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Bryant shows he is the king of the Castle

By James Driver-Fisher | Grassroots | Published:

Will Bryant's superb season has seen him claim the N G Road Racing title with a round to spare after a truly stunning triple win at Castle Combe.

The 26-year-old has been in scintillating form all year and once all the stars had aligned, no-one could touch him in the Pre Injection 700 class.

Bryant, from Ruyton-XI-Towns, near Shrewsbury, can now relax heading into the final round at Oulton Park, October 5-6, after reaching an unassailable points total at the Chippenham circuit.

"Castle Combe was the race meeting of the year for me," said Bryant.

"We went into the weekend still fairly unfamiliar with the track after only racing one day there last year, so I knew I had a lot to do and I was pretty nervous all weekend."

The nerves were soon settled after Bryant secured pole position in class, which left him fourth on grid, and after a good start he held on to first place until the chequered flag.

Starting fifth in race two, he battled through to take another win, and knew victory in race three would mean the championship was his.

"The lights went out and I missed a gear into the first corner, got swamped by all the other riders and lost a lot of places," said Bryant.

"I chipped away at the pack in front of me and by the penultimate lap I was in third place.

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"I really put the hammer down, took second place and heading into the last lap sealed my third win of the weekend.

"I was over the moon to finally get a clean sweep of wins and to claim the championship was a dream come true."

Jon Wright, 45, from Shrewsbury, admitted to having 'mixed fortunes' at his favourite event of the year.

Riding his CBR600F3 – a bike he built last year as a backup – Castle Coombe was its first real test, and Wright's first outing on a 600cc bike this year.

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Racing in the Pre Injection 700 class, he maintained a good pace throughout but with the leaders just in sight he could not quite bridge the gap, coming home third to pick up his first trophy on the backup bike.

After making suspension changes and adding new tyres, hopes of a better finish were dashed when the throttle stuck open during the warm up lap in race two.

"I cruised back to the pits using the kill switch, which woke all the spectators up with lots of backfiring and flames," said Wright, who was then forced to retire in race three too.

"Instead, I watched an eventful race where Will Bryant took the championship.

"Congratulations to Will, his team and all the other riders who have pushed hard this year, there’s been some cracking racing."

On his Yamaha R1, Wright finished second the Pre Injection 1300 class after an opening race-long battle – and knowing both he and Owen Hunt were below the existing lap record, the pace was red hot for race two too.

"A couple of modern Powerbikes split us and Owen, to his credit, took full advantage to win the race in style and set the fastest lap," said Wright.

"During race three, the brake lever came straight to the bar, so I had to pull over and adjust the reach distance.

"We dropped loads of places but battled through to finish second in class with loads of overtaking.

"Hopefully we can secure second place at the next round, which would be amazing.

"Massive thanks to everyone who supports my racing and special mentions for Alun Brookes and James Evans who helped out with many bike repairs."

Evans, 34, from Shrewsbury, qualified eighth in the IMS 600 class in the first race and I got a really good start but about three laps in there was a crash.

"After a half hour delay, we were back out on track only this time I got a terrible start and was down in 15th," he said.

"I was trying to work my through and then Alun Brooks made a move going into a chicane, which is really tight, so suddenly there was three of us together.

"I had the outside line so I decided to go over the tarmac. I tried to save it but the front end slipped away from me and I ended up crashing.

"That put me back in 37th, right at the back, for the second race, but again I got a really good launch but this time Brooksy suffered his crash after high-siding and tumbling into the barrier.

"Then, after the restart, someone's engine blew up so it was red-flagged again. Eventually I finished 13th, so making up 24 places was good.

"Starting 13th in race three, I came 10th in the end and also set my personal best lap by more than half a second.

"It leaves me eighth in the championship with a chance of catching sixth."

Brooks, 44, from Welshpool, racing at NG for the first time as a wildcard in the IMS 600 class, finished 13th in race one.

But despite feeling 'pretty relaxed' going into the second, he suffered a nasty high-side.

"It was in front of most of the pack by luckily myself or the bike didn't get hit by another rider," he said.

"I didn't get away lightly though suffering multiple fractures in my left foot and toes, which need plates and pins to get fixed."

James Driver-Fisher

By James Driver-Fisher

Motorsport journalist and entertainment and food reviewer for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

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