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MAP Raceways Yamaha Clinch Two Poles In Two Classes With McConnell And Jones

Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport Championship Qualification:

MAP Raceways Yamaha rider Billy McConnell has taken a strong pole position during qualifying for the first round of the Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport Championship.

McConnell set the pace early in the session and was never headed. He suffered a small off when after running slightly wide and onto the dirty section of the track along the Cooper Straight, however he returned uninjured to the garage to pick up his spare bike and complete the session.

Team-mate to McConnell and the 2008 Metzeler National Superstock 600 Champion, Lee Johnston, put his MAP Raceways Yamaha onto the second row of the grid in a healthy sixth position. This was his first outing on his new YZF-R6 Yamaha Supersport bike and he was thrilled with the result.

The third and final member of the MAP Raceways Yamaha team, Allan Jon Venter qualified in 18th position after taking a gamble on his race setup. The changes worked and he improved his time by one second.

McConnell said: “That session is what the team deserves after all the work they have put into the bike. We hoped it would be dry today and we improved from 10th position yesterday to pole position this afternoon. After the bad year I had last year it is great the team have faith in me, and they have put a big effort into the testing and the bike so I want to repay the favour. I’ve got a good setup for the race and I know my bike is fast as I can pass people on the straight. I feel good for the race but points make prizes.”  

Johnston said: “The bike is good and it is a pleasure to work with the MAP Raceways Yamaha guys, they make my job easy. Billy is on pole so I know there is more to come. I wanted to qualify in the top five and I’m only one place away so I can’t complain. In the race I’d like to be top five but a one-two would be good for the team.”

Venter said: “We made some changes to the front end of the bike and it worked well. I know I’m in 18th place but it is really close out there so it will be a case of getting my elbows out and getting through the traffic. My aim is to be top five this season but I’ll aim for top ten tomorrow but even that is nine places too low! I’ll try for a good start and go for it.”   

Steve Rodgers, MAP Raceways Yamaha Team Manager, said: “I’m over the moon with the results today. Billy on pole, Lee sixth and AJ isn’t far off either so we couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season.”

The Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport race will take place on Monday 13th April at 1515. Race day will be broadcast on British Eurosport LIVE between 1230 and 1715.

Qualifying results

1.    Billy McConnell     MAP Raceways Yamaha    46.788
2.    Hudson Kennaugh         Yamaha            +0.198
3.    Dan Linfoot        Yamaha            +0.211
4.    Steve Plater         Honda            +0.214
5.    Chris Martin        Kawasaki        +0.378
6.    Lee Johnston         MAP Raceways Yamaha    +0.417
18.    Allan Jon Venter    MAP Raceways Yamaha    +0.829

Metzeler National Superstock 600 Championship Qualification:

The positive weekend continued for MAP Raceways Yamaha in the Metzeler National Superstock 600 Championship with three out of four riders qualifying for the race on Easter Bank Holiday Monday.

Due to the huge number of the entrants in the championship, two groups have been created with the first 14 of each group automatically qualifying, leaving the remaining racers to fight for the remaining ten positions on the grid.

From the start of the session, which took place under dull weather conditions, Luke Jones secured pole position, improving in time and not giving in to the pressure of his closest rivals, setting a time of 48.504s.  

Jones said: “I’m very happy as I went out and put in a few quick laps, grabbed P1 and pulled in. I love the bike and the team are working hard to get the bike right. It’s going to be close as there are a few of us on similar lap times so it will be a tough race.”

Nikki Coates finished in eighth and said: “It’s tight going out there and if I had found a couple of tenths I’d have been front row. But I know I can do consistent, fast laps and that is what counts in the race.”

Mike McLean qualified in 23rd, and was pleased but also frustrated with one particular part of the track that is currently holding him back. He aims to improve on this as the weekend continues.  

McLean said: “I had a problem in sector one but I was fourth fastest in sector two and three so I need to work on the first part. Once I crack that it will be fine. Also I got caught behind a slower rider in the last five minutes so that held me up too. I’m aiming for points in the race.”

Youngster Cody Nally is new to both the team and British circuits this season, and he has been improving throughout the weekend.  Even though he failed to qualify for the race he should not be disappointed as he has made positive steps forward this weekend.

Nally said: “I went 1.5secs faster in the qualifying session which is good so I’m definitely getting faster. I had to take part in the shootout, but I just couldn’t get that extra bit of time I needed to put me through.”

The riders are pleased with their position for tomorrow’s race and aim to pull in the best positions and points possible.

Qualifying results

1. Luke Jones        MAP Raceways Yamaha    48.504
2. Nick Clark        Yamaha             48.607
3. Leon Hunt        Yamaha             48.771
4. Patrick Mc Dougall    Yamaha            48.743
5. Joshua Day        Yamaha            48.894
6. Danny lee Hedger    Yamaha            48.931
7. Luke Stapleford    Kawasaki        48.949
8. Nikki Coates        MAP Raceways Yamaha    49.025
23. Mike McLean        MAP Raceways Yamaha    49.302
NQ. Cody Nally        MAP Raceways Yamaha    50.367
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aj venterbilly mcconnelllee johnston


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