It was a mixed bag of fortunes for 16-year-old Jacksdale Motorcycle Racer Kyle Ryde over the Bank Holiday weekend at the World Superbike event at Donington Park.
Kyle was taking part in the 600cc Superstock Support race at this World Championship event and had a good start to the weekend’s proceedings.
During the free practise session on Friday, he was in a fine third place and setting his presidency for the two qualifying sessions on the Saturday.
Q1 session got under way and Kyle was in a good commanding third place again for qualifying, only to part company with his machine after coming out of the Old Hairpin and running wide on to the green strip.
However, he did manage to hold on to his third placing going into Q2 later in the day.
That again saw wet conditions with Kyle almost three seconds off his earlier pace set in Q1 and, after 12 lengthy laps, he finally finished fifth in this session, which combined with the Q1 results, placed him third on the grid for the race day on Sunday.
With Kyle’s earlier lap times, it was mentioned that this would have qualified him for a second row position in the World Supersport 600cc race.
Those are tuned machines, where as Kyle’s is not to the same specifications, so it was quite impressive for a newcomer to this 600cc machine.
The Superstock race was the very first race on the Sunday morning and the track was still damp from the early morning showers but, with the sun rising, it was drying out quickly which was something Kyle had noticed on his out lap from the paddock.
However, as all the machines were on wet tyres, this was something that could potentially have a drastic effect on the race and eventually did have an effect on Kyle’s race strategy.
Kyle got a good start down into the first right hand corner of ‘Redgate’ and was still in third spot, but by the end of the first lap he was behind the three front runners of Lodge, Reid and Spanish rider Aulestia.
Again hot on Kyle’s rear tyre was his local rival Ben Godfrey and by the end of lap four Ben was through on Kyle.
With this mixture of wet and dry parts of the track, Kyle was finding it very hard to have confidence in leaning his machine over, as there was very little feeling of grip through the thick, walled, wet tyres that were slowing shredding through the dry patches of the track.
Every lap became harder for him to gain any sort of confidence as his team mate Joe Francis came through, and then Kyle battled with Folkard & Twyman, having to succumb to their moves.
Finally he took the chequered flag in a very safe and relieved eighth position,
Kyle remains overall fourth in the British Superstock Championship and his next round of this Champions is at the British Superbike meeting taking place at the East Anglia circuit of Snetterton, on 13th-15th June.