Rouse in battle for a top-10 placing; MOTOR SPORT.
Byline: Zoe Burn
BURNOPFIELD motorcycle racer Chrissy Rouse battled through the pain to score a well-deserved top 10 as the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship made its second visit of the year to Brands Hatch.
The 19-year-old crossed the line in ninth place in Sunday afternoon's 14-lap race - just a week after dislocating his shoulder in a training accident.
The Team HARIBO Starmix rider was disappointed to qualify in 14th place after Saturday's second qualifying session and knew he had a big job ahead to grab a decent points haul in the race.
At the green light he got a steady start, but quickly got his head down and started to charge, picking up a handful of places and ending the opening lap in 11th place.
Ben Stafford's Kawasaki sneaked past him on the second lap, dropping him to 12th. It was all change on lap five as Rouse, Stafford and Dan Stamper made it past Keenan Armstrong and then a lap later Stamper made a move and passed both Rouse and Stafford, with Rouse also getting past Stafford to hold his 11th spot.
From here until the end of the race, Rouse remained right on Stamper's back wheel, the pair making light work of Wayne Ryan on the eighth lap to pick up a place each.
Quickly dropping Ryan, it became a six-lap scrap between the pair, as Rouse battled in vain to get past his rival, having to settle for 10th at the chequered flag.
However, PacedayZ Trackdays rider Ross Twyman who had originally finished ahead was later disqualified after a post-race inspection revealed a technical infringement. As a result, Rouse was promoted to ninth.
"It's my worst finishing position of the year but it's pretty much the best I've ridden all year," he said. "I posted a few really fast laps during the race but it was just my qualifying that let me down. Had I started further up, I could've had a much better race.
"It may not have been the result we were looking for, but I have to take away the positives. No-one crashed in front of me and I managed to make up four places, I just wish I'd had a better grid position. It was a tough race but I rode my best. It was hard out there but I had a good battle in the final few laps."
After round seven, Rouse remains in eighth place in the championship on 46 points. His next race will be at Thruxton, Hampshire over the weekend of July 31-August 2.