The penultimate round of the 2017 Supersport 300cc World Championship saw 18 year old Alex Murley emerge as top Brit once again, the Team Toth Yamaha rider fighting from 22nd on the grid to 12th at the Circuit du Nevers Magny-Cours in France yesterday.
Mixed weather throughout the weekend meant little dry track time, but not phased Murley pressed on during Free Practice, narrowly missing out on an automatic Superpole 2 slot.
Rain for qualifying saw more than 15 riders fall with Alex unfortunately being one of them. Able to remount, he rode his R3 Yamaha back to the pits where the team were able to make a few adjustments allowing him to return to the 2.7 mile circuit ensuring his place on the grid.
The race was run in dry but cold conditions enabling the #18 to push hard from the start, impressing many onlookers with his swift overtakes that saw him just outside the top ten at the end of the opening lap.
A typical group of more than 9 riders locked together in the early laps slowed him down and prevented any further progression, but Alex was satisfied to add another four world championship points to his tally, moving up to 13th overall in the standings with one round to go.
Alex Murley – 12th:
“It was a really positive weekend in Magny-Cours. I hit the ground running in FP1 finishing 11th and after making some changes for FP2 that gave me a better feeling we were just a bit unlucky with not finding the slipstream so wasn’t able to make directly into Superpole. Qualifying was difficult and I had a small crash on the out lap which wasn’t ideal but I was able to salvage 22nd on the grid after only putting in 3 laps. I knew in the race I had to make a good start if I was to have any chance of fighting with the leading group. I made a good start but then got held up by some riders who had had a good wet qualifying and it took me a bit longer than I wanted to get past them. By the time I got to the front of the group the leaders had gone so it then turned into a bit of a crazy race with more than ten of us fighting so it was important to use my head to make sure I could make my move on the last lap. I was really strong on the last part of the lap so I knew where to position the bike and it all worked out. 12th, more points, top British rider once again and now 13th in the World Championship in my first season. A massive thanks to the team, to BELL Helmets and to everyone who is supporting me. There’s one race to go in Jerez and I am confident that I can put in a strong performance to end the season.”
The final round of the championship will take place in Jerez, Spain in 3 weeks time.
Photo courtesy of Vaclav Duska jnr.