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Apr 22, 2014 - 05:29 PM
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Hartley Becomes Youngest Ever BSB Points Scorer At Brands Hatch
Posted by: newsla on Apr 22, 2014 - 05:27 PM
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Hartley Becomes Youngest Ever BSB Points Scorer At Brands Hatch


HALSALL Biker Gear Kawasaki’s Harry Hartley became the youngest ever rider to score points in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship after taking an impressive 13th place at Brands Hatch Indy on Easter Monday.

 

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The Bolton-based team was only just denied having both riders finish in the points when Lee Costello suffered a tyre problem towards the end of the race which resulted in him falling from 12th to 18th spot in the closing laps.

And now the team returns home feeling buoyed up ahead of the rest of the season after making a solid start to the 2014 campaign.

Both riders were left on the back foot after the weather played havoc during qualifying on Easter Sunday, with heavy rain lashing the Kent track just in time for the session. Costello had initially looked very strong and on course to take a top 10 position but he joined most of the pack in crashing out as the track conditions worsened. He eventually qualified second last in 31st spot while Hartley lined-up 27th.

But on race day the weather had changed completely, and as the lights changed in bright, sunny conditions Costello made a lightning-quick start, shooting up to 24th place in the first lap alone. From there he continued to push his way up the order, eventually finishing in 16th. Hartley, meanwhile, had a slower start and dropped two places, but was soon on a charge, picking up a handful of spots to cross the line a respectable 23rd.

For Race Two, where grid spots are based on fastest laps in the previous race, Hartley lined-up in 17th spot with Costello two places behind in 19th. Both riders got good starts, Costello making up three places in the opening lap as Hartley held on to 17th. By the end of Lap Nine Costello was running in 13th spot while Hartley had crept up to 15th after barging past veteran Michael Rutter on the Bathams BMW.

Costello moved up to 12th on the 13th lap and Hartley kept his head down and pushed on, eventually making his way up to 13th seven laps later. The Halsall Racing Kawasakis were now running together in 12th and 13th spot, but Costello’s tyre started to go a couple of laps later. Despite his best efforts he was unable to hold his place, and dropped back to 18th. Hartley had been running in 12th but was just pipped across the line by Martin Jessopp’s BMW.

Harry Hartley: “This has been a brilliant weekend, I came here looking for two top 20 finishes so to come away with a 13th and my first ever BSB points is great, more than I could’ve hoped for. The first race went as I’d have expected but I’d have liked to have finished higher up, but I think the second more than made up for it. I got stuck with a lot of bunch-up at the start which slowed me down and I had a big moment there on the last lap coming out of Graham Hill and it let Jessopp close right in so he was able to get me at the end. But all in all it’s been brilliant. It’s our local round next and this puts us in a great position to go out there and really challenge for points.

Lee Costello: “It was just one of those things today, what can you do? The second race was going really well but then the tyre went off and that was it. Harry came past and then the others and I couldn’t do anything about it. It’s been a hard weekend after crashing in qualifying because that set us back a lot but it is what it is. There’s no point crying about it, we just have to put it behind us and look ahead to the next one at Oulton Park in a fortnight.”

Martin Halsall Team Owner: “It’s been a fantastic start to the season for the whole team. What a great second race that was for Harry. We knew he was a talented youngster and now everyone can see why we chose him. He rode a mature and solid race and here we are now, Harry Hartley, youngest ever BSB points scorer and there is clearly a lot more to come. Lee was just unlucky after a really good start to the weekend, and it just goes to show how important qualifying is. Had he started higher up he could’ve been a serious top 10 challenger there today. It’s been a brilliant weekend and puts us in a great position ahead of our home round at Oulton. We can’t wait to get back out there.”

*The next round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship will be held at Oulton Park, Cheshire over the weekend May 3-5, 2014.


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