The second round of the British and National Championships were held at Snetterton in Norfolk over the weekend. For the young men of the ACU Academy, it was a weekend of mixed fortunes...

In the Supersport 600 class, 16 year old Academy star and 2002 Academy Rider of the Year Tom Sykes was in his usual scintillating form in qualifying, putting his privately entered Northpoint Yamaha in fifth position.

But on race day, some fairing bashing at the first turn resulted in Sykes - and a number of other riders - being eliminated in an accident that caused the race to be red flagged.

Although Tom walked back to the pits, his right shoulder was giving him a lot of pain and the team decided not to put him out in the restart.

Fortunately, better luck awaited some of the Academy's 125 racers...

14-year-old Tommy Bridewell, riding his UK Racing Honda, became the youngest every poll setter when he out qualified Michael Wilcox by over 0.7secs. Also on the front row was Academy new boy Rob Guiver.

The race proved to be a thrilling battle between Wilcox and Bridewell and experience verses youth, as the battle for the lead changed time and again as both riders pushed themselves to the limit. The result was to fall in Wilcox's favour, as he took the chequered flag by literally the with of a Dunlop Tyre.

But whilst the two front men streaked away from the pack, the battle for third was even more ferocious with 6 riders battling for the final podium position.

Only two laps from the end, the frantic action was decided by a brilliant move from Padgett's rider Daniel Coutts who moved ahead of the pack to take a very well deserved third place.

Further back, Team UK1 Racings Jon Lee was battling from a 23rd position on the grid after a nightmare of mechanical problems in qualifying. A superb ride saw the 15 year old from Coventry finish 12th.

With two Academy members on the podium in the 125 race, the weekend was almost complete... but R6 Cup racer Cal Crutchlow had other ideas.

In what was without doubt the most exciting race of the day, the 17-year-old came back from a trip across the grass to take the lead on the final lap and win a brilliant race.



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