JAMIE Lyons and Cameron Dawson enjoyed their best weekend yet in the Pirelli National Junior Superstock Championship at Thruxton where they both achieved points scoring finishes.
For Lyons, last weekend was the first time he had finished in the points on his Yamaha R6 in only his sixth race in the class, while Dawson, who claimed ninth at Oulton Park, claimed sixth this time around on his MSS Performance Ltd Kawasaki and had it not been for a couple of errors, the Killyman lad believes he could have pushed for a podium.
Omagh teenager Lyons had to battle with the soaring temperatures throughout the weekend, as well as the bigger spending teams, and he was rewarded with his first points scoring finish after Louis Valleley, who finished 12th, was disqualified, promoting Lyons into the final points scoring position.
Initially Lyons was a little disappointed to have gained little in the way of reward for his considerable efforts with a 16th placed finish but once the Omagh Academy pupil discovered his promotion to 15th he was delighted and to have made further progress after his improvement last time out at Brands Hatch.
“It was a good race and in the group I was in I probably had more pace than all of them, but I just couldn’t get past them and on the last lap I got dive bombed and there was nothing I could do,” he explained.
“It was a bit of an unfortunate way for the race to end but it was good to be in there fighting with them for points. We made a huge improvement at Brands and I was kind of worried it would be a step back or stay where we were after that after a big step like that, but we have taken another step forward, so that’s a big positive and looking at the times there, when I wasn’t getting held up, was good for a top 10.
“So I’m happy with that and to get promoted to 15th, I’m happy enough. It’s one point, which isn’t very good but I’m happy beause it’s my first one and it was a hard old weekend so to come away with a point is good.”
The 17-year-old was in impressive form throughout free practice earlier in the weekend, competing with the top 20 on old tyres before he almost blacked out due to shrinking leathers and high temperatures during qualifying which he ended in 19th position.
“Qualifying was tough because, first of all, we had to wait until half five for it, which wasn’t good and we never thought but my leathers had been sitting out in the heat and that dried them out and they shrunk.
“So I got severe arm pump and a lot of compression from my leathers and when I came in I was light headed and nearly fainted. It was an unpleasant one hour or so after the session and I still feel a little bit ill even now.”
Killyman teenager Dawson, meanwhile, was in top form all weekend, improving throughout free practice before qualifying eighth. Then, during Sunday afternoon’s race, he was battling for the podium places in the blistering heat.
“I was feeling kind of confident going into the weekend,” beamed the 17-year-old reigning British Junior Supersport champion, whose previous best result this season was ninth at Oulton Park.
He continued: “I was happy with my performances in free practice, particularly free practice two and then in qualifying I didn’t feel fast but I got eighth. Then in the race I topped it off and had it not been for a couple of mistakes, which, I’m going to say it, cost me a podium.
“I knew I had the pace for a podium because I was running with those boys throughout the race but one of the mistakes came when I was so tired and exhausted that I didn’t have the energy to catch them back up.”
Dawson felt the heat throughout the weekend played a major role in his energy waning during Sunday’s race, but he was still pleased to finish so high inside the top 10. And while that result has improved his confidence, he knows the next meeting at Cadwell Park on the weekend of August 25th to 28th will be more challenging.
“The heat was a huge issue,” he admitted. “You were sitting on the grid and there was no breathing air, it was really, really humid and when you start – I was eighth so had seven bikes in front of me, so you could feel the heat coming off those bikes as well!
“But I’m so happy with how things finished and I posted some great times. We’re happy enough and my confidence has definitely been boosted but I know for a fact that I will struggle a whole lot more at Cadwell.
“It’s a track where set-up is going to be quite vital so it’s going to be an eye-opener for definite!.”
Jamie will also be back in action at Cadwell Park on the weekend of August 25th to 28th, a circuit he has never been to before, but one he’s relishing experiencing.
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