MonsterMob Ducati British Superbike boss Paul Bird's hopes of following up his recent Cambrian Rally victory were dashed by a puncture on the second stage of Saturday's Grizedale Stages Rally, based at Coniston in his native Lake District.

Despite the setback, which cost him over a minute, the Penrith driver with Northallerton's Ian Windress alongside him on the maps, bounced back to claim his best ever result on his local event when he posted fifth overall after forty stage miles over six tests.

Driving the Hyundai Accent WRC, Bird suffered a spin on the opening stage but still set sixth fastest time but worse disaster struck on SS2 when, less than half way into the nine mile stage, a rear tyre punctured dropping him down the order and outside the top ten.

Bird bounced back on the pair of short Dunnerdale stages by setting fastest time on them both as he sought to climb the leaderboard, which he did courtesy of fourth quickest time on SS5 and being second fastest on the final test in Grizedale South.

At the Coniston finish, Bird was just under twenty seconds down on early leader Barry Johnson as he salvaged fifth overall and second in class:

"I dropped a minute and a half because of the spin and the puncture which, taken out of the equation, would have put us on par with the winners. I'm disappointed but not disheartened and it could have been worse if the tyre had come off the rim. The car ran faultlessly although I'd have to think twice about doing the event on maps again as it was a little too scary at times!" said the BSB team boss.

Bird's next event is the Specsavers Christmas Stages Rally to be held at Croft Circuit on December 28th whereby he'll be defending the title he won last year. Joining him in the second of the PBM Hyundai's will be brother Mark, also from Penrith, who will be making his rallying debut on the Northallerton AC event.



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