Team WD-40 were on the podium twice after another outstanding performance this weekend in round six of the British Superbike series taking place at the sport’s spiritual home, Brands Hatch.
With temperatures reaching a stifling 28 degrees, riders Tommy Aquino, Jon Railton and Joe Francis braved the baking heat to bring home two podium positions putting yet more points on the board for the team.
Californian born Tommy rode the race of his life in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000, taking a fantastic second place to bag his first podium of the season, and teenager Joe Francis continued his success in the Monster Energy Motostar, finishing a superb third place.
After qualifying 11th on the grid, Tommy Aquino had a flying start in the Superstock 1000, and whipped up to second position on the first lap in what was to be an incredibly close race.
The 21-year-old found himself in the thick of a nail-biting battle at the front, grabbing the lead on lap six to edge away from the pack and leaving him to tussle with last round winner Hudson Kennaugh.
Kennaugh re-passed on lap eight but Tommy never gave up the fight, finishing less than a second behind the leader.
Tommy said: “I’m so incredibly happy to be on the podium – it’s an amazing feeling and I’m very proud that I’m finally here.
“My team have done an incredible job, the bike performed brilliantly which gave me the confidence to push hard during the race and I’m delighted that I’ve collected points for the team and pushed us up the leader board.
“During this championship these tracks have always been new to me so it’s been a huge learning curve over the past few months.
“Having raced on the Brands Hatch short track before, and testing on the GP track gave me the boost I needed to show what I can really do and it paid off.
“I’m feeling extremely confident going into the next meeting at Oulton Park and there’s definitely more to come from me in the second half of the season.”
After coming off during Friday’s practice session Jon Railton seriously injured the ligaments in his knee, but despite recommendations from the team that there was no need for him to race, the youngster was determined not to miss out on race day.
He put in a hearty performance, finishing a very respectable twentieth and had to be lifted off his bike at the end after his knee seized up.
Jon said: “After all the work the team and I put in and my sponsors were there to see me, I was determined to race the adrenaline just kicked in which helped but I did struggle.
“I’m going to get plenty of rest and treatment in the next few weeks and I’m sure I’ll be fit and well in time for Oulton Park, where I can hopefully get some points for the team.
Joe, from Backford (Chester), secured his fifth podium position with a hard fought third place in the Monster Energy Motostar race.
After qualifying sixth on the grid, the 15-year-old quickly raced up to second in the first few laps of the race and a breakaway group of five were in an exciting battle throughout.
Joe was in the forefront on several occasions as the lead exchanged hands at almost every corner during the 12 laps.
The youngster was in the lead in the final lap but wasn’t able to hang on and was pipped to the post just before the finish line by winner Jo Irving and second place Tarran Mackenzie losing out by a mere 0.140 of a second.
Team WD-40 continue their reign at the top of the points board, with a 16 point lead going into Oulton Park in two weeks’ time.
Joe said: “I’m disappointed I couldn’t hold my lead and being passed as we crossed the line was very frustrating but with my size difference we are doing the best we can.
“Over the next couple of weeks, the team will be working hard to get the bike in the best possible shape and I’ll continue my own preparation for Oulton Park and hopefully I can bring home that win again.”
Brent Gladwin Team WD-40’s manager, said: “I’m incredibly proud of my team and what we achieved at Brands Hatch is just fantastic.
“Tommy put in an outstanding performance bringing home his first trophy and I’m delighted that he finally got up on that podium where he belongs. He’s such a great young talent and he will definitely be one to watch during the second half of the season.
“Yet another podium finish for Joe is a dream come true and Jon performed really well despite his serious injury.
“I really feel that everyone on the team has lifted their game in the past few weeks and these two podium positions are testament to the hard work we’ve been doing.
“We are now working on some exciting new developments, so we’ll really be ready and raring to go at Oulton Park.”
David Whittome, UK marketing manager for team sponsors WD-40 Specialist, said: “What an amazing weekend for Team WD-40 – I am delighted with the way they have been performing and these two fantastic podium positions are testament to all the hard work that has been done during the beginning of the season.
“Tommy, Joe and Jon are very talented young riders and we’re all now looking forward to see how they perform at Oulton Park in August.”
WD-40 is the title sponsor of GR Motosport. In April 2013 the company launched seven new products specifically for use on motorbikes, under its recently launched WD-40 Specialist Motorbike brand.