Tough weekend for North East trio

Silverstone's challenges proved difficult last weekend for Barry Burrell, Graeme Gowland and Joe Burns

Graeme Gowland in action
Graeme Gowland in action

Barry Burrell, Graeme Gowland and Joe Burns all had a tough time at Silverstone in the penultimate rounds of their respective championships.

Burrell of Bishop Auckland, County Durham, had another up and down event with one top 10 finish on his Quattro Plant Kawasaki, but then struggled to limp home 18th in the second race.

In the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship Allendale’s Graeme Gowland had one of his most frustrating rounds of the season, and it was a similar story for Newcastle’s Joe Burns in the Pirelli Superstock 1000 series.

Since his return to the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Burrell has struggled to get to grips at times with his machine, and once again it was a frustrating start to the weekend for the star.

“I qualified in 21st place which was pretty awful – I didn’t even make it through to second qualifying so I had a lot of work to do,” he told The Journal. “I knew it was going to be a hard task to make it up and I was focussed on getting a decent lap in during the first race so I could get a better grid position for the second race.”

At the green light Burrell got one of the best starts of his career, launching himself up several places and scything his way through to start the second lap in 13th place. Despite dropping a place to the Halsall Racing Kawasaki of Josh Waters on lap four, he soon took the spot back and then passed another couple of riders to finish the 14-lap race 10th.

For the second race he started 12th, and once again got a good start, moving up to 10th on the third lap. But this time it wasn’t such a great race and he started to struggle, eventually ending the race 16th.

Meanwhile Graeme Gowland was left on the back foot after a damp track on Friday threw everyone into chaos, and he eventually qualified in seventh spot for Saturday’s sprint race.

He got a good start and spent much of the race in a three-rider battle for fifth, but lost out on the last lap and finished seventh.

In the feature race it was more of the same for the former Spanish champion, who again got off the line well and hitched himself onto a nine rider scrap for the win.

Despite a sterling effort he only managed to finish sixth, but was later promoted to fifth after Alistair Seeley was docked 10 seconds for an incident during the race. “All in all it was a positive weekend that we desperately needed,” he revealed. “We were in a bit of a rut over the past two rounds struggling for set-up but this weekend, especially in that final race, I think we’ve got a solid set-up that can push us in the right direction.

“I’m really looking forward to Brands Hatch now and hope I can finish the year off with some silverware.”

For Joe Burns a potential win was on the cards until he was forced to retire his JG Speedfit Kawasaki during the Stock 1000 race.

After qualifying third he got a lightning quick start and shot up to second place behind leader Filip Backlund and by lap three was poised to make a lunge for the lead when his machine suddenly lost power.

Pulling into the pits the crew discovered a 50p spring had failed and cost him the race.

“This is the first time we have had a failure of this spring, it is just incredible that a 50p component has let me down,” he said.

“I was ready to make my move on Filip and was feeling really comfortable. I feel I have lost a certain podium and probably a win today.”

All three riders will be back in action for the final round at Brands Hatch in a fortnight.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer