Colin Appleyard Racing Virgin Mobile Aiwa rider Sean Emmett had an unlucky end to the thirteenth and final round of the MCN British Superbike Championship season, crashing out while leading race one.

From the first practice session on Friday morning to the end of qualifying on Saturday, Emmett and the team were focused on just one objective - to find the perfect race setup.

After a strong qualifying performance, just missing out on a front row start, Emmett would start the final two races from fifth place on the grid.

After qualifying Emmett was upbeat about his prospects: "Ironically from a race point of view its probably better to be on the clean side of the track rather than the front row. We have a great race setup and are more than ready."

The opening few laps were always going to be crucial to the outcome, not only to the race but the championship. Crossing the line in fourth place after the opening lap, Emmett put in some blistering laps and stunning passing maneuvers to move up to second by the sixth lap. With his title rival Steve Hislop in the lead, Emmett knew he had no option but to pass Hislop early in the race to keep his chance of the title alive.

A breath taking maneuver down the Craner Curves and into the old hairpin saw Sean cleanly passed Hislop and into the lead. With the Colin Appleyard Racing Virgin Mobile Aiwa Yamaha R1 once again proving every bit a match to the Ducati's, Emmett immediately started to pull out a lead. Exiting the Esses on lap nine the rear tyre lost sideways traction for a split second, but it was enough to launch Sean into a massive highside resulting in a broken left collarbone and wrist.

Speaking from the medical center Emmett was equally annoyed as much as he was in pain, "The plan was really coming together. The bike was awesome; I was pulling away and feeling really comfortable. All weekend I haven't had a moment there, so I really don't know what went wrong."

Although in a great deal of pain Emmett was eager to make sure he acknowledged the team. "This has been a tough season for me and I really wanted to take the fight into the last race as much for the team as for myself. The Colin Appleyard Racing Virgin Mobile Aiwa team has been awesome. They came to the rescue when it looked like I wasn't even going to have a ride for the last five rounds. I also have to acknowledge the sacrifice that Shane and Paul made, giving up one bike for me to ride. I remember what it was like trying to make the break through, both of them are very talented and I'm sure they will make it into the big time."

The last word of the season went to team owner Colin Appleyard: "What a great season! Of course this is a disappointing end and we hope Sean recovers soon. At the start of the year I thought I had some idea of how it would work out, but I was in for some big surprises. Reflecting on my objectives I can honestly say that we exceeded our expectations and it goes without saying that my sincere thanks go to all the team and our partners. I have a lot to think about over the winter as we prepare for next year, but my overriding thought is just what an unbelievably good championship this is."

While this year's championship is over, the hard work for next year has already begun...



Loading Comments...