Under blue skies and fantastic sunshine, Charlie Atkins took a fifth place in the first race at Knockhill on Saturday. He then followed that up with an eighth in race two adding 19 points to his championship tally. The youngster from Goole is now eighth overall with 52 points and just ten away from a top six position.
The circuit in Fife Scotland played host to round three of the Hel Performance British Motostar standard class Championship. The sun was out and the track recently resurfaced enabling faster lap times than in previous years.
Charlie Atkins had a positive start to the weekend in FP1. He spent the first half of the session getting familiar with the small differences between the British Talent Cup Moto3 and the British Motostar Moto3 and looking for his braking markers on the Knockhill circuit. Although he only set the 8th best time he was within 9 tenths of the fastest rider. After making some minor adjustments to the handlebar width, Atkins confidently pushed on and improved in the second free practice moving to within half a second of the fastest rider and up to fifth overall.
The good weather continued on Saturday and Atkins made a bright start. He further reduced his lap time with a 54.883. Despite the continued improvement, the competitive nature of the class meant he would start from seventh in his class.
The race on Saturday afternoon was for 18 laps. Atkins made another good start moving up to fourth at the end of the first lap. He led a group of riders including Rhys Irwin, teammate Scott Ogden and Ross Turner. Whilst Irwin succeeded in passing Atkins he kept his head down to maintain what was now fifth position. Irwin initially pulled away from Atkins but with three laps remaining he had clawed back to a deficit of around half a second. Unfortunately, Atkins hit a false neutral on the penultimate lap and was unable to catch him. After almost 23 miles of undulating track, Atkins crossed the line in fifth and collected 11 valuable championship points.
The second race was on Sunday and was for 22 laps. From seventh on the grid, Atkins repeated his good start from race one and moved quickly up to fifth behind championship leader Victor Rodriguez. He then lost a couple of positions on the following two laps but tucked in behind his teammate Scott Ogden. Another rider then overtook Atkins but make a mistake whilst braking which meant they both lost touch with Scott Ogden. He was then involved in a four-way battle for the remainder of the race and crossed the line in eighth position.
Charlie Atkins said, ” The fifth place in race one was good. Race two was a bit disappointing but we scored nineteen points over the weekend. I’m now looking forward to Brands Hatch. Thanks to Harman Carpets and Flooring, Craig Fenton Plumbing, The Bell and Crown in Snaith and MustHaveMediaServices.com for all they do to keep me racing.”