Connor Thomson, who rides for the Horley based CRT-Racing Team, missed out on a place in the KTM Cup World Final at Assen by just seven points after a fantastic season which only started at the third round for Thomson.
Going into the final round of the Santander Consumer Finance KTM British Junior Cup Connor Thomson was just four points behind a fifth place spot that would guarantee him a ride at the World Final. Despite a strong performance in race one where he started on the grid in 13th and finished fifth, he crashed out of race two after a coming together with another rider. He then had to start from 13th again in the final race, and on a bike that had to be completely rebuilt overnight. Despite his valiant efforts he could only reach ninth place and missed out on the final by seven points. Thomson can be justly proud of his season though. He missed the first four races of the season and then took a win and two second places at his first event. He added another win and second place at Cadwell Park during the season.
Connor Thomson, “Firstly, thanks to Mark Draper and Kevin Kay of Steelmate Racing, P & H Motorcycles, CS Tyres and John Jefferson, my Dad and my sister Caitlyn, who have been such great help in keeping me racing. I also need to thank Danny Bojko and his family who lent us his frame to use for the final race, after his engine blew and ours was destroyed in the crash in race two. I’m clearly disappointed to have missed out on the final but I have to be proud of what we’ve achieved this year. We only decided to enter the championship late this year, which meant we had already missed four races, so to finish with four podiums, two wins and 195 points is pretty good. In the end I was just 24 points away from the rider in third.”
KTM British Junior Cup Donington Park Free Practice and qualifying
At the beginning of the weekend’s racing it rained for the free practice session. The Horley based P&H Motorcycles / CS Tyres / CRT Racing team rider sensibly negotiated the wet track setting the fifth fastest time during the twenty minute session.
By the afternoon the track had dried for the qualifying session. Despite his confident showing in the wet in the morning Thomson was unable to replicate that during the afternoon session. His lap time of 1:58.286 placed him 13th overall.
KTM British Junior Cup Donington Park Race One
In race one Thomson was looking for a good start after his disappointing qualifying result. It didn’t take long as the 13-year-old launched himself from the start line moving up to 6th place by the end of the second lap. Connor Thomson was then embroiled in a race long battle with four or five other riders at the sharp end of the race moving up to fifth position by the end of the race. It was a fantastic result having started 13th.
KTM British Junior Cup Donington Park Race Two
The second race of the weekend was just a few hours later. With grid positions based on the fastest laps of race one, Connor Thomson started seventh. He quickly gained a position on the first lap. However, whilst trying to pass another rider the two collided and both fell. Unfortunately for Thomson his bike was badly damaged in the crash. Battered and bruised the team were on another race, this on against time to get the bike in a fit shape for the final race of the season on Sunday.
KTM British Junior Cup Donington Park Race Three
Overnight the team worked tirelessly to put together a bike for Thomson to challenge for a possible place in the KTM Cup final. Danny Bojko had suffered a blown engine in race two and after the families spoke together it was felt Thomson had the better chance to reach the final being a couple of places higher in the standings. The Bojko family sportingly lent their bikes frame to Thomson and his mechanics worked throughout the night to put Thomson’s engine in the bike.
Thomson made a superb start climbing four places on the opening lap. He was running ninth but was struggling to make any further progress. The front-runners had pulled-away. He was battling with Guyett and briefly moved into 8th place but the riders ahead were now too far in the distance. He crossed the line a valiant ninth but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to see Thomson make the KTM Cup World Final at Assen.
Photo: Kerry Rawson