Holmfirth racer James lodge dubbed his British Superbikes Championship outing at Brands Hatch’s Grand Prix circuit ‘a bit of a disaster’.
The Moto-Breakers Kawasaki rider headed for Brands – one of his favoured tracks – looking to close the gap on Andy Reid, the leader of the National Superstock 600 rankings.
Instead Lodge found himself sliding down the standings to fourth after round six as a crash in qualifying and subsequent technical issues ended with him finishing in 12th place in the race.
“The weekend was a bit of a disaster,” admitted Lodge. “I was fastest in free practice and in qualifying and was on pole.
“Unfortunately on the very next lap I fell off coming down Paddock Hill and two minutes from the end of the session when I dropped down to second on the grid.”
However, that was the least of Lodge’s problems as his team tried to prepare a battered bike for second qualifying.
“Unfortunately the biggest problem was that the bike was a total mess,” explained Lodge.
“The left fork had snapped, the steering stem was totally bent, and both wheels, seat and a load of other parts were damaged.
“We managed to get the thing rebuilt enough to go out in second qualifying, but I only managed two laps before we lost the front sprocket and I had to retire – and as a result I dropped to third on the grid.”
However, the Paddock Hill spill was to cause more headaches as the race approached.
“As we only did two laps in second qualifying we didn’t pick up on the fact one of the front brake callipers was cracked and leaking brake fluid, so I had very little braking power in the warm-up.
“We thought we had got this fixed for the race, but the fluid from the leak must have contaminated the pads as in the race the brakes were not working.
“To make the bike slow down I had to grab the brake as hard as I could – when they are working properly they are that powerful that you barely have to put any pressure on the lever.”
As the series reaches halfway Lodge will be eager to make up some ground at the next meeting at Thuxton on August 2-3.
“I’m disappointed with the Brands result as I always go well at that track, but it’s good to come out with four points after all the problems,” said Lodge.
“We are going rebuild the bike and hopefully be ready for Thruxton.”
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