The opening weekend of the British Superbike Championship 2012 got underway at Brands Hatch this weekend but the event was cut short after rain had battered the Kent circuit for two days straight.
Team WFR had set some encouraging times throughout Free Practice on Friday and Saturday in dry conditions but when Qualifying began on Sunday the rain had started to fall.
After a disappointing qualifying session all round for Team WFR we were hopeful of making up some ground in the race but when Monday came the conditions hadn’t improved at all.
As Race 1 got underway Team WFR's highest place rider Graeme Gowland collided with Florian Marino as the pair crashed out at Paddock Hill Bend.
As more of BSB’s superstars battled to stay on their bikes in difficult conditions – some of them losing that battle – James Westmoreland was one who looked to be more at ease in the wet as he fought his way up from 22nd to 9th before rounding Freddy Foray on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki in the closing laps to take a well deserved 8th.
The race was eventually won by Samsung Honda’s Jon Kirkham after he rounded Tyco Suzuki’s Alastair Seeley on the final corner.
After the race Westy said; “I was pumped for race day and wanted to make amends after qualifying. I fought hard and finished 8th, which was good. I made a mistake when the pace car came in otherwise I could have been in the mix for 5th.
“I feel good on the bike and my team are mega. I'm so happy to be with Team WFR and we now have some momentum to take to Thruxton.”
Alex Lowes, who admittedly was disappointed to qualify in 26th, managed to claw his way back up to 17th.
After his crash Graeme was slightly shaken up but had sustained no serious injuries and was hopeful of making amends in Race 2 as the team had managed to repair his #81 bike.
In fact, all three riders were keen to make amends in the second race of the day but sadly never got the chance. After a number of accidents in the support races had made the track conditions deteriorate even further the second MCE British Superbike Championship race at Brands Hatch was cancelled on the grounds of safety - the organisers deeming the conditions too dangerous to continue.
The race will now be rescheduled for later in the season.
Speaking from Brands Hatch Team WFR Managing Director Myles Schofield said; “The weekend hasn’t been enjoyable for anyone involved and I include the fans in that.
“From our point of view we are trying not to get too down because we have shown that the bike is quick and we know our riders our quick and fortunately we don’t have long to wait to turn it around at Thruxton in a couple of days time.”
The Team WFR bikes take to the Thruxton Circuit for Round 2 on Friday.