STUART EASTON’S buzz word after MCE Insurance British Superbike round two was confidence – and the Hawick ace admits his trip to Thruxton has laid the perfect platform for 2012 success.
Given the nature of his career-threatening injuries – which included two broken legs and hips as well as a broken pelvis and coccyx – Easton adopted a softly-softly approach at the season-opening round at Brands Hatch on Easter Monday.
Bike issues forced him to retire from the only race of the day in Kent and his weekend in Andover looked to be heading the same disappointing way when he qualified back in 21st.
However, the 28-year-old was back to his old self on race day, making up 16 places to end race one in fifth. That display, with first-race lap times determining the grid for race two, helped Easton to improve to fourth in the second – leaving him to reflect on a weekend of encouragement.
“Being 21st on the grid in the first race meant that I had to pass a lot of riders and that takes its toll on the tyres but it gives you confidence to reel people in,” he said.
“I had a good sort of pace at mid-race distance, and those around me had the other option tyres that seemed to drop off as they went on.
“But to be honest I struggled with my arm, it was a bit tight, which made it very difficult to ride hard.
“But all in all, it was a good first race and meant that I could push on because I started higher up the grid in race two.
“That’s probably the most comfortable I have felt on the bike, and it’s just nice to get a finish as things haven’t gone particularly well all weekend, so two top fives is really good.
“By qualifying where I did, I made hard work for myself in the first race, so to come away with some points is a very decent effort.”
Those top five finishes lifted Easton to sixth in the overall standings with 24 points, 25 behind surprise championship leader Ian Lowry who took victory in race one at Thruxton.
Aussie Josh Brookes took the chequered flag in the second but Easton insisted he had overachieved.
“It’s so important for me to get back and scoring points again,” he added. “Scoring points adds confidence, and before the races I would have taken top tens, so to get the finishes I did was a really good result.
“My team did a good job and gave me a good bike, and that is my first race results since my injury and it’s a great start.”
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