Solid start to new season for Burrows Engineering/RK Racing at Scarborough Spring Cup
Northern Ireland’s Burrows Engineering/RK Racing team made a promising start to the new season at the Bob Smith Spring Cup meeting at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough in North Yorkshire.
Magherafelt man Paul Jordan and Cork’s Mike Browne – both retained for 2021 after last year’s road racing calendar was essentially wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic – made the trip across the Irish Sea to take advantage of the opportunity for some real roads action.
It was the Dungannon team’s first race meeting in more than eight months since the Cookstown 100 last September, but Jordan and Browne – a newcomer to the 2.43-mile woodland course – were soon up to speed on their immaculately prepared Yamaha YZF-R6 machines, securing several top-six finishes.
Oliver’s Mount rookie Browne was the quickest newcomer over the weekend as he set an impressive personal best of 1m 49.739s on his way to sixth place in Sunday’s Supersport A race behind Davey Todd – a time which places him among the fastest ever newcomers on a 600cc machine; it was also the seventh fastest lap of the weekend overall.
On Saturday, the 30-year-old crossed the line in second place behind Dean Harrison in his Supersport heat, but Browne was pushed back to third after incurring a 10-second penalty for a jump-start.
Unfortunately, Jordan – fourth in his Supersport heat – slid out unhurt in Sunday’s first Supersport event after posting the fastest time in morning warm-up. There was further disappointment for both riders after they were forced to miss the feature Spring Cup race – back on the calendar for the first time since 2017 – and final Supersport encounter due to machine issues.
Team principal John Burrows said: “It was a productive weekend for the team’s first race meeting of the year. Paul only raced at Oliver’s Mount once before while Mike was a newcomer, so I was extremely pleased with the pace they showed.
“I’m gutted that we didn’t get to compete in the Spring Cup race after we had a problem with both bikes. On Saturday, Mike actually finished second in his Supersport heat but then he got pushed back to third because of a penalty for jumping the start. He learned the course very quickly and Paul was also running good lap times on Saturday to finish fourth in his heat.
“Paul was quickest during morning warm-up for the Supersport class on Sunday but in the opening race he slid off at the final corner before the start/finish straight, fortunately without injury,” Burrows added.
“Mike finished fourth in Sunday’s first Supersport race proper and set a lap-time of 1m 49.7s, which was right on the pace compared to the likes of Davey Todd, who finished second in the Spring Cup race.
“Unfortunately, we had issues with both bikes towards the end of the day and that meant we missed the Spring Cup and the second Supersport race, but apart from that it was a successful weekend and we’ll look forward to going back to Scarborough again.”
A disappointed Jordan said he initially feared he may not be able to participate in the event as a result of the pain in his back.
“It was a frustrating weekend for me because I hurt my back on Friday and for a while I actually wasn’t sure if I’d be able to ride a bike at all,” he said.
“I just bent down to pick something up in Lee Johnston’s garage and I felt like I pulled something. The pain was unreal but I got some painkillers into me and that eased it a bit for Saturday.
“It wasn’t actually too bad when the adrenaline kicked in when I was on the bike, but I wasn’t happy with my starts and that was leaving me too much work to do, so it’s something I need to focus on.
“It’s the reason I slid off on Sunday because I made a poor start and then I was having to push to try and make up ground.”
Jordan was due to see a chiropractor on Tuesday but says he is keen to return to Oliver’s Mount for the Barry Sheene Classic meeting in June.
“I’ve seen a physio, who thinks I might have a slipped disc, but I’ll know more when I see the chiropractor on Tuesday,” he explained.
“It’s just really disappointing because I felt so good coming up to the weekend. But it was a good chance to be with the team again and I enjoyed it from that perspective, and I’m keen to go back to Scarborough again and make amends.”
Meanwhile, event newcomer Browne was in good spirits after an impressive debut around the ‘Mount’, where he established himself as one of the fastest ever newcomers in the Supersport class.
“It was my time first time at Scarborough so we took it steady on Saturday until the track dried up a bit, and then I was able to push on,” said Browne.
“It’s a hard place to make up any time, especially if you have a bad qualifying, but I was happy enough overall and we were able to run a good pace once we got up to speed.
“We had a bit of a bike issue on Sunday but there’s nothing you can do about that, and fair play to the team because they worked so hard to try and get it sorted for the Spring Cup race and the last 600 race.
“I’ve got some experience of the place now and we’ve got a bit of a base setting to work from when we go back, so I’ll be able to go there and ride in anger a bit more the next time,” he added.
“It was a great weekend to really get to know the team better and it was good craic – everyone got on well and we had a good laugh away from the racing.”
The team’s next outing is likely to be a return to Scarborough for the Barry Sheene Classic meeting from June 26-27.
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