AFTER scoring a strong second place in Sunday’s British Supersport opening round, the weather took a turn for the worse and Monday’s feature race turned out to be a disaster for Ben Wilson - who crashed twice in the dire conditions.
The Kirton rider encountered fluid on the track at Brands Hatch on Monday, which sent him and a group of others out of the race, writes Robert Pask.
“There was definitely still something on the track at Graham Hill and as I touched the brakes I just went down,” said Wilson, who finished the opening weekend in third spot in the championship.
“Another five or six riders followed me into the gravel and that brought out the red flag again.
“I am really disappointed, but it’s only the first round and there are another 11 rounds (22 races) to go.”
Wilson was forced to start from row two of the grid for Sunday’s sprint race after being pushed back from second to fifth in the dying stages of the session.
But once the lights went out, Wilson got away to his usual flying start and was ahead as they rounded Paddock Hill Bend for the first time.
He pulled out a 2.46 secs lead after just two laps and was looking odds-on to take the win.
As the race progressed, tyre wear came into play and he was gradually reeled in by Sam Warren and Luke Jones, who both passed him on lap 10 of the planned 18-lapper.
But the race was red flagged just moments later when Jones crashed heavily, elevating Wilson back to second place behind Warren.
With Monday came more persistent rain, accompanied by a strong wind.
After a series of crashes and mishaps in the previous few races, the track had become even more slippery.
Wilson began the race from the front row of the grid this time and shot off the line to establish a remarkable 2.3 secs lead at the end of the first lap.
He continued to pull away from the pursuing riders and by lap nine of the planned 22-lapper he had a healthy lead of 7.26 seconds.
What followed was a fiasco, with Wilson tipping off at Graham Hill Bend, swiftly followed by a number of riders as they encountered fluid on the track left by another rider’s crash.
The race was immediately red-flagged and there was a lengthy delay while the track contamination was dealt with.
Wilson was allocated pole position for the restart, but the race was over by the third corner when a multi- rider crash, which included Wilson, brought the race to a halt.
This time a result was declared on positions held in the first half of the race and half championship points awarded.
But as Wilson had not been on the bike at the time, he was excluded from the results, denying him the win and a further 25 points.
Wilson returns to action at Thruxton this weekend, (April 11-15).