James Lodge made a winning start to the British Superbikes Pirelli Superstock 600 season at Brands Hatch.
The Huddersfield racer placed only ninth on the grid but showed his previous British champion class to take victory after gaining the lead only on the penultimate lap.
It was a great result for Lodge and his Moto-Breakers Kawasaki team, pushing Mason Law (Trik Moto) down to second in the standings and Joe Collier (Be Wiser Kawasaki) third.
Lodge said the victory was very unexpected, especially after it was far form plain sailing in practice and qualifying and the race itself initially had to be stopped.
“I was ninth on the grid for the race and I got away okay, being about eighth after the first lap,” he explained.
“However, at the hairpin on lap two there was carnage as oil dropped on the first lap caused about five people to fall off and I ‘had a moment’.
“The race was stopped after this and, for the re-stat I got a much better star and was sixth after the first lap.
“The bike felt great and I knew I was getting held up, so I started to make up places and was up to third after about six laps.”
Lodge quickly found himself in the slip stream of the second-placed bike.
He went on: “I out-braked him into the hairpin on lap nine and, at this point, I thought I would have to settle for second as the leader was about 1.5sec in front, which is a lot of time to make up in four laps!
“I just got my head down and after putting in my fastest lap, I was soon on his tail – which I was surprised with because he was half a second faster than me in qualifying.
“I was getting held up but was waiting for my moment to pass him, and on the last corner of the penultimate lap he went a bit wide so I made my move.
“I then had to hold it for just one lap to take the win, which I did by 0.05sec.”
Lodge tops the standings with 25 points and explained: “It’s a great result and a great start to the season, especially from ninth on the grid!
“I’m now looking forward to Oulton Park at the beginning of May as it is one of my favourite events of the year.”
Lodge admits he struggled with pace in free practice at Brands, finishing second and fifth.
In qualifying he really struggled, because of traffic and couldn’t get a clear lap.
Times were very close and at one point he was fifth but only 0.1sec off pole. He was frustrated to end up ninth on the grid, but it all turned out well in the end.
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