Padgett's British Supersport rider Adrian Coates picked up a useful 13 championship points with fourth place this weekend while team-mate John Crockford's run of bad luck at Snetterton continued when a broken chain on the fifth lap robbed him of a top six finish.

2002 Superstock runner up Crockford said: "I'm absolutely gutted. Everything was perfect. I'd just passed Karl [Harris] and set a new lap record. I was really comfortable on the bike and then... no drive. I'm sure I could have won the race, but instead I'm going home with no points.

"It's really disappointing after all the hard work the team have put in. That's four years running I've failed to finish at Snetterton, but it's Thruxton next and I won there last year, so as long as the pattern continues we should be looking good for that first win of the season."

A race long battle with Simon Andrews made it difficult for 2001 British 250cc Champion Coates to stay on terms with the leaders, eventually finishing 3.5 seconds behind third-place-man Rob Frost.

Coates said "I'm pleased with fourth place, it's one better than the last race, so I should be ok for a third at Thruxton! I'm getting more comfortable with the bike and the tyres, but I'm sure there's plenty more to come yet.

"Spending the whole race keeping ahead of Simon didn't help, once I'd lost the tow from the guys in front it was always going to be difficult to make up the ground again. Considering it's my first year in Supersport, third place in the championship behind two experienced 600 riders like Karl and Michael [Laverty] is a good start. Consistency is everything when you've got a field as strong as this, so all the time I can finish in the top six, I know I've got a shot at the championship."

Team manager Clive Padgett is looking forward to next weekend's round at Thruxton: "This is a new class for Padgett's, so, apart from John's mishap, I'm really pleased with the way the year has started. Adrian's improving all the time and John's confidence is sky-high, especially after setting a new lap record here. It's a good job Thruxton's only a week away, I don't think I could stand the anticipation for any longer!"

 

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