Damon Rees and Shane Richardson rode waves of change at BSB Round 5 at Donington Park last weekend

Damon Rees and Shane Richardson rode waves of change at BSB Round 5 at Donington Park last weekend

Damon Rees and Shane Richardson rode the waves of change racing Bennetts British SBK Championship Round 5 at Donington Park last weekend. Forced to roll with change of race schedule due to rain, FP sessions 1 and 2 Overall marked position for start grid which didn’t get going til Sunday.

Damon Rees BSB Round 5 Donington Park Photo Credit: Damo

Knowing that the possibility of rain would cause Qualifying to be cancelled on Saturday, both Damon and Shane made most of track time in Free Practice sessions, only to sit out whole of Saturday waiting for UK weather to clear. As Damo remarked at end of Saturday- ‘well that was uneventful!’

Sunday produced who-is-ready to race straight up R1 and R2 with Damon eager as to clinch solid result before rain was closing in. Shane took lining up on grid 2x in same day in his stride completing the back-to-back races going 13-17.

Unfortunate incident left Damon crashing in R2 Opening Lap, injuring shoulder and putting early retirement to pits on Sunday afternoon. Neither dampened by weather, nor by injury Damo sits comfortable knowing he has more than proved his talent racing BSB Superstock 1000 this season.

Damon: ‘Yeah it was definitely full-on! I always knew that racing in the rain was going to be a challenge, as I just don’t have the experience in the rain that the Brits do! I’ve only raced in the rain a handful of times. That being said, I was pretty confident going into the weekend due to my successes there at Round 1′.

Shane Richardson BSB Round 5 at Donington Park Photo Credit: Shane

‘I think the hardest thing is that we just didn’t have enough wet track time due to the delays. FP1 on Friday was dry, then FP2 was wet, and then Saturday was postponed’.

‘For me, I need all the track time I can get to stay competitive with the guys that know the tracks like the back of their hand. But, I can’t use it as an excuse because that’s what I signed up for when I chose to race here! No matter what, I always love riding at Donington so I still really enjoyed being out there’.

Shane: ‘It was a bit different starting out the Sunday with a race straight away, but to be honest I didn’t mind it at all’.

‘Heading into FP1 we knew that could be our only dry session and that there was a good chance that it could also be the session to set the grid. I was a bit annoyed with myself that I didn’t do a little better with that in mind but it was what it was’. 

Different would be catch-cry for 2020 for sure, with BSB Championship Rounds squeezed in shorter period of time while extending into UK’s autumn. Rain, colder days most likely will be par of the course heading into the Final Round at Brands Hatch on October 16-18th.

Damon Rees BSB Donington Park Photo Credit: Michael Wincott

Shane: ‘I think the cold is a guarantee at this time of year hahah. I really don’t mind much when the whether is one or the other but it gets a bit tough when it’s an ‘in between’ and your not quite sure. Thankfully I have a great team around me that I can rely on to make the best decisions with’. 

If there is one fact that stands over and above racing, it is how both Damon and Shane have pushed their self-belief and confidence to new heights. Damo came in raw, not knowing BSB race circuits, adjusting to new daily life in UK, and that’s not even taking into account how COVID added to the mix.

Shane stepped up a class from Superstock 600 to 1000, always focused on nailing improvements where needed, while at same time welcoming change to family life with birth of daughter. Huge props go to both riders, their partners, Team, family back home and fans track-side.

Heading to Brands Hatch, Shane remains eager to better performance on track, while Damo is adjusting to injury with thoughts already focused on next season. Shane: I’m looking forward to Brands for the season finale. I really do want to work hard and finish out the year strong to light the fire for next year.

Shane Richardson BSB Snetterton Photo Credit: Shane

‘I would certainly say that I am a bit disappointed with what I have achieved this year but I am taking the positives and really taking in all the knowledge I’ve gained along the way to put it all into play in the future’.

Damon: ‘I’m currently organising some plans for next season at the moment. If I stay in Stock 1000 I’ll definitely be working towards gaining that championship win. But, I can’t say too much as it’s all still up in the air at the moment’.

BSB Round 6 Final Round Brands Hatch October 16-18th.

Words: Sharon Cox.

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