to Assen, a track Kennedy is familiar with after finishing a close second in the first British Supersport race there last year. He isn't afraid to set himself high goals and he remains confident he and the team can continue their forward momentum.
“We're looking forward to Assen next up, because I know that track. I'll take it as it comes but I'd like to keep moving forward. We were tenth last time [in Australia], seventh this time so I'd like to maybe be in the top five at Assen, that'd be great.”