Liam faces frustrating opening weekend to 2018 season at Brands Hatch
Liam Delves began his 2018 British Motostar campaign at Brands Hatch at the weekend on board all-new British prototype DR Moto Moto3 KTM powered machine, supported by GR Motorsport WD40 team and Stauff Connect Academy.
On the distinctive yellow and green machine, handmade by Dean Reynolds of Reynolds Engineering in Milton Keynes, Liam was disappointed to only come away with ninth and 11th places.
Racing took place on the short and difficult Indy circuit at the Kent venue and a good qualifying result was essential as a top result was dependent on a good grid position due to the lack of overtaking places on the short circuit.
The 17-year-old Solihull based rider recorded an eighth place in qualifying, less than a second off pole position, started the shorter sprint race from the third row. But although he got a clean start and was with the leaders on the first lap he was held up in the early stages resulting in the leaders getting away from him.
But he got his head down and made his way through to ninth position on lap 11 of 18 and although he got to within a tenth of a second of the rider ahead he was unable to make a pass stick and had to be content with ninth place at the chequered flag.
There was a long delay on Sunday prior to the start of the Feature race to enable the marshals to clean the track after an oil spillage in an earlier race but finally, the British Motostar riders were able to take their grid positions. Delves on the DR Moto Stauff Connect Academy machine began the race, now reduced to 20 laps, from the third row once again.
As the lights went out Delves got away well but was badly held up in turn two when a rider crashed just ahead of him. Liam suspected that the contact had caused damage to the bike as he lacked the feel in the bike and his lap times suffered as a result. After that, it was a case of damage limitation and he lost time each lap and completed the race a disappointing 14th position. Luckily three riders who finished ahead of him were in a different class and Delves was awarded 11th place.
“Race two was a disaster for me. I had a pretty good start and made up a couple of places into turn one but then was caught up in a crash at turn two. Another rider then collided with me and I was very lucky to stay upright. After that, I struggled with grip through the entire race which cost me up to two and a half seconds a lap. I was very disappointed with my results today but will put it behind me and move on to round two. I must give a big thank you to my team for their support this weekend plus all my sponsors and fans who have continued to give me their support.”
The next round is at Oulton Park in Cheshire over the May Day Bank Holiday of May 5-7