Superbikes weekend to forget for Owens and CDH team at Donington Park

Harworth's Superbikes rider Josh Owens trying his best at Donington Park.
Harworth's Superbikes rider Josh Owens trying his best at Donington Park.

A nightmare weekend to forget was endured by Josh Owens for the Harworth team of CDH Racing in the penultimate round of the British Superbike Championship at Donington Park last weekend.

Owens, who is standing in for the injured Dean Hipwell, crashed out of the opening race and had to be treated for possible injuries.

And then in race two, he failed to finish after encountering engine problems.

The mishaps left frustrated CDH Racing with a fortnight to rectify their problems before the final round of the championship, which takes place at the famous Brands Hatch circuit in Kent over the weekend of October 18 to 20.

The weekend at Donington all started so well because the first two free practice sessions on the Friday saw Owens consistently improve his lap times, despite changeable, wet conditions.

Saturday morning’s third session was held in cloudy but dry weather and again, Owens considerably bettered his lap times, leaving the CDH Racing team happy with his progress, especially as this was the first time he had ridden a superbike on this track.

In similar conditions for Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session, Owens improved his best lap time again, putting the Kawasaki in 27th on the grid for Sunday’s first race.

That race duly got under way, but before Owens had completed the first lap, he high-sided when exiting the Fogarty Esses and his race was over before it had really started.

Fortunately, he didn’t suffer any breaks, but was badly bruised and hurt his ankle. He was taken to the medical centre for assessment and was passed fit to take part in the second event.

His Kawasaki fared worse, with damage to the bodywork, which meant rebuilding it for the second race later in the afternoon. Having not even posted a lap time, Owens had to start from the back of the grid.

The team managed to get the bike to the start line, and Owens was assured it was fine to run.

Early on, he made up two places on an encouraging first lap, and then he improved another spot on the next lap.

That moved him just behind the Yamaha of Sean Winfield, where he remained for a further five laps until more misfortune struck.

When Owens pulled into the pits, he was forced to retire from the race because the engine of the Kawasaki was consistently surging, making it too dangerous for him to continue.