BSB: Team WD-40 enjoy success at Brands Hatch

One of the most experienced teams in the support paddock, Team WD-40, got off to almost the best start possible in the sunshine at Brands Hatch this weekend. The three riders of MotoStar youngster Joe Francis, exciting prospect Jon Railton and the fast-learning American Tommy Aquino all took to the Kent track in their first outings for the high profile team, resplendent in the unmistakable blue and yellow of the WD-40 brand.

Team Manager Brent Gladwin with Joe Francis

Photo: Team WD-40

It was the youngest member of the team Joe Francis who brought home the first silverware of the season for the GRMotosport backed squad after qualifying his Honda Moto3 bike second on the grid for Sundays MotoStar race. Francis got off to a flying start and was leading when sadly the race was red-flagged for an incident out on track; after the re-start a race-long battle ensued with Tarran Mackenzie. Sadly it was Francis that lost out in the closing stages, finishing just 1.2s shy of pole sitter and fastest man of the weekend Mckenzie, with the pair a huge 11 seconds clear of third place.

The 15 year old from Backford near Chester said “This was a great way to start the season and while it was frustrating not to win, the points from this race could be vital at the end of the year. My bike was brilliant and I can’t thank the lads in Team WD-40 enough for getting everything ready. Thruxton can’t come quick enough and I’m ready to race again for a podium place – this time the top one!”

Aquino ready to race

Photo: Team WD-40

Mirroring the success of the junior team member, Jon Railton and Tommy Aquino lined up to contest the National Superstock 1000 race after a mixed qualifying session saw Railton snatch fourth on the grid for the main race while Tommy got to grips with a track he’d never seen before and also with no pre-season testing to familiarise himself with the either the bike or the un-Californian conditions, qualifying just a second off pole but, such is the competitiveness of the series, leaving him on the ninth row of the grid.

The race started well for both Team WD-40 riders with Aquino making up places almost at will while Railton got away with the leaders and looked comfortable, unfortunately both riders suffered brake issues with their Kawasaki ZX-10Rs costing them both time and places. Railton hung on to a top ten place while Aquinos hard charge through the field was halted, however both riders showed the pace and potential of the team and bike as the paddock moves on to Thruxton in Hampshire for round two this coming weekend.

Front row qualifier Railton said “I was in a great position in the leading pack towards the middle of the race, but my brakes started to fade away and I had to reduce speed earlier than normal at the braking areas. This meant I was losing time and instead of challenging for the podium places, as I battled to stay in the top ten.”

He continued “The positives are that we’ve collected points and the team and I are more aware of how the bike works, after an almost test free pre-season. I’m really looking forward to Thruxton and I’m sure Team WD-40 will have podiums to celebrate in the Superstock 1000 championship in the very near future”.
Jon Railton on his ZX-10R

Photo: Team WD-40

After his first UK appearance the 20 year old Californian Aquino said “I’m pleased that I made up over ten places during the race, but know that I can go faster as the front chattering was a little unnerving. This has been a tough learning curve as I’ve never raced at Brands Hatch or on a 1000cc bike before and next time at Thruxton I’m looking to be further up on the grid”.

Team Manager Brent Gladwin was buoyed by the weekends events “I’m very proud of all three riders and my whole team. I am delighted with the form they showed after very little time on the bikes during pre-season with the hideous weather problems we have all encountered. The podium finish from Joe was a superb result and it shows that he is a rider with the talent to continue progress through the ranks of racing. He’s put himself in a superb position to challenge for a championship and we hope he can build on the performance at Brands Hatch this weekend at Thruxton. 

“Tommy and Jon both suffered small teething problems during the Superstock 1000 race, which hampered their progress, but the results show we’ve got two fast bikes with two committed, determined and fast riders. The season continues very quickly and I’m sure Tommy and Jon will continue to improve on the season’s start”.


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