Difficult Dutch Test For Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki
It was another challenging weekend for the Anvil Hire TAG Kawasaki team in Holland, with setup issues plaguing the riders all weekend long and with the difficult weather conditions, both Shaun and Filip rode two hard races.
Poor weather conditions disrupted the team’s progress in the free practice sessions, but that didn’t stop Shaun Winfield and Filip Backlund from working hard with their technicians to find the best setup ahead of qualifying.
The circuit had dried out after more intermittent rain during the day, and both Filip and Shaun were confident ahead of the three stage qualifying. It didn’t go to plan for both riders, with Shaun improving on his times he just couldn’t improve in place, and ended the session in 26th. Filip had the chance to force his way into Q2, after a change to fresh rubber other riders above him went fastest again, forcing Filip to end the session in 20th.
From the start of race one on Sunday, Filip got a tough leap from the line and after the first lap he ran in 22nd place, but then he started to make his move. He picked off the riders ahead, setting his fastest lap of the weekend in the process, taking the flag in a lonely 18th. Shaun got a great start, and battled his way up to 21st after getting the better of Aaron Zanotti in a race long battle, taking the flag in 20th.
For race two courtesy of his lap time in race one, Shaun moved up two places on the grid into 24th, with Filip dropping down one place to 21st. Prior to the race starting, the weather took a turn for the worse with rain forcing a two stoppages, and a reduced race distance. With a patchy damp circuit, both riders took the gamble and went for slicks.
From the lights Filip made a great start and started to pick his way through pack, he made his way into 18th, but then made a mistake dropping him back to 22nd, and in a battle with his teammate. The Swede then found a way past Winfield and but it was too late, and he took the flag in 20th.
Shaun got a great start and made up four places from the lights and ran in 20th. After battling hard with teammate Backlund he just lost out with three laps to go, and crossed the line in 21st, only four seconds behind Filip.
After the weekend Team Manager Steve Randle said: “Its been a challenging weekend working with the setup of the bikes, but the weather conditions didn’t help because we lost quite a lot of track time due to mixed conditions.
“But saying that we did well, Shaun rode really well and put his off at Oulton behind him and battled hard. Filip did really well as well, it was a shame about his mistake because he was ridding well in race two. But we now look to Silverstone, which we are all looking forward too.”
A Frustrated Filip Backlund said: “We came here with higher ambitions than we’re leaving with which is frustrating. At the start of the weekend we struggled to find where we wanted to be with bike, and then when we finally started to see where we wanted to go with changes, we simply ran out of time. The weather at the start of the second race made it difficult but we just had to ride around it. I must thank the boys though for all their hard work, they’ve not stopped all weekend, and we’ll be back stronger at the next round at Silverstone.”
Shaun Winfield concluded: “We’ve had two good solid finishes this weekend after my big crash at Oulton, and that is what we wanted to do and get some good laps under our belts, which we did. My knee was playing up a little bit at the start but it got better over the course of the weekend, the mixed conditions were a little bit tough for race two and they didn’t help, I wasn’t hard enough off the start and I should of pushed harder earlier, but we’ll come back stronger at the next one.”
The team now have a two week break before heading to round eleven of the Championship, at Silverstone on the 2nd/3rd/4th of October.23rd September 2015