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Kirkham a strong fourth at Cadwell Park BSB

Samsung Crescent Racing's Jon Kirkham showed a continued return to form today when he raced to a fighting fourth place in the first of three British Superbike races being held over the Bank Holiday weekend at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire.

Kirkham, the sole representative for the team this weekend (while John Hopkins recovers from a hand injury) has enjoyed the full attention of the team's technicians, who have worked hard to give Kirkham a set-up that will work best for him. This was reflected in good progress through practice with Kirkham finishing 8th fastest. In qualifying Kirkham placed 6th fastest in Q1 and again in Q2, slipping just slightly to 7th in Q3 for a third row start in the first race (Cadwell Park's narrow start straight can only fit three bikes to a row).

In the race this afternoon Kirkham started well and was dicing with Title Fighter rivals Ryuichi Kiyonari and Gary Mason before building a gap on both, he was comfortably holding 5th when the race was red-flagged with five laps to run (due to rain). Following a judicial review Josh Brookes, who had finished third, was excluded for making an avoidable and unfair contact resulting in an accident. Kirkham was therefore uplifted to fourth and will start the first race tomorrow from the second row.

Jon Kirkham: "With two crew chiefs – Dale and Lez – working for me we made good progress on set-up, it feels like we really made a difference to the bike and I could perhaps have qualified even better if I hadn't made one or two mistakes.

"The race went well, I was dicing with Kiyo and Mason early in the race and I thought that if I could get past and ride a clear track I could go faster – and that's exactly what happened. I'm very pleased and I feel there's more to come. Big thanks to the Samsung Crescent Racing team, they've given me a great bike this weekend – I'm really looking forward to tomorrow!"

Jack Valentine, team manager: "We've seen a great example of teamwork this weekend – with Lez and Dale working together on the one bike we accelerated the set-up and JK responded to the extra input really well, he's put in some great riding.

"Although we'd already put the Title Fighters - Showdown out of mind, JK's performance does make us keen again. He's 21 points behind Kiyo in the table with just two more races to count. That's a big gap, but mathematically it's still possible – and in racing, as we well know, anything can happen."

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship
Round Nine, Cadwell Park
Race one result (rescheduled from Oulton Park):

Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha)
Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +0.214s
Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +1 lap
Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) +1 lap
Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +1 lap
Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +1 lap
Martin Jessopp (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati) +1 lap
Peter Hickman (Tyco Honda) +1 lap
Glen Richards (WFR Honda) +1 lap

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Cadwell Park race one:
Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) 268 (THROUGH TO SHOWDOWN)
John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) 231 (THROUGH TO SHOWDOWN)
Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 230 (THROUGH TO SHOWDOWN)
Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) 188
Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 146
Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 146
Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati) 130
Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) 125
Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) 125
Peter Hickman (Tyco Honda) 105