JOY AND DISAPPOINTMENT FOR RICH ENERGY AMBASSADORS AS TRUE HEROES EXCELLED AT BRANDS HATCH LAST WEEKEND BUT HONDA'S ALVARO BAUTISTA STRUGGLED AS WORLDSBK VISITED ARGENTINA
Photo: Paul Hunt, True Heroes Racing
It was an exceptional weekend for Ben Falla and Mike Long as the True Heroes Racing pair both scored points in the opening Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup race of the weekend. Ben Falla is no stranger to points finishes, but this was the first championship point of Mike Long's career and one that was celebrated by the whole team. In race two the feat couldn't be repeated but an outstanding effort from Ben to race to fifth place gave both rider and team their best-ever race finish in the Ducati Cup! Dave Mackay flew the team flag in the Pirelli National Superstock races in Kent bringing his Suzuki home safely but outside the points.
True Heroes Racing are a band of merry men and women who offer sick and injured service personnel the opportunity to be an integral part of a motorcycle race team in the support classes for the prestigious Bennetts British Superbike Championship. In their ninth season of competition, the team are going from strength to strength but not without a lot of support from donations and team partners. Racing is an expensive business, but the rewards for those involved with the team are priceless.
On-track results are not the main focus of the team, the rehabilitation and focus they offer for the team members is, and that is matched only by the desire of their riders to do the absolute best they can. The riders are servicemen, either retired or still serving, and racing in such competitive classes means the hill to climb into the points is fairly steep and any finish that scores points is roundly applauded. And that was the case this weekend in the Garden of England as Ducati TriOptions Cup riders, Ben Falla and Mike Long had a weekend to remember for THR.
Also racing at Brands Hatch was Junior Supersport contender Lewis Jones as the RICH Energy/151s-backed rider saw out his second season in the class. After a season beset with injury and illness the Mansfield rider was over the moon to score a solid fifth place in race one but unfortunately couldn't replicate the feat in race two as he slipped to fifteenth at the flag. Lewis has shown he's got the talent to push at the front, he just needs a little luck on his side sometimes. Fourteenth overall in the championship doesn't quite tell the whole story of the season.
In Argentina, Alvaro Bautista struggled to replicate the form he's shown of late as the trip to South America brought a disappointing weekend for the Honda man. Qualifying in a disappointing 15th place, it was going to be a difficult three races for the Spaniard as the rider and team struggle with feeling around the San Juan Villicum circuit. Race one saw Bautista make short progress, crashing out on lap three on Saturday. Sunday brought two race finishes with a pair of tenth places for the former MotoGP man but not much improvement with his machine and making for a long journey home.