Impressive Buckingham tastes champagne at today's Castle Combe Grand National - 31st July 2005
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James Buckingham took a fairy-tale third place podium finish and set a new lap record at today's Castle Combe Grand National during his debut ride for Rizla Suzuki.
Buckingham, substituting for regular Rizla Suzuki rider John Reynolds, fought for the victory throughout a nail-biting dry second race that saw five riders fighting for the win from start to finish. He set a brilliant new lap record of 1min09.93s in the process.
Rizla Suzuki's James Haydon led for most of the second race. A coming together with a back marker with two laps to go relegated him to second and he was pushed back to fourth at the penultimate corner after running off the track to avoid colliding with another rider. He rejoined to finish fourth.
The opening race of the day was held in wet conditions and cut short after just eight of the 15-laps. Haydon took fifth and Buckingham sixth on the bumpy and slippery 1.85-mile-long Wiltshire track. Yamaha's Tommy Hill won both races.
JR will join James Haydon at Silverstone in Northamptonshire for an official MCRCB test on Tuesday, August 2nd. James Buckingham will be defending his lead in the Superbike Privateer Cup at the ninth round of the British Superbike Championship at Silverstone on August 21st.
"I loved riding for Rizla Suzuki this weekend and I think I have proved that with a Factory bike and good team I can run at the front in the Superbike class. I was going for the win in the second race and that was a fantastic experience."
"I am disappointed not to have won the second race. We are getting a lot closer to winning every time we race and I am hungrier than ever for success. On the positive side, we got more miles under our belts this weekend and understand the Rizla Suzuki better now. We are in good shape for the rest of the season."
Dave Marton, Team Technical Support:
"James Buckingham has really impressed us and done a superb job - he is a star for the future and we thank him for his efforts this weekend. James Haydon tested a lot of settings on his Rizla Suzuki and that was always our main objective for the weekend. He deserved to win the second race but a bit of bad luck intervened and the team will be content with the third place for Buckingham."
Tommy Hill, 1st;
"Amazing, I'm absolutely over the moon. I knew a win wouldn't be far off but two, that was fantastic. Luckily I made the re-start for the second race and managed to do the double. Finally I just want to thank the team for all their support and hard work; I will certainly be buying a few drinks for boys tonight as a thank you!"
Race One Result:
1: Tommy Hill (Yamaha), 10:28.75
2: Karl Harris (Honda), +2.25
3: Steve Plater (Honda), +6.99
4: Jonathan Rea (Honda), +7.51
5: James Haydon (Suzuki), +7.91
6: James Buckingham (Suzuki), +18.22
7: Ollie Bridewell (Kawasaki), +18.46
8: Richard Wren (Yamaha), +18.76
9: Nick Pusey (Yamaha), +19.21
10: Steve Brogan (Honda), +22.17
Race Two Result:
1: Tommy Hill (Yamaha), 21:18.94
2: Karl Harris (Honda), +0.47
3: James Buckingham (Suzuki), +1.88
4: James Haydon (Suzuki), +4.40
5: Wren +11.46
6: Jonathan Rea (Honda), +20.17
7: Bridewell +21.53
8: Steve Brogan (Honda), +31.05
9: Les Shand (Yamaha) +36.17
10: Dean Ellison (Yamaha) +43.83