HAWICK’S Stuart Easton is a hard man to please after he was left only “satisfied” with third place in the overall standings after the opening weekend of the British Superbike season at Brands Hatch.
The 27-year-old, whose MSS Colchester Kawasaki team were debuting a brand new bike at the Kent circuit, finished fourth and sixth in the two races of the Championship curtain raiser.
Easton even climbed from tenth on the grid to find himself in pole position at the mid-point of the first race of the day before eventually fading to fourth.
But despite an overall haul of 23 points that puts him three points clear of defending champion Ryuichi Kiyonari in third overall, Easton cannot wait to see how much faster his bike can go.
“I’m pleased with race day, qualifying the day before in tenth was a big struggle, I had to work really hard to get there, it was unbelievable how people were putting in hot laps,” said Easton.
“I wouldn’t say I’m happy or over the moon or anything like that, I’m satisfied with how we’ve done and hopefully we can build on it moving forward.
“It bodes well for me to have grabbed a fourth and a sixth and in a funny sort of way I’m more pleased with the second race.
“We really earned that sixth whereas the fourth in the first race was more of a gift with other people going out all over the place and I kind of found myself at the front as the safety car came in.
“I struggled at the end of both races though, I was almost on pace with the top racers but it is early days for this new Kawasaki bike.”
Shane Byrne and Tommy Hill took the respective wins, with them and Easton facing a quick turnaround between rounds with the next one at Oulton Park starting this Saturday.
And Easton, who finished third in the overall standings in 2009, is confident that after a disappointing last season he is in a better position to make the most of any chances that come his way.
“To be third in the Championship is a bit unbelievable really both for me and the team. We’re working well and there’s so much more to come, I’m sure,” he added.
“We know that this is going to be one of those years where you have got to take any gifts that come your way, we need to grab points even when we’re struggling. This is a nice base for us to build from and I’m already looking forward to Oulton Park where I think the course will suit the bike a bit more.”
n British Eurosport 2 will be broadcasting every round of the 2011 British Superbike Championship on Sky 411 and Virgin Media 525. Watch online via the Eurosport Player at www.eurosportplayer.co.uk
n Chris Cook was also flying the flag for Hawick on the motorsport scene when competing in the superstock 600 class races at Knockhill on Sunday. His best performance was a respectable seventh from a 13-strong field in race 10.