The Padgett's British Superbike team were left wondering what might have been at Thruxton where, despite promising starts to the weekend from both riders, they were left disappointed after a series of setbacks conspired to stop them achieving their best results of the year.

Mixed fortunes in qualifying saw a supreme effort from regular rider Adrian Coates rewarded with eleventh fastest time and a place in his first Superpole, while team mate John Crockford, although heading the time-sheets on the Friday, was left well down the grid because of an engine that was mysteriously down on power in the dry sessions.

Superpole proved a baptism of fire for Coates who struggled to make the most of his super sticky qualifying tyres and ultimately started from 16th place.

Crockford's race day got off to a perfect start with a win in the Superstock race but then saw him starting from the back of the pack in the first Superbike race as a result of failing to swap bikes quick enough to make the grid in time for the sighting lap.

Once underway Coates immediately fell victim to a slipping clutch, "I was completely off the pace but I knew there was a chance the race would be red-flagged because it was starting to rain and when that happened the team pulled out all the stops to fix the clutch in time for the re-start," said the Ulsterman.

The re-started race saw the Padgett's pairing put in two strong performances but both lost out after the results were aggregated with the first part of the race, Crockford finishing 11th having been tenth on the road, with Coates finally classified as 21st as a result of losing so much time before the stoppage.

Race two proved even less lucky than the first when both riders were forced to retire before the half-way point; Coates' bike suffering from gear selection problems and Crockford having to pit because of a damaged radiator.

"It was a real shame because after the first race I knew I could get into the top ten," said Southampton-born Crockford, "the bike was working so well we didn't bother changing anything between the races but then we got a stone through the rad and that was that."

With the next round at Cadwell Park in two week's time, the team hope further testing will see a change in fortunes and allow them to achieve their goal of regular top ten finishes by the end of their first season in BSB.



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