Clarke relishes riding in the wet

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Kirton rider Aaron Clarke matched his best result of the season when he rode to a strong 26th place at Donington Park on Sunday.

In round three of the National Superstock 600 championship, he showcased his talent in front of a large crowd attending the British round of the World Superbike Championship.

In dry weather conditions on Friday, Aaron completed the free practice session in 30th place, but the heavens opened on Saturday and both qualifying sessions took place in wet conditions which played into Aaron’s hands as he relishes riding in the wet.

At one stage he was up as far as 14th, but was gradually overhauled until he came into pit lane for adjustments.

He went back out and was instantly faster until he arrived at McCleans, where he suffered a high side and went sliding across the mud.

Although unhurt but for a couple of grazed elbows, he was covered in mud and needed to be hosed down by the pit crew to get his leathers clean for Sunday’s race when he was to start from a ninth row grid position.

Clarke said: “I was in a right state when I returned to the motorhome and was not permitted to go inside until I had been cleaned up.”

The weather was still poor as the Stock 600 riders took their grid positions for the start of the 12 lap race and although the rain had stopped the track was still wet and slippery.

As the lights went out Aaron was swallowed up in the rush for the first corner and fell back to 30th on the first lap.

But he got his head down and began to reel in the riders ahead and became embroiled in a battle for 26th place at the front of a large group of 10 riders.

But as the race progressed, he and Levi Day made a break from the pack and set about chasing the riders ahead but they were too far away from them to make much impression and Clarke crossed the finish line in 26th place, which equals his best finish scored at Brands Hatch in the first race of the season.

“I got a bad start; it just spun up a little bit in the damp conditions and ended up about 30th on the first lap,” Clarke continued.

“I got barged around on the first couple of laps and decided I had better put the other guys well behind me so me and Levi Day made the break to chase after the group ahead but the gap was too big.

“I did push Day on the last lap and thought I could overtake him but as it was still very slippery I thought it best to finish 26th sooner than perhaps crash on the last corner.”

The next round is at Snetterton, Norfolk, on June 15.