Max Cook leads championship after another great weekend for Barnsley’s Moto3 Wilson Racing Team

Wilson racing duo Charlie Atkins (56) and Max Cook (30). Photo: Kerry Rawson
Wilson racing duo Charlie Atkins (56) and Max Cook (30). Photo: Kerry Rawson
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The Moto3 Wilson Racing Team from Barnsley were at Thruxton in the seventh round of the Hel Performance Motostar British standard class Championship.

The support series to the British Superbike Championship started on Friday with two free practice sessions. FP1 turned out to be very eventful for Max Cook. Whilst the championship leader finished second overall he had a high-side on his tenth lap. This led to another rider crashing into his bike. Both riders were OK but Cook’s bike suffered major damage. The team worked flat out, replacing the chassis, fuel tank and fuel pump to get him back on track for FP2 where he finished fourth overall with a 1:24.307.

Charlie Atkins set a good pace in FP1 and reduced his lap time by 1.6 seconds to 1:24.706. Jake Clark was experiencing the sweeping curves of Thruxton for the first time. His progress was remarkable on the first day. He finished with a best lap time of 1:27.826 which was an improvement of nearly three seconds.

Having worked hard on Cook’s bike late on Friday the team were ready for Qualifying. During the 25 minute session on Saturday the riders had to deal with a short rain shower. This meant that after just ten minutes everyone pulled into the pits. However it didn’t last and with around eight minutes remaining the combined 33 GP and standard class Moto3 riders rushed out to try and improve. It wasn’t easy with so much traffic but Max Cook finished third quickest with a 1:23.599. Charlie Atkins was fourth just 0.160 seconds further back and Jake Clark recorded his best qualifying finishing 8th. His lap time was a 1:25.458 and now five seconds quicker than he achieved in FP1.

Race One: Wilson Racing enjoyed a fantastic 10 lap sprint race on Saturday. All three team riders made good starts and by lap three Cook was leading the race. Atkins was sandwiched between Fox-Moreton and Scott as the three battled for second place in the race. Novice Jake Clark was also running well. Max Cook took his tenth win of the season. With three laps remaining Atkins made his move and took second place from Fox-Moreton making it a Wilson 1-2. Jake Clark also made an impact coming home in a fine eighth position.

Race Two: The Feature Race had to be shortened from 14 laps to 11 after several incidents throughout the day had caused delays.

Max made a superb start and led the standard class despite starting six places behind the fastest rider in the class. He led for almost the entire race before dropping back tactically on the penultimate lap. With slipstream a big feature of the fast Thruxton circuit Cook used it to full effect on the final lap to re-take the lead and take his second win of the weekend. Charlie Atkins couldn’t repeat his podium finish of race one after he high-sided coming out of the final chicane at the end of the first lap. Somehow he managed to stay on. He then chiselled away at the riders ahead, crossing the line in fifth. Jake Clark found himself battling with the same riders as in the first race and picked more valuable points with a 10th place finish.

Gary Wilson said, “On Friday after the bike was almost destroyed we weren’t sure how the weekend would turn out. But again the boys have been amazing. Max got another double victory and it was the Team’s first one two when Atkins got second in race one. Jake hadn’t seen this track before and it is fast and bumpy so he did really well scoring points in both races.”

Max Cook leads the championship with 301 points. Charlie Atkins has moved into fifth place with 132 and Jake who has only ridden three rounds of the seven is 13th. The next race is at Cadwell Park on the 18 -20 August.