Harworth: Hipwell just misses out on the points after qualifying crash

Dean Hipwell was hampered by a qualifying crash at the opening round of the British Supersport Championship
Dean Hipwell was hampered by a qualifying crash at the opening round of the British Supersport Championship
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Easter weekend saw Brands Hatch host the opening round of the British Supersport Championship, at which Harworth’s CDH Racing Team with rider Dean Hipwell were in action.

Unfortunately the weekend was a bit of a damp squib as far as Hipwell was concerned having crashed in qualifying and having to start from the back of the grid for the main feature race on Easter Monday.

Qualifying for the Sunday afternoon’s sprint race on the short Brands Indy circuit turned out to be a bit of a lottery for the riders as the weather was drizzly with a wet track.

At one point during the session, Hipwell was the ninth quickest on track but with 15 minutes remaining, he crashed coming out of a bend.

Despite ending up 13 fastest, he had damaged his left hand and was unable to start the sprint race.

Hipwell was not on his own in coming off as many other riders befell the same fate in the wet conditions with only 15 of the 31 riders at the event completing the full session.

The double blow for Hipwell was that not being able to compete in the sprint race meant that he could not put in a qualifying time for the following day’s main feature race.

As a result, if passed fit to race, he would have to start from the back of the grid.

Early on Monday morning Hipwell did not think he would be able to race as his hand and arm had stiffened up overnight, following his accident.

However, by midday, things looked better and he was passed was passed fit to race.

Conditions had also greatly improved with warm sunshine replacing the rain that had blighted qualifying.

Hipwell made a good start from 30th and was up to 24th by the end of the second lap.

As the 20-lap race unfolded he gradually worked his way through the field and by the end of the penultimate lap was in a fine 18th place.

But with a gap of over three seconds to the next man on the track, further progress looked unlikely.

However with one of the front runners crashing out on the last lap, Hipwell was able to come home 17th.

Despite a fine ride he was a little disappointed to end up finishing just outside the top 15 as it meant he scored no points from the weekend when he had been hoping to nick one or two.

Hipwell now has two weeks to regain fitness before the second championship round at Oulton Park over the May Day bank holiday weekend.