Sennett overcomes adversity for success

Tilney St Lawrence motorcycle racer Andrew Sennett finally got his 2007 National Superstock campaign off the ground at his local track Snetterton over the weekend.

Tilney St Lawrence motorcycle racer Andrew Sennett finally got his 2007 National Superstock campaign off the ground at his local track Snetterton over the weekend.

Sennett, 24, riding his 1000cc Yamaha R1 was looking forward to competing at the 1.95 mile circuit even though his ageing machine would be giving away vital horsepower around the high speed circuit to far newer machines.

Sennett was on track on Friday for his first free practice session and straight from the start posted good times to record ninth quickest. Later in the day he was out for his first qualifying session and lapped even quicker than in practice but finished 14th.

The second qualifying session was held on Saturday after Sennett had made some changes to the suspension of the machine in the hope to alleviate some of the handling problems that he had been having on the first sector of the track.


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On lap five of his 25 minute session Andrew posted a lap time of 1 min 10 sec, equivalent to an average speed of 100.27mph, which put him in third place.

It was his fastest ever lap of the circuit and with a clear track in front of him he was on course for and even quicker one on his next circuit. Then, disaster struck as the gearbox shaft snapped when Sennett was about to take the left hand Esses corner at the end of the 170mph back straight. Not being able to change down the gearbox to use the engine braking Sennett was forced to take to the slip-road in order to slow the bike down safely.

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It looked as if the engine would need to be stripped in order for the repairs to be made and it seemed that it would spell the end of Andrew's racing, but a closer inspection revealed that the problem could be fixed without a major strip down. With only six laps completed it looked certain that Sennett's position would be in jeopardy, but his time was sufficient to keep him in sixth place overall out of the 50 competitors that had taken part.

The repairs were duly carried out by Sennett's team over the evening and the bike was ready for the race day warm-up session. All appeared well with Sennett recording fifth fastest, although he would have been happier if he could have had the rest of his second qualifying to try different suspension settings.

Sennett took his place on the grid for the race and made a good start, but still struggled with his machine's handling and, although he lapped consistently in the low 1 min 10 second bracket, he was quickly overhauled by the faster machines on the long straights.

He finished the 14lap race in 12th place and although disappointed he has at last got his points score started.

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