BEN Wilson maintained his third place in the British Supersport championship after the weekend’s action in Thruxton.
He notched up a third place in race one and ended the weekend with a fifth-place finish in a thrilling second encounter in round two, writes Robert Pask.
Qualifying took place in tricky conditions on a half-wet, half-dry track, making tyre choice a lottery.
With seven minutes left in the session, the rain began to fall and Wilson switched to full wet weather tyres and claimed fourth place for a front-row start to Saturday’s sprint race.
As the race got underway, the Kirton rider didn’t get his usual speedy start but slotted into third place behind Jack Kennedy and Glen Richards.
He was pushed back to fourth when Sam Warren edged his way forward and the four riders took part in a frantic battle for the lead.
They were soon joined by Billy McConnell, making it a five rider freight train until McConnell made a mistake and crashed, leaving the top four to fight it out for the victory.
As the race progressed, Wilson made it through to second place – but made a slight mistake and ran wide on the final lap at the Club chicane, which allowed Sam Warren to snatch second place on the drag to the flag.
In the feature race on Sunday, Wilson once again benefited from a front row start and as the lights went out this time he shot away to establish a 0.5second advantage over Richards and Kennedy.
But the three were again joined by Warren, McConnell and Luke Mossey and the six riders circulated together for the majority of the race.
First Wilson led, and the next lap he was pushed back to fifth place, he fought his way back to the front only to be mugged by the other riders at Club chicane and pushed back to fifth once again.
The crowd couldn’t take their eyes off the action and, on the penultimate lap, Wilson made it past Warren and looked to make a move on the top three.
But Warren crashed right behind him and just caught Wilson’s Gearlink Kawasaki bike taking the foot peg with him into the gravel. He lost momentum and struggled to change gear for the remainder of the lap.
Mossey took advantage of this and passed him leaving Wilson to come home in fifth position.
“That was a really close and exciting race between us all,” Wilson said. “I thought I could get into a podium position on the last lap but didn’t reckon on losing my foot peg.
“That prevented me from catching the top four and so I have to be content with fifth place.”
This set of results sees Wilson remain in third place in the rider standings on 47 points, just eight-and-a-half points away from Kennedy, who holds the series lead.
The next round will be at Oulton Park on May 5-7.