Motorcycling Hedger overcomes a spill and penalty to finish in fourth
LUKE Hedger got off to a storming start at the recent Bennetts British Superbike opener at Oulton Park last weekend
The Yate rider made easy work of the first free practice run (FP1) where he topped the timing sheets with a 1.37.169 in dry conditions last Friday.
The final test tour was hosted at Oulton Park only a few weeks previously so the JDR mechanical crew had multiple opportunities that day to change settings which were all working perfectly.
Managing nine laps in FP1 he tipped off at Knickerbrook right hander before the ascent to Clay Hill, and needless to say was very disappointed in himself.
That meant that for FP2 the Jones Dorling Racing team and Hedger’s mechanic, his father Lee, had to get to work mending the damage and therefore had to withdraw from the session which was a wet practice session. Luke kept his fingers crossed repairs to the bike would be ready in time for qualifying.
Under the watchful eye of team manager, Tom Jones, the mechanics through the night to get the bike ready in time.
With things running smoothly again, Hedger got back on the bike for qualifying. The weather had improved on the Saturday and he secured a second-row grid position for the Sunday afternoon race after completing a time of 1:36 with his fastest run being on the fifth lap of 12.
In the race itself Hedger got off to a hesitant start leaving him with a lot of work to do. The officials then gave him a long lap, for a false start.
Having moved back several places, Hedger was determined and ruthless, moving back up through the pack.
Eventually he found himself in fifth, battling with 2020 champion Chrissy Rouse. Rouse made a mistake under pressure and tipped the front on the last corner allowing Hedger to grab fourth as he took the chequered flag.
With 13 points collected from this round, Hedger will progress to
I’m more motivated now to get to Knockhill and get on that podium
the next round (Knockhill), sitting fourth in the championship.
Speaking after the race, Hedger said: “The weekend was very good from FP1 to race day. We had very strong pace, unfortunately we just didn’t have much luck on race day with a slow start and a long lap penalty.
“We missed out on the podium but still a fourth place finish is still very good and very strong for the championship!
“Thanks again to my whole team JDR for the super hard work over the weekend.
“I’m more motivated now to get to Knockhill and get on that podium!”
Team manager, Jones said: “The first round proved to us the winter preparation and testing definitely paid off! All three riders were working well together and on track. An unfortunate off for Luke in FP1 gave us some work to do but a huge credit to the team for working flawlessly to get Luke’s bike back together so efficiently.
“A fantastic fourth place result for Luke in his first race for JDR battling with the reigning champion Chrissy Rouse until the last corner.
“Also bearing in mind there was a long lap penalty in the race by Luke which was so well managed we didn’t see it on screen! Without the penalty Luke could have finished in third place, but we’ll look forward to the next two races at Knockhill!”