Kev Coghlan was left to rue what could have been after being taken out of the World Supersport race in Aragon whilst leading.
Coghlan was vying for a first win in the class a day after claiming his first pole position in a tight four-way scrap that included Jules Cluzel, Michael van der Mark and Kenan Sofuoglu when the Frenchman took him out at the final chicane on the twelfth lap.
Luckily, the number DMC Panavto Yamaha R6 wasn't badly damaged and Coghlan remounted in fifth place and completed the final three laps to salvage eleven points, enough to take him to the top of the championship standings.
“Well, I've been better,” he told Crash.net
. “It's been mega all weekend. We've been top three or four every session. We've been feeling really strong, really comfortable. In the race I thought I'd hang back a bit at the start and watch what the other guys were doing and leave it until the last few laps before pushing on.
“We hit the front and started pushing. One lap before I felt Cluzel had to make a bit of a lunge there to get past. Then on that lap I tipped in and though, 'Ok, he's not getting past now.' Then all of a sudden I got knocked from behind. We were pushing on a bit in those last few laps and he must have been struggling to keep up. He knew if he hadn't made a move there then I was going to go.
The move was all the more frustrating as Coghlan insisted he had been saving his tyres throughout the race in the hope of upping the pace in the final laps.
“All round the bike was feeling strong. I was picking the bike up a bit early [out of corners] and not forcing the rear tyre too much to keep it for the last few laps. Even them last few laps [before the crash] I felt that, if I had to, I could have pushed on a little more. I didn't get the chance in the end.”
For several laps before the incident the race had followed a similar pattern. Coghlan passed Cluzel at the chicane, only to be overtaken straight away going into turn one. The Scot acknowledges he wasn't overly concerned by the Frenchman's pace at that stage of the race.
“At that point I wasn't too bothered. I was happy to let it play out. I could have defended more if I had to. When it came to five or six laps to go I decided it was time to push on. That's what it looked like. He knew if he didn't make a pass every lap I was going to check out. He was stretching a bit too much for that.”
Still, Coghlan has taken heart from two stirring performances in 2014 and believes he and the DMC Panavto-Yamaha team can carry their form on to Assen.
“We've jumped on the Yamaha and it's been mega everywhere we went. I can't thank DMC enough [as] they've been working so hard. The package is great and we're fast straight away at every track. Hopefully it's a sign of things to come for the full year. Assen is another place I like. It can be a bit iffy with the weather but that's the same for everyone so we'll see how we get on.”
The eleven points he got for fifth place finish saw him jump to the top of the standings, two ahead of Florian Marino. Considering what happened on track, Coghlan acknowledges the result could have been worse.
“It's not bad in the end. We managed to pick the bike up and finish fifth and we're now leading the championship. For crashing out of the race that's not a bad result.”