Donington BSB: Skinner ‘over the moon’ after tough weekend

| | British Superbikes
Picture: Impact Images

Fourth place salvaged Rory Skinner’s tough BSB weekend at Donington Park on his newly-titled Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki ZX-10RR.

The Scot maintained his place in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship showdown slots having battled both technical and physical challenged across the trio of races.

The 20-year-old from Perth secured the fourth fastest time around the National circuit during Saturday’s qualifying before leading the field through turn one in the afternoon’s eBay Sprint race. Unfortunately a broken bracket meant that the 2020 British Supersport Champion spent almost the entire race without his thumb operated rear brake, but he was able to ride maturely to bring his machine home to a damage limiting seventh place finish, giving him nine championship points.

Sunday saw Skinner second fastest in morning warm up, however a crash towards the end of the session meant that the FS-3 squad needed to completely rebuild the ZX-10RR for the afternoon’s action, which saw a battered Rory in the thick of the battle for fourth – finally coming home eighth at the end of the hotly contested 26-lap race.

Reversing the situation for the final outing, Skinner made another lightning start from eighth to fourth on the opening lap before moving through to second as he crossed the line for a second time. The superbike sophomore battled for the podium for much of the race, eventually making a pass on Yamaha’s Kyle Ryde at the final corner to take his best result of the weekend with a fine fourth place. The result sees him leave the Leicestershire circuit fifth in the standings, 14 points off second and inside the all-important ‘Showdown’ top eight.

“It’s been a bit of a tough weekend at Donington,” Skinner said after Sunday’s races. “We had an off this morning and my team worked really hard to get the bike totally built from scratch, ultimately the only thing that they carried over was the engine. I have to thank them for that and I am grateful to have such a great team around me.

“On Saturday I lost the rear brake, which wasn’t anyone’s fault, just a component breaking, then in race two I had some arm pump. I was in a group of riders and the rhythm wasn’t quite how I would normally ride a race but for race three I was able to grit my teeth, the pace suited me a bit better and the arm pump wasn’t as bad.

“I’m over the moon with fourth as it has been a real rollercoaster of a weekend. I had to dig deep and we’ve ended what was a tough weekend with what feels like a win.

“I am looking forward to Knockhill, which is one of my favourite tracks. It’s only 30 minutes from home and I can’t wait to ride in front of the Scottish fans.”

The championship now takes a four week break ahead of round four, which takes place at Skinner’s local Knockhill circuit, although he will be back on track with the Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki team at a two-day test at the Fife venue in early June.

Picture: Impact Images