Charlie Atkins from Goole finished fifth and sixth in round five of the Hel Performance British Motostar standard class championship. Competing on almost identical Moto3 machinery Atkins, who rides for Wilson Racing is now seventh in the championship on 82 points.
Atkins used FP1 to reacquaint himself with the fast but bumpy Thruxton circuit. The Hampshire track is one of the fastest on the British Superbike calendar despite having no real straight. Track temperature increased in the afternoon under the glorious sunny skies. Along with several adjustments between the two sessions, the warmer track helped Atkins reduce his lap time by over 1.6 seconds. The 15-year-old finished inside the top five with a lap time of 1:24.416.
The thirty-four Moto3 riders were out at 9:30 on Saturday morning to complete their thirty-minute qualifying session. Atkins spent most of the session hovering just inside the top ten. The wind had changed and he was struggling with the gearing settings so was lacking top end speed on the fastest parts of the track. Despite this issue he made a concerted effort in the closing seconds which saw him move up to 8th for race one.
Atkins had a very successful 12 lap race. He and another rider managed to bridge a gap between themselves and the group ahead. The rider that went with him crashed out but Atkins managed to pass the two riders ahead and then make a break. He finished the race in an excellent fifth place.
The second race was an extremely exciting and close affair. Atkins made a good start and whilst the race leader stormed away from the pack Atkins was in among the chasing group of six riders. There was plenty of position swapping in the group and Atkins was up to fourth at one point. As they approached the final chicane anyone of six riders could have been in any of the positions second to seventh. Thankfully they all managed to squeeze through the chicane without a major incident. Out the other side Atkins managed to cross the line sixth just 0.761 seconds from the rider who finished second.
Charlie Atkins said, “I got the better result in race one but race two I was in with all the other leading riders. Race two was probably the best race of my life. Thanks to Gary Wilson for a fantastic bike: Also Harman Carpets and Flooring, Craig Fenton Plumbing, The Bell and Crown in Snaith and MustHaveMediaServices.com for their sponsorship.”