Padgett's Honda Supersport rider Adrian Coates came out on top to claim sixth place after a race long battle with Kawasaki-mounted Rob Frost and Team Vitrans rider Dean Thomas at Cadwell Park this weekend.

In a reversal of fortunes from the previous round at Oulton, team-mate John Crockford finished a difficult weekend with a DNF on his spare bike after damaging his number one machine in the wet first practice session.

Ulsterman Coates started from sixth place on the grid and immediately got into a sparring match with Frost, Thomas and Crockford, who had made a lightning start from the fourth row.

Conscious of his team-mate's determined nature from Oulton Park when both Padgett's riders ended up on the grass as a result of one of Crockford's out-braking manoeuvres, Coates was determined to maintain the advantage and the two orange and white machines played cat and mouse as Crockford hung onto Coates' tail, waiting to exploit any half-chance that presented itself.

The decisive moment came on lap six at the exit of Charlie's when Crockford's bike grounded just as he was at the limit of his Dunlop tyres, the resulting low-side sending him off track and into retirement.

With the leading group having broken away while the battle for sixth was raging, Coates was left to concentrate on beating Frost and Thomas. Having passed Frost, a coming together with Thomas on lap eleven at the Gooseneck left the 2001 British 250 Champion with it all to do again. Wasting no time Coates forced his way past a lap later and then held off his two pursuers until the chequered flag on lap 16.

Clearly happy with his weekend's work, Coates said: "If you look at the speed trap figures I've been on the pace all weekend, and to finish ahead of Rob, who's already had two podium finishes, and Dean, who won the Brands Hatch round, is proof that we can run with the best of them. Unfortunately, because of all the action in the first few laps, Karl [Harris] and the others were able to make a break, but if I can stay in the leading group at the next two rounds then a podium's definitely there for the taking."

Southampton born Crockford was also looking forward to another chance to get into the top three: "I crashed in the first practice session when the bike aqua-planed going into Coppice and then had to play catch-up for the rest of the weekend as we got the second bike set-up. Come the race though, it was perfect and I got a great start so I was pretty pleased and really starting to enjoy myself when it decked out at Charlie's and it was all over. Fair play to Karl for winning the Championship, he's done a fantastic job for Honda this year, but I started the year with a second place and I'm determined to go one better in the next two races!"

 

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