SOLIHULL racer Liam Delves made his debut in the opening round of the 2022 Bennett’s British Superbike Championship at Silverstone over the Easter weekend.
Delves contested three races and claimed 28th and 23rd place finishes in the first two races but was forced to retire from race three on the Rapid Training Rapid CDH Racing Kawasaki Superbike fuelled by Cheshire Mouldings and Woodturnings Ltd.
And Delves has made the big step up from the Junior Supersport class to the Premier Class this year which is going to be a huge learning curve for the rider as he gets to grips with the more powerful Superbike.
The 21-year-old rider completed his qualifying in 32nd place and started the first race on Saturday from the 11th row.
It was always going to be a tough race for Delves, starting so far back on the grid, on the short, twisty Silverstone circuit with very few passing places but was able to drive through to 28th position at the end of the 24 laps.
And Delves was the 27th fastest rider setting a new personal best lap time of 54.804 seconds reaching a speed of 107.75mph and was hopeful of a good result in the two races later in the day.
Race two was a challenge for Delves with the race run over 30 grueling laps but the Solihull man rode well to finish 23rd and set another fast lap of 54.943 secs just shy of the lap time he set in the warm up.
However, race three did not go to plan for Delves as, starting from the ninth row, he made up a couple of places to 27th but began to suffer with arm pump and was forced to retire on lap 18 of 30.
Overall, Delves did well to finish the first two races and set a new fastest lap time which is encouraging for the next round, on the longer, undulating Cheshire circuit of Oulton Park over the May Day Bank Holiday of April 30/May 2.
Delves said: “Making my debut in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship was never going to be easy; Friday didn’t go to plan with a technical issue that cost a lot of needed track time, but my team worked so hard to get me a base setting to move forward with.
“We managed to finish every session setting a personal best lap time. I completed the first two races and had to retire in the third after 23 laps due to the dreaded arm pump; I held on for as long as I physically could but lost all feeling in my hand.
“We have plenty of positives to take forward to the Oulton Park test on Thursday where I will begin to learn all over again. I have to give a big thank you to all at Rapid Training Rapid CDH Racing for their hard work throughout the weekend.
“Thank you to all my personal sponsors, friends, family and followers for all their support and belief.”