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Solid start to 2018 season for Daley
Josh Daley got his 2018 Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship campaign underway at Donington Park over the Easter weekend and it was a solid start for the Wigan rider as he finished all three races on the JD Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Weather conditions at the Leicestershire venue proved difficult throughout the three days with a combination of wet weather and cold temperatures challenging all of the riders and with almost 50 riders on track, practice and qualifying was hard fought. The poor weather could be seen in the times being set during Saturday’s free practice sessions with even the fastest lap some twenty seconds adrift of the lap record.
Having only his third meeting on the Kawasaki ZX-10R, Josh ran comfortably inside the top thirty in each of Saturday’s wet sessions and although Easter Sunday dawned dry, temperatures never got higher than seven degrees which offered a new and different challenge. The lap times improved considerably during the solitary qualifying session and Josh qualified in 39th place for the first of the afternoon’s two races.
With Josh’s main aim being to complete the two races and get another signature towards his Mountain Course licence, required for the Isle of Man TT Races, he duly kept out of trouble to take 31st in the first 13-lap affair and it was a quick turn around with just ten minutes to refuel the bike for the second encounter. It was ultimately cut to ten laps due to an incident but Josh improved both his lap times and his position to finish in 28th place on this occasion.
A third race was scheduled for Monday afternoon but torrential rain overnight led to numerous delays in the days’ schedule but the race got underway at 2.55pm. The damp weather led to tricky conditions once more but Josh rode a sensible race to keep out of trouble and take his third finish of the weekend in 31st place.
Josh Daley: “This weekend was still only my third time on the Kawasaki ZX-10R and it’s a big learning curve – with the poor weather this weekend, it was a new experience and challenge for me as last year’s meetings on the bike saw better conditions. The last thing I wanted was to be upside down in a gravel trap as I was primarily riding to get another signature towards the Mountain Course licence but the lack of grip perhaps made me more cautious than some of the other riders.”
“When a bit of drizzle began to fall, I backed off a bit but I finished both races on Sunday which was pleasing and it’s always good to get the first race of the year out of the way. It was perhaps even trickier on Monday and I didn’t want to risk doing any damage to either myself or the bike. I'm normally strong in the wet and I was perhaps riding more than I was racing but it wasn’t worth pushing too hard at this stage of the season although I’ll be hoping for better conditions next time so I can give a much better account of myself.”
Work commitments mean Josh will be forced to miss the next round so he’ll next be in action at Oulton Park where the third round of the Championship will take place on May 5-7.
Pictures by Tim Keeton – Impact Images
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship race one (13 laps)
1 Billy McConnell (Suzuki)
2 Josh Elliott (Kawasaki)
3 Keith Farmer (BMW)
4 Joe Collier (Aprilia)
5 Alastair Seeley (Kawasaki)
6 Chrissy Rouse (BMW)
31 Josh Daley (JD Racing Kawasaki)
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship race two (10 laps)
1 Billy McConnell (Suzuki)
2 Keith Farmer (BMW)
3 Josh Elliott (Kawasaki)
4 Dan Kneen (BMW)
5 Alastair Seeley (Kawasaki)
6 Chrissy Rouse (BMW)
28 Josh Daley (JD Racing Kawasaki)
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship race three (13 laps)
1 Andrew Reid (Aprilia)
2 Joe Collier (Aprilia)
3 Keith Farmer (BMW)
4 Michael Rutter (BMW)
5 Billy McConnell (Suzuki)
6 Josh Elliott (Kawasaki)
31 Josh Daley (JD Racing Kawasaki)
  joshdaleyracing   @joshdaleyracing
For further information, or partnership opportunities, please contact:
Andy Daley 07703 721915
Philip Wain 07718 023211