Lisburn race ace Carl Phillips still leads the National Superstock 600 championship, but mechanical issues once again saw him, lose points with a ninth place finish at Brands Hatch.
Round 8 of the championship saw the second visit of the 2016 season to Brands Hatch, and this time they would be using the full 2.43 mile Grand Prix circuit.
An impressive performance during the first half of the season with five podiums including two race wins, Lisburn rider Carl is currently leading the Championship, but has for the last two rounds suffered mechanical problems to his Kawasaki ZX-6R race bike with a crash at Snetterton, and a seized engine at Thruxton which have reduced his Championship lead.
During the practice session Carl struggled with his front suspension and discovered a few issues with the new engine, and although his bike is handling better, changes will be required for him to improve lap times.
In the first of two qualifying sessions Carl improved his lap times to finish 13th quickest, and after further changes to the set up and with a new set of tyres, Carl again improved his lap times finishing 7th quickest and would start from row 3 on the grid, less than two tenths of a second behind pole position.
“Since the front forks and engine have been repaired it feels like a completely different bike to me,” Carl said, “It’s taking time to feel confident in the handling and in particular the front end again.”
A good start and Carl was holding his position at the end of the first lap until on lap 4 an incident in front of him saw two of the leading riders crash out promoting him to 6th position, but unfortunately the leading group had managed to pull a gap and Carl was left fighting for a top 10 finish.
Still suffering with front end issues, Carl rode bravely and eventually crossed the line in 9th position.
“The team are working so hard but with a limited budget,” Carl commented. “We are finding it difficult to compete against the bigger teams.
“But we will be back in action at Cadwell Park in three weeks and I am determined to hold on to my Championship lead.”