Whilst Padgett's Supersport team-mate John Crockford finished in fourth place, crossing the line just two hundredths of a second behind Team Vitrans rider Dean Thomas, Adrian Coates was one of four riders whose race ended prematurely in the Druids hairpin gravel trap at this weekend's Brands Hatch round.

Starting side-by-side on the third row, both riders immediately made up places in the opening laps and set about reeling in the leaders.

Coates led the charge and had just passed eventual third place finisher Simon Andrews when the front end slid out at Druids as he closed in on Thomas running in fourth. Although the front tyre gripped again, this only served to pitch the bike into a high-side, sending Coates off track and into retirement having completed one-third race distance.

Nine laps later, newly crowned British Supersport Champion Karl Harris joined Coates as a spectator when he lost the front of his works Honda CBR600RR at the same corner, controversially taking out race leader Michael Laverty in the process.

Ulsterman Coates is hoping for better luck at the final Donington round as he tries to achieve that elusive first Supersport podium finish.

"It's a frustrating way to end the weekend, especially as the bike was working so well, but now I'm looking forward to Donington," said Coates. "I won my British 250 title there, so I'll be looking to end this year on a high and make the most of my last chance to get a top three finish."

With the early exit of the two leaders, John Crockford on the number two bike found himself with only the yellow Honda of Thomas standing in the way of his third podium finish of the year.

In usual Crockford style, the Southampton based rider got his head down and forged through into third place with three laps to go. Thomas desperately hung on to the rear wheel of the Padgett's rider for the remaining laps and as they came through Clearways for the final time the Australian managed to draft past and steal third place by the narrowest of margins.

"I was absolutely gutted to see Dean's wheel just creep past as we crossed the line," said Crockford, "He pulled the same move on Karl to win the previous Brands Hatch round, unfortunately I couldn't quite get enough air between us to stop him doing it again. Once again the bike was perfect during the race, the team have really got to grips with the new Hondas this year. Hopefully I can repay all their hard work and support with a win at Donington in two weeks time."

 

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