Aaron Silvester crashes out in key race at Donington
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Silvester took a seven-point lead in to the penultimate round of the Championship having led the series all season.
After finishing the opening practice sessions on Friday in sixth place overall, the team then had a long wait before qualifying on Saturday evening, by which time the weather had taken a turn for the worse and the session started in heavy rain.
Despite atrocious conditions, Silvester stormed to pole position, 0.718 of a second faster than the rest of the field and main championship rivals, Owen Jenner and Asher Durham, down in ninth and tenth place and having to fight through the pack, hopefully giving Silvester a chance to break away at the front in Sunday’s 12-lap race.
Come race day, conditions were much improved and the track surface was completely dry with some Autumn sunshine warming the large crowd.
Silvester made a fantastic start to lead the race from Declan Connell, Cameron Hall and Sam Laffins, with Jenner up to sixth and Durham in seventh.
Silvester led the race for six laps until a hard charging Laffins took the lead on lap seven, by which time Jenner had moved up to third although Durham had crashed out.
Silvester stuck with Laffins but Jenner was right on his tail, the three of them covered by less than a second. On lap nine Silvester made an extra push to get right on to the tail of Laffins but as he went through the final hairpin the front tyre of his A & J Racing Yamaha tucked and he crashed out of second place.
It was an unfortunate end to what had been another solid weekend and after the race a disappointed Silvester said: “I’m absolutely gutted to have my first DNF of the year. The circuit grip wasn’t quite what it was earlier in the season and all the riders were struggling.
"Unfortunately, I just pushed a little too hard over the bumpy tarmac at the last corner and lost the front. Still, with two races and 70 points up for grabs at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time, it’s still all to play for.”
Jenner now leads the championship by 15 points from Silvester with Cameron Dawson 14 points further back.
The final round is at Brands Hatch on October 13-15.