Goole Moto3 racer Charlie Atkins was in action at the Thruxton circuit in Hampshire last weekend. The rider from Goole made the 452-mile round trip to compete in round seven of the Hel performance Motostar British standard class championship.
On Friday the riders had two qualifying sessions. Wilson Racing’s Atkins finished the day sixth quickest in his class after reducing his lap time by more than 1.6 seconds between the two sessions.
At lunchtime, on Saturday the Moto3 riders went out for the important qualifying session. After just ten minutes rain began to fall in the first two sectors of the circuit. The riders came into the pits to wait to see what the weather would do. When the light shower had passed there were 8 minutes remaining on the clock. The riders began to pour out of pit-lane to see if they could move up the grid.
In the combined qualifying session of GP and standard class Moto3 riders, 33 riders were looking to improve in the final few minutes. It was hard to find some clear track. Atkins had been eighth when the rain began to fall, but he put in his best lap of the weekend at that stage finishing with a 1:23,759. This was the fourth best time in his class. His lap time had improved by more than 2.5 seconds since Friday morning.
In the turbulent get-away from the line Atkins dropped a place to fifth on lap one, but by the third lap was running in third place 0.7 seconds behind the rider in front. He dropped to fifth in the middle of the race as three riders fought for second place. But the tenacious 14-year-old made a successful attack for second with three laps remaining. On the final lap, Fox-Moreton overtook Atkins for second going down Woodham Hill, but Atkins got the position back on the brakes into the final chicane. He crossed the finish line second and 0.076 seconds ahead for his second podium in as many rounds.
Atkins was unable to repeat the podium success of race one on Sunday but he achieved his fastest lap of the weekend (1:23.080). At the end of the second lap Atkins’ race almost finished early. Coming out of the chicane he grabbed the throttle too early and high-sided. He rose out of the seat and when he came down he crashed his head against the screen on the bike. He lost a lot of time but managed to stay on the bike. He then set about clawing back the time he lost to Fox-Moreton and Jack Scott. The gap was closing all the time and on lap seven Atkins overtook Fox-Moreton for fifth spot. Jack Scott was his next target and as he entered the final lap the gap between them was 1.3 seconds. Head down and determined Atkins just ran out of laps to overtake Scott crossing the line in fifth two-tenths behind.
Charlie Atkins said,” It has been a very good weekend. In the first race was just unbelievable really. I got an OK start but then I rode well. T Fox[-Morton] overtook me on the final lap but I went up the inside of him in the final chicane. It was just a really good race and it was a one two for the team.
In the second race I high-sided, head-butted the screen, and my legs were everywhere. I lost about three seconds. I then kept chipping away every lap and overtook Taylor [Fox-Moreton] and dropped him by over a second. I then caught up with Jack [Scott] and went over the line just behind him.
It’s been a brilliant weekend and as always Gary Wilson gave me a great bike to ride. I’d like to also thank Nikita and my sponsors, Harman Carpets and Flooring, Repair and Restore Body Shop, The Bell and Crown pub Snaith, RR Automotive Glazing and MustHaveMediaServices.com.”
Charlie Atkins has moved up to fifth in the championship on 132 points with nine races left this season. The next round for him and the Wilson Racing team is at Cadwell Park on the weekend of the 18 – 20 August.