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Weird weekend for Smart-Weeden
Weird weekend for Smart-Weeden

Last weekend saw the penultimate round for the British Junior SuperSport championships, held alongside the British SuperBike’s event at Oulton Park race circuit in Cheshire and for Finn Smart-Weeden it was a weird weekend. 

Faversham’s Smart-Weeden went to this event in second place overall, looking to close the gap ahead of the season finale to be held at the end of the month.

16 year old Finn had a solid free practice on Friday posting the second fastest time of the riders behind Lennon Docherty. The series’ qualifying session was the first session of the day on Saturday morning and saw the riders negotiating a damp cold track, championship leader Docherty crashed out in front of Finn halfway through the twenty minute session and Finn decided to be extra careful for the rest of it, qualifying seventh and a full second and a half slower than his best time in free practice the day before.

Race one was the penultimate race on Saturday afternoon held at 17:00 in good conditions, the Painter’s Forstal resident was in a comfortable fifth position fighting for the lead in a pack of ten riders when a small lack in concentration at the fastest corner saw him go down, sliding into the gravel pit at Druids, ultimately gifting twenty five points to Lewis Jones and reducing his second place championship points cushion to three points.

The bike suffered quite a lot of damage and saw mechanic dad have to work on the bike well into the evening and on Sunday morning to get the bike race fit and ready for Sunday afternoon’s race. Luckily Finn suffered only minor injuries and was declared fit to race on Sunday.

With no warmup session for the Hel Performance Junior SuperSport class on Sunday the team had to assume the repairs were effective and unfortunately as soon as Finn tried to make any overtaking moves it became obvious that there was still something wrong.

Although Finn got a good start moving to eighth from his tenth place grid position, he was unable to get the drive required to make any overtakes stick and finished the race in seventh with just twelve points.

With the championship third place contender, Jones, crashing out in Sunday’s race and current leader, Docherty unable to compete in either race due to injuries sustained in the Qualifying session, Finn moved into joint first position overall with just two races to go and fifteen points ahead of third.

The final round takes place at Donington Park in two weeks, before that the bike needs work to repair the fault that prevented him from podiuming on Sunday.

Speaking after the weekend, a bemused Finn said “It was just such a weird weekend,  all three championship contenders went down. Obviously I’m happy to be leading going into the last round at Donington but I was disappointed with my performances this weekend and I want to finish the season on a high”

Finn also wants to thank Lennon for lending him his exhaust which allowed him to compete in Sunday’s race.

Images courtesy of Darren Sellings