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Kirkham and Halsall Biker Gear Kawasaki end season on a high at Brands

The Halsall Biker Gear Kawasaki team signed off the 2014 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship on a high at Brands Hatch with two seventh places to complement Saturday’s podium finish.

After finishing third in the first race, Jon Kirkham was feeling confident ahead of Sunday’s proceedings. Starting from the second row of the grid in fourth, he maintained position for the first seven laps. On lap 11 he ran on at turn one dropping back to eighth but managed to claw one place back before the end of the race to cross the line seventh.

Another strong lap in the second race awarded Kirkham 7th on the grid for the final race of the season. A steady start saw him lose one position into Druids but the Derby rider latched onto the rear of Dan Linfoot. A string of consistent lap times saw him remain on Linfoot’s tail but he couldn’t quite secure a move on the Yorkshireman.

Howie Mainwaring crashing out of the race promoted Jon to seventh, where he finished just 0.1 seconds behind Linfoot when a red flag brought the race to a premature end. Kirkham’s strong weekend saw him finish the season 12th in the standings, just seven points behind tenth-placed John Hopkins.

Jon Kirkham:
“We’ve ended the season with Halsall Biker Gear Kawasaki on a high. I’m a bit disappointed as finishing seventh after taking third yesterday was never going to cut it. I made a mistake in race one as I ran on at turn one and lost a handful of places so I wasn’t too pleased with that. For race two we changed the bike a little bit and I felt good but just couldn’t get past Dan Linfoot. I did get past once but he came straight back as we were losing out a little bit in straight line speed, he’s a bit smaller than me! The Halsall Kawasaki stuck in there until the end and we got another seventh place. After the last three rounds we’ve made amazing progress this weekend and I think there’d be even more if we had chance to show it but I’m pleased to finish the season on a high.”

Jack Valentine:
“It’s been an excellent weekend. We prepared a strong bike for Jon to take into the races and we’ve had a terrific weekend with a podium yesterday and two sevenths today. I can’t complain at that, we’ve finished the season on a high. Jon’s happy with the bike, he’s pushed as hard as he can and lap times were good. Some little mistakes cost us a few places but that’s racing, it’s just a pity that we haven’t got another round in two weeks as we’re in such a good position with the bike! We’ve had some good qualifying positions this year, a pole position and some solid results including a podium so I think we’ve shown we’ve got a competitive package. I want the team to be winning races next year so we’ll be working hard over the close season.”

Martin Halsall:
“It’s a good way to finish the season, we’ve shown good consistency this weekend and that’s what we wanted to do. Bringing Jack and Jon into the team was in search of consistency and that’s what we’ve started to get. We’re going to gear up for 2015, we want to get closer to the front and while it won’t be easy, it’s not an unrealistic target.”

Race 2 Result
1. S. BYRNE – Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
2. J. ELLISON – Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki
3. H. MAINWARING – Quattro Plant Kawasaki
4. J. BROOKES – Milwaukee Yamaha
5. S. EASTON – Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
6. T. BRIDEWELL – Milwaukee Yamaha
7. J. KIRKHAM – Halsall Biker Gear Kawasaki
8. D. LINFOOT – Quattro Plant Kawasaki
9. J. WESTMORELAND – Buildbase BMW
10. J. HOPKINS – Tyco Suzuki

Race 3 Result
1. S. BYRNE – Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
2. J. ELLISON – Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki
3. T. BRIDEWELL – Milwaukee Yamaha
4. S. EASTON – Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki
5. J. BROOKES – Milwaukee Yamaha
6. D. LINFOOT – Quattro Plant Kawasaki
7. J. KIRKHAM – Halsall Biker Gear Kawasaki
8. J. HOPKINS – Tyco Suzuki
9. P. HICKMAN – RAF Reserves Honda
10. C. WALKER – Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki