Splitlath Takes The Rough With The Smooth At Donington
The Sheffield rider was flying solo this weekend as team-mate John Simpson decided to sit the meeting out due to injuries sustained in a crash at Cadwell Park last month, and instead concentrated on extending his lead in the Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport Cup.
At a new track with no previous data to build on, the squad struggled with set-up and qualified 10 th in Evo and 26 th overall, with Harris confident he could make amends in the race.
As Race One got underway early this afternoon, he got a good start but quickly realised his Aprilia RSV4 machine wasn’t handling well, and opted to pull in and make the necessary changes ahead of this afternoon’s second race. Having not had a chance to get a lap in, he was forced to start from the very back of the grid for Race Two. At the start he got a much cleaner getaway, searing past three other bikes as they charged down to Redgate.
By the end of the first lap he had made up nine places and was lying seventh in Evo and 20 th overall. He dropped to eighth briefly for a handful of laps but was soon back in seventh and was slowly reeling in the pack ahead.
But disaster struck on the final lap. Harris was inching closer to David Anthony and Patric Muff just ahead when he ran out of fuel at Redgate and was unable to make it to the finish line.
“It was a gutter that, especially after the good start I had,” he said. “After Race One I knew we had a big job on starting from the back of the grid, butI was up to 20 th overall at the end of the first lap and I was confident we could get much further up.
“We knew this would be a tough one for us because we’ve not been here before, but the changes the team made between races were a big step in the right direction. There was no way we could stretch another lap out of it so I had to pull off the track. It was just bad luck, one of those things."
Team Principal John Dimbylow is already looking ahead to the next round at Silverstone in a fortnight.
“We made improvements to the power of the bike but then we suffered set-up problems in the first race,” he said. “In the second he ran out of fuel on the final lap, which is frustrating but that’s racing.
“Before the fuel problem hit, Karl was riding a great race. He did really, really well to come from the back of the grid and make up nine places in the first lap, and we’ve made further improvements and steps forward with the Aprilia.
“We’ve got to take the best bits and learn from the bad bits and get on with it. We’ve got Silverstone to think about now and we’ll be doing as much work as we can over the next two weeks to get both Karl and John up fighting at the sharp end when we get there.”
Photo credit: Full Throttle Imaging