Drayton fights back at Round 5 "Knockhill" to claim points for the Feature Race
Lady luck continued to be absent at the 5th round of the British Supersport Championship, forcing Drayton to dig deep for his results
Free Practice 1 was Dan's first time on a 600cc at Knockhill, but the power delivery from his ZX6 was causing concern; and after 5 pit stops he had only completed 21 laps of the circuit.
Dan and crew Chief Neil Pearson (NP Motorcycles) worked hard to identify the problem, and not only made changes before his second session; but had put additional plans in place if the changes did not bear fruit in FP2. However the problems persisted and further changes were required, with Dan completing 20 more crucial laps.
After dyno testing on Friday evening it seemed that qualifying would be trouble free on Saturday morning, yet in reality qualifying left Dan a little despondent; as the engine issues persisted and despite his best efforts the lap times were 15 seconds off pole - it looked like there may be no racing for him at Knockhill
The team worked extremely hard - with help from circuit staff and the generous people of the paddock; to resolve the issues. All potential areas for failure were replaced where possible, and the bike went back to the dyno one again.
This left Dan to start from the back of the grid in the Sprint Race, and with no time to achieve a set up and only 48 laps experience; the race was almost a qualifying session for him. Dan managed to consistently improve his times setting a personal best and more importantly claim 20th position on the grid for the feature race on Sunday.
Sunday morning warm up offered 9 additional valuable laps for the team to work on the suspension, and get as close as possible to the best set up for the 26 lap feature race. Dan got a fantastic start and moved straight up to 16th position, which he defended well. He still managed to improve on his lap times with another personal best, and most importantly take 2 valuable points from a difficult weekend
The team has taken some hard knocks so far this season and the cost of repairs has hit the budget hard. To support Dan as much as possible to ride to the best of his ability the bike needs more investment, and the team are both sensible and realistic about what can be achieved with the small amount of funds they have to hand.
Dan will sit out the next round at Brands Hatch, and possibly Thruxton to enable the team to build up the much needed funds for him to continue the season
"I felt frustrated this weekend as I work so hard to be prepared for each round, we have overcome so many difficulties; and I just want to achieve the best results I can. I have some fantastic sponsors and I want to do the best for them too - sitting out a couple of rounds is disappointing but it has to be that way to give me the best chance to stay competitive"
If you would like to follow Dan why not visit his website: www.dandrayton.com
Image credits: Ian Hopgood Photography
Press Release prepared by: K Drayton