Rhys Stephenson ends rookie season in Honda British Talent Cup with positive points finishes

Teenager in action at Donington Park
Rhys Stephenson. Photo: Dave YeomansRhys Stephenson. Photo: Dave Yeomans
Rhys Stephenson. Photo: Dave Yeomans

Skegness rider Rhys Stephenson was at Donington Park for the final round of the British Talent Cup where, despite the differing weather conditions he secured a fifth and sixth place finish to his two races which secure joint 12th position in the overall rider standings in his rookie season.

Having moved up this year from racing minimoto to the 250 Honda in this high profile series the 15-year-old Lincolnshire rider has had a fantastic first year on the bike and the organisers are saying he has a great future ahead of him.

But things did not go to plan at Donington as Rhys crashed in free practice and although he was fine the bike was not.

The team had to work until the early hours to get the bike prepared for qualifying and ultimately this affected his qualifying. He was only able to qualify in 22nd place which gave him an eighth row grid position.

The weather on Saturday was dreadful with heavy rain and a strong wind.

Rhys went out sporting brand new leathers and a new fairing and got a fantastic start to make up 10 places on the opening lap to 12th.

One lap later he passed Mason Johnson and after two of the leading group crashed in the slippery conditions he was elevated to seventh.

On lap seven of 12 he passed JJ Cunningham to settle into sixth place and when another rider at the front fell he found himself in fifth position which he held to the chequered flag to equal his best result of the current campaign.

Starting the second race from the third row in dry and sunny conditions Rhys was up to fifth at Redgate on the opening lap but was beaten back to sixth by the end of the lap.

He was further demoted to seventh and remained in that position for the remainder of the race.

But on the final corner of the final lap Cormac Buchanan highsided right in his path and Rhys did well to avoid hitting him. With Buchanan in the gravel Rhys crossed the finish line in sixth place.

The points accrued from Donington place Rhys joint 12th in the final rider standings on 78 points. A great achievement for the young Rookie.