Les Shand ended his hard fought British Superstock Championship season with an uncharacteristic but spectacular crash at Brands Hatch at the weekend, bringing his race to a premature and painful end.

Having qualified strongly in fifth position, hopes were high for another good result which would have moved Shand up the championship table. However that was not to be, as Shand made a bad start and unfortunately fell from the AIM Racing R1 Yamaha as he tried to make up the lost ground. Consequently, he remained on 110pts and in sixth place overall in the standings in the very competitive championship.

With Brands Hatch being the most distant venue on the calendar for Shand and the Northern Scotland based team, they didn't get to the circuit until 4.30am on Friday morning and with less than two hours sleep under their belts, the afternoon free practice session didn't go as planned.

Not feeling quite as sharp as he would have liked, he ended up twenty third but when first qualifying was over on Saturday he was up to thirteenth. However, Shand wasn't happy with the suspension set up and made a few changes in between sessions. It clearly worked as he ended final qualifying in fifth place although he had been up to third until being shuffled back in the final moments.

The race was set to be competitive with less than a second covering the top twelve and Shand was on the back foot immediately with a sluggish start leaving him outside the top ten. By lap six he was up to twelfth but hopes of climbing any higher looked faint as there was a gap of more than four seconds to the next rider.

It all came to an abrupt end on the eleventh lap when Shand lost the front and crashed out at Clearways. Shand tumbled into the gravel trap, whilst the bike flew through the air at a height of almost fifteen feet into the protective fencing before crashing back to the ground. Luckily Shand was able to get to his feet, much to the delight of the crowd and, fortunately, no broken bones were diagnosed although he was feeling rather beaten up after the spectacular spill.

"All in all it's been a physically demanding weekend with all the travelling catching up with me during qualifying and the GP circuit is also very tough on the rider," a battered and bruised Shand said afterwards. "Nevertheless, I was feeling confident and was looking to finish in the top five at least to finish the championship on a positive note. The red light went out almost immediately and I got away off the line quite poorly, ending the first lap in something like fourteenth so I had a lot of work to do. I was trying mega hard but it took me a while to get by Stephen Thompson and, by the time I was up to twelfth, the front group had disappeared.

"I was trying as hard as ever but I missed a gear approaching Clearways and by the time I'd found the right one I was going way too fast to make the corner. I couldn't get the bike slowed enough and went flying into the gravel trap and, from what I could gather, it looked pretty spectacular from the outside. Fortunately, I didn't break anything but I'm feeling very second hand at the moment and will no doubt ache even more in the morning!"

Despite the disappointment of the final weekend of the season, Shand said he was pleased with the year as a whole.

"Overall it's been a pretty satisfying season with my win at Oulton Park and the TT being the highlights," he said, "and I have to say a big thank you to Dave, Meg and Andy (Shand's race team) for all their support at the meetings throughout the year, all of my loyal sponsors, Jim Moodie and John McGuinness, whose advice has been invaluable, and of course Alistair Flanagan and the AIM Racing Team."

Despite the British Championship season being over, Shand does have one final outing in 2005, when he makes his second appearance at the Macau Grand Prix in November. Last year saw Shand finish his debut Macau GP in eleventh place and was also the fastest rider through the Lisboa bend speed trap. He will be out to better that this year on the AIM Yamaha Superbike which he raced at the Oulton Park BSB meeting when he replaced the injured Chris Burns.