Tuesday, June 5

Kevin Keyes World Superbike Weekend ends in heartbreak after technical issues force retirement

The latest round of the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship was an uphill battle for Kevin from start to finish. The problems began from the very first session of the weekend on Friday evening, when in the Team #109 Kawasaki ZX6R developed problems, forcing Kevin out of the session having completed less than three laps.

After a very late night working on the bike into the very early hours of the morning ahead of qualifying on Saturday evening, Kevin made it back on track for his second session of the weekend. However, disaster struck once again when the bike suffered more issues, forcing him out once again after completing just one full lap of the track.

It was looking like his weekend was over, but after meeting with Jonathan Rea on Saturday evening, the three-time world champion helped Kevin source parts for the Team #109 Kawasaki ahead of race day on Sunday. After yet another late night working on the bike until the early hours of the morning, Kevin was able to make the grid on Sunday for the race. Failing to set a qualifying time on Saturday evening saw Kevin starting from the back of the grid on Sunday, but he wasn’t long of making his way through the pack.

After just the opening lap Kevin had made his way into sixteenth position and was lapping the same pace as the leading group. By the seventh lap of the race he had progressed into eleventh position and was closing in on tenth. However, after so much effort both on and off the track it wasn’t to be, and Kevin was forced to retire once again.

After championship leader Ryan Vickers took part in the World Supersport class over the weekend and wasn’t able to compete in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 class, Kevin still remains within twenty-four points of the top spot, in third position in the series. Speaking about the weekend Kevin said; It has definitely been the toughest weekend of my career. I raced my heart out but unfortunately it was not meant to be. From start to finish we had our backs up against the wall with problems from the very start of the weekend. I gave it my absolute best in the race going from twenty-sixth to eleventh in five laps, and catching the next group fast. But then the bike had problems again and I had to retire on lap six.”

“I am gutted for my Dad, and I can’t thank him enough for everything he has done this weekend. I really cannot express how grateful I am to have such an amazing person to look up to. I also want to say a special thank you to my girlfriend Sarah for being with me all weekend, and when the going got tough she kept me together. Also, a big thank you to Jonathan Rea who helped me source parts to get me back out on track for the race witch I’m so proud and grateful for.”

“I can only say thank you to everyone who put in so much effort to get me out on track on Sunday, it has been a very tough weekend, but now it’s time to put it behind us and I am really looking forward to coming back and hopefully challenging for the podium again come round five at Snetterton in just over two weeks time.”

Next up for Team #109 is the fourth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Snetterton with Kevin once again in action in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 class, and after a number of rounds with the class being absent, Eunan McGlinchey and Brendan Glover will once again be back in action in the Dickies Junior Supersport class, being Team #109 will once again have a full stable of bikes in action.

Words and images James McCann

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