T.D.B Recruit.com Yamaha riders, Paul Young and Jon Kirkham had a successful first outing at the 2.2 mile Irish Mondello Park circuit this weekend [20th July].

A top ten finish for the experienced Aussie Paul Young and hard fought 11th and 12th places for the eighteen-year-old Kirkham, coupled with great Irish hospitality made for a great weekend.

Separated by just 0.08 of a second in qualifying, the pair lined up alongside each other on the fourth row of the grid for the start of a shortened 17 lap first race. The tight first corner hairpin, just a few hundred yards from the start, produced the expected bumping and barging with Kirkham being forced out wide by an overly aggressive manoeuvre by local wild card Hilton Hincks.

Young was quick to take advantage of the melee and snuck through to make up a position. However Young's luck was not to last as he suffered an electrical failure on lap 11 halting his progress. Kirkham set about making up the lost ground smashing his previous best lap time by 0.4 of a second to fight his way back to 12th place.

For race two, held over the full 18 laps, Derbyshire based Jon Kirkham was determined not to get muscled out into the first corner. A calculated start plan paid off as he held his position on the opening few laps.

With Mark Heckles in sight, the WSB championship-wining Honda was just the inspiration that Kirkham needed to put in some of his fastest laps of the weekend.

After an incident packed first lap, Young had some hard work to do to fight his way back up to within four seconds of his younger team-mate by the 14th lap.

A harder rear tyre choice gave Young the edge over his team-mate towards the end of the race. On the last lap he just squeezed by Kirkham on the penultimate turn to the cheers of the huge crowd, finishing in tenth place just 0.3 of a second in front of Kirkham in eleventh.

Young after his first trip to Mondello Park commented: "Overall I've have had a reasonable weekend. Setting up the bike to cope with the 160 B.H.P and the bumps on such a tight circuit has been a huge challenge and the team has worked really hard. The circuit is very twisty and very physically demanding with no room to rest at all. After 18 laps you know you've been in a race! In the last few laps I put in a big effort to catch Jon and when I saw half a chance I took it."

Kirkham added: "I'm more than happy with the weekend. It took me a little longer to get on the pace than I would have liked, but I guess that's all down to experience. Being in touch with the pack in the second race and catching a Honda that you know has won the WSB championship is a mega feeling! I feel like I've made a big step forward."

Team owner Colin Appleyard summed up: "What a great circuit! It's fantastic to see how much work has gone into the place. The huge crowd and interest in the race was proof that not only is the BSB series highly regarded worldwide but also that that the Irish just love motorcycle racing.

"The team's race performance was very encouraging and with the great Irish hospitality and a chance to see some old friends, it made a perfect weekend. I can't wait to come back next year."

The team now has a couple of weekends off, to prepare for the next round in Cheshire at the picturesque Oulton Park circuit on the 10th of August.

 

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