Wakefield swaps to Supersport
It was all change for Sandbach rider Phil Wakefield last weekend.
After engine problems, Wakefield decided to swap the National Superstock 1000 Championship for the ultra-competitive British Supersport Championship.
He said: “I moved up to the larger capacity machine at the start of last season, but I haven’t made the level of progress that I’d hoped so I decided to move back to the Supersport class.
“I last competed in the Supersport during the 2016 season on a Triumph Daytona 675 but this time I’ve opted for a Yamaha R6.”
Wakefield only collected the new bike a few days before arriving at Brands Hatch for round six of the championship and had not had time to race prepare the machine, so he raced a stock bike straight from the shop against highly tuned bikes.
Supersport bikes may be smaller engines but once highly tuned they can lap within three seconds of the larger capacity bikes around the 2.43-mile Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. In the first of two practice sessions, Wakefield finished 26th quickest in sunny and dry conditions but the majority of competitors, including Wakefield, decided to sit out final practice when rain spoiled any chance of improving lap times.
In qualifying the hot and dry conditions returned and Wakefield lapped quicker to end 29th quickest and earned a row 10 start on the grid.
In the 11-lap sprint race on Saturday, he started well and crossed the line in 24th position.
Before the 18-lap feature race on Sunday Wakefield and the team made changes to the geometry of the bike and again he started well and battled hard to finish 25th.
“I was competitive through corners but was being passed down the straights, which was to be expected on a standard bike, but all in all I’m happy with the weekend,” he said.
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