The BSB round at TT Circuit Assen, Holland 19-21 Sept was the backdrop for the highly competitive and penultimate round of the Moriwaki 250 Junior Cup. Rory was delighted to have been invited back to the Cup for a second Wildcard ride.
Arriving late on Friday, Rory was unable to walk the circuit beforehand so his first sighting was in the 20 minute practice session on Friday afternoon. Rory steadily and consistently worked hard at learning the demanding Assen turns, (having previously only ever seen the circuit via his Playstation MotoGP games) Rory said “It being my first time here, I had to learn the circuit quickly and adapt to being back on the 4 stroke machine again. We didn’t have any setup info for Assen so Dad set the bike up with what info we had gained from Brands Hatch, this unfortunately didn’t work for Assen, so we sat down in the evening and came up with a plan for completely new settings based on my feedback to Dad.
Saturday Qualifying 1: My first qualifying session went well, the settings on the bike were good and I managed to knock over 5 seconds off my lap-time, finishing the 25 minute session in 11th place. I was starting to flow well with the circuit and was confident I could better my times in the final qualifying session later in the day, if the weather stayed dry.
Saturday Qualifying 2: We made another small change to the bike setup for my final qualifying session and I managed to find another 1.3 seconds putting me in 4th position on the grid only 0.02 sec off 3rd place and only 1.077 sec off pole position. The bike was feeling really good and I was really enjoying the Assen circuit, it was really fast and flowing …. I felt I was now ready to race!”
Sunday…Race day: There was only one race at Assen for the Moriwaki 250 Junior Cup riders and with a last minute update to the grid positions saw Rory promoted to the front row due to a time penalty being issued to the rider in 3rd position. They rolled up on the grid and the lights went out, Rory was up to second by the first turn but with a hard charging reigning Cup champion taking back second place Rory dropped back to third which he held until a battle with a group of 5 riders ensued. Over the next two laps Rory battled hard and finally managed to drop the group and break away to hold third place for the remaining six laps coming over the line 1.3 seconds ahead of fourth place and securing the first International Podium of his career.
1st time at Assen……. 2nd time on bike……. 3rd place on podium!
Rory said “I had a fantastic time in Assen and would like to thank the 250 Junior Cup team for my invite to Wildcard again, this is a really competitive series and I am really happy to have been given the opportunity to ride again against some of the best riders from all over the World”.
Next up for Rory
: Penultimate round of Dunlop Aprilia Superteens at Donington Park Circuit on 27-28th September.