A YOUNG Brechin motorcyclist continues to break new ground despite a step up in class and more rigorous competition.
Indeed, Ryan Watson just narrowly failed to become the youngest rider ever to win his particular class in front of nearly 40,000 people at Brands Hatch.
Ryan Watson can now look forward to the rest of the season with confidence, having, along with his team-mates, enjoyed a glorious start to the motorcycle season.
Team Appleyard Macadam Racing enjoyed a fantastic start to their 2011 season recording four podium finishes in the Easter sunshine at Brands Hatch.
The weather attracted a crowd of over 35,000 and certainly brought out the best from the team’s three riders.
The long weekend gave the riders extra practice time, which they took full advantage of, working hard to get the bikes set up ready for the action packed, high speed Indy track.
It wasn’t plain sailing, however, for Supersport 600 rider Jack Kennedy who, in final qualifying, struggled to get the softer compound tyre to work well ending up a disappointing ninth place and third row start from the grid.
A high speed crash at Paddock Hill in Sunday’s warm up session gave the team just four hours to rebuild the bike before his first race on Sunday afternoon.
Thankfully. Jack avoided injury and the bike was ready with just ten minutes to spare!
As the team’s newest recruit, 125cc rider Ryan Watson, may only be thirteen and small in stature but is already proving he has a big future in the sport.
Having qualified in an impressive fifth place he got off to a superb start and was quickly up to second .
However, an incident on the first lap meant a return to the grid. Totally unaffected the young Scot again made a great start up to second place before slowly dropping back, but whilst some of his opponents dropped out or had mechanical failures, Ryan dug deep and crossed the line for a fantastic second place on the podium.
Jack repaid the team’s hard work by setting a fantastic pace in Race 1 and making his way to a well deserved third on the podium.
Having also put in the second fastest lap of the race, he secured himself a front row start for the second race on Monday.
Deane Brown proved his potential in his step up to the 600cc class by setting a brilliant pace during practice to qualify in pole position, a massive achievement in his first ever British Superstock race.
Leading the race for a while before being caught by the pack, Deane used his head and experience to cross the line in a well deserved third place.
Afterwards he said: “I was a bit disappointed not to maintain the great start but this is a new class for me so I have to be satisfied with a rostrum place.
“It does, however, prove I can achieve at this level.”
Ryan’s father Keith said: “Ryan was very close to becoming the youngest ever rider to pick up this title at this level and that would have been a magnificent achievement.
“To be honest, a second place rostrum finish is ahead of where we hoped to be at this stage of the season and gives us a very solid and positive platform on which to build.”
Team manager Robin Appleyard commented: “This was Ryan’s first competitive race at this level and to finish second is a great achievement.
“He was going quickly out there and lapping only 1.5 seconds off the lap record pace, a record which has stood since the Casey Stoner and Leon Camier days.”
Robin was also grateful to all the team’s sponsors who came along to support.
The team had a quick turn around before another Bank Holiday meeting at Oulton Park last weekend.