Buxton racer Chris Kent managed two podium finishes and a new lap record to close the gap in the battle for the BMC MZ250 Championship at the recently re-surfaced Silverstone International Circuit.
In dry Saturday conditions he managed two third places and in wet weather on the Sunday two fourth places to move him to to fourth overall, nine points off second place, after two rounds.
“I’m a little disappointed with my wet weather performance as I usually go well in the rain, but my rides in the dry were very encouraging and, obviously, I’m very proud of setting a new lap record,” said Kent.
Qualifying for a front row start in the first race enabled him to challenge for the lead on the first three laps.
As the fight developed between Kent and ex-triple champion Taylor, the pair extended their lead over the other riders so that Kent was able to sit comfortably in 2nd place until the final lap.
At the end of Hangar straight he slipstreamed past the leader into Stowe, a blind entry, fast, 4th gear right hand corner. Entering the braking zone for the next left hander at Vale, Taylor dived up the inside but went a little too deep.
Kent cut back underneath but was unable to get to the next right-hander before Taylor blocked him. It was then a drag race through the last right-hander to the finish line which Taylor won by 0.1 seconds. Both riders completed the last lap at the absolute limit with Kent setting a new lap record in the process.
Unfortunately, a pole position for the second race could not be capitalised on after a gear selection problem at the start dropped Kent to the back of the pack.
By the time he had picked his way through, the leaders had pulled a large gap so a third place was the best he could do.
Sundays conditions started moist and progressively got wetter through the day.
For the first two laps of race three, Kent vied for the lead with three others, until a big front– nd slide entering Stowe unsettled him. Choosing discretion over potentially crashing, Kent came home in fourth place to claim some safe points.
A soaking wet race four saw some fast starts from other riders which put Kent into sixth in the opening corners.
Battling through to fourth place, he then saw a five lap chase to close the four second gap to the next rider.
With each lap the distance closed and it looked like another podium finish was possible for the Buxton man, until a missed gear change spoiled his progress and he had to settle for fourth.
The next round is at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire on 28th/29th April.