Struggling Kirkham wants to show his mettle
JON Kirkham is determined to prove a point at Silverstone as the British Superbike Championship reaches the penultimate round this weekend.
The 27-year-old rider for Louth-based Samsung Honda has had a challenging season since his opening round victory in the wet at Brands Hatch – failing to return to the podium after a crash at Oulton Park in May derailed his title challenge.
Watching team-mate Michael Laverty reach the Showdown has been bittersweet for Kirkham, who believes he could have been battling with the top six were it not for his tumble. Despite finishing off the pace at Assen last time out – he was 13th in race one before retiring in race two – in the opening exchanges of both Kirkham was as one of the fastest.
And he is adamant the quick transition from round ten in the Netherlands to round 11 at Silverstone this weekend will benefit his Samsung Honda team.
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"Obviously Assen was disappointing but we move on now and focus on Silverstone," said Kirkham. "I haven't actually gone home since Assen – we've moved straight to Silverstone and managed to get a bit of testing done so that's been a bit of a bonus.
"The guys didn't have a chance to fiddle around with the bike too much, they just pulled it apart when we got here but there wasn't much chance to change things.
"I think it's clear the pace is there for us we just need a good solid weekend – if I can battle with the leading pack in both races I will be happy.
"I was lighting the timing screens up at the end of both races at Assen so we know the race pace is there. I just need to turn it into a good solid race result to prove to everyone I still have it in me.
"I know I can be quick round Silverstone and we have a lot of good testing miles there this season. We'll see what happens."