GR Motosport’s Team WD-40 Superbike left their base in Sheffield with high hopes as they headed for ‘The Cathedral of Speed’ TT Circuit Assen in Holland, where the Teams run of bad luck with the Superbikes should surely stop. The trip to Holland was a very smooth affair, joining the rest of the paddock at Harwich port of the overnight Stena Lines ferry to Holland.
British Superbike practice and qualifying had a mixed start with Taylor suffering a problem which cost him quite a lot of time in the first session while Jack showed our potential sitting 4th at the end of the first session. Taylor aided by Danny and Rob then continued make improvements in every session just missing out on Q2. Jack and his crew did an excellent job throughout every session, never being out of the top 5 untill the end. Unfortunately it went wrong in the final qualifying when Jack had pushed into 8th, on on his next lap showing green sectors he crash out sustaining and ankle injury. Jack was taken to the BSB medical centre where he received the best possible treatment and rehabilitation including a cup of hot chocolate and wifi helping to put that smile back on his face
Races:- Assen in September is notorious for its changing weather condition, so why should it be any different for BSB, we had everything thrown at us on race day to make planning strategies very difficult . Jack had been passed fit to ride but again in pain he was walking with the aid of a stick. Race 1 was a solid affair for both Team WD-40 riders, Taylor pushing forward from his qualifying into the top 20 while Jack made a good start and sitting in the top Ten. In the later stages of the race the intense pain of Jacks injury started to tell seeing him drop from 9th to 13th but still scoring points. Race 2 was a complete lottery on tyre selection with teams using everything from full wet to full slicks. Team WD-40 took the full slick option which it turned out was the best. The early part of the races saw the Honda fitted with full wets pull out a lead from the rest, but as the track dried this lead evaporated. AS seen on TV Jack pushed through the pain barrier to settle in the leading group where the top seven were spilt by less than a second. This group pulled away from the rest and again towards the end of the race when it became impossible for Jack to maintain their pace he fought hard to secure 7th. Taylor again just missing out on his first points posted a lap time just one second slower than Jack so a great effort by both Team WD-40 Superbike riders in Assen.
Jack Kennedy: "Another very strong start to the weekend never really out of the top 5 in all sessions. We dug deep in Q2 with 20seconds left on the clock to jump from 14th to 5th and make Q3. Unfortunately had an off in Q3 injuring my ankle and I thought at that point my weekend was over. With a lot of support I managed to pass fit to ride on Sunday. After an ok start in race one I had a moment on lap 2 losing some time and positions. At the midway stage I started to struggle with grip front and rear and hung on to bring it home in 13th. Starting from 15th on the grid in race two the mixed conditions made it so tricky on the slicks. I broke away with the leading pack battling through the pain to match my best result of 7th. It's a shame I picked up another injury because I feel the results could have been a lot better but we will look to Silverstone to carry this momentum on."
Taylor Mackenzie: "I'm happy with my progress we made at the weekend with myself and the bike. We made a big change to the bike and I felt like it was a big step in the right direction. I'm looking forward to Silverstone as its a track I normally go well at."
Brent Gladwin: "Even with the logistics and extra cost of doing the event, I love Assen and that’s it is part of the British Championship. Assen always attracts a huge knowledgeable and enthusiastic crowd, and this year like every other the weather would play its part. Taylor’s technical problems in the first session put him back a little but Danny and Rob soon pulled it back together giving him the chance to further develop his skills on a Superbike Jack is really starting to impress us with the way he is working with the team and continuing to understand what we are asking him to do with the bike. Pushing hard at this stage is unfortunately going to bring crashes as we all understand the ultimate limits of man and machine. Jack through no fault of his own has suffered injury through these crashes when other just seem to walk away, but the steel of the man shows through in the races. I am looking forward to to the last couple of races and would love to see Taylor score his first points of the season and see what Jack can do without the hindrance of injury. The next race is at Silverstone where Taylor had his first podium on a 600 last year and Jack likes so let’s see what we can do there!"