ILR Kawasaki rider Filip Backlund enjoyed his first victory in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship in the eleventh round of the series at Silverstone. His team mate in the R&G-supported outfit, Victor Cox, rode strongly to finish 12th from the sixth row of the grid.
It was a textbook performance from the young Swedish rider who picked up where he left off in the previous round at Donington Park. He was quickest through every sector and recorded the fastest ideal lap on his way to finishing second quickest in Free Practice, with Victor in 10th. Filip went one better to top the first qualifying session by over a second as he again went fastest through all three sectors and registered the best ideal lap, with his quickest lap being 0.7 seconds inside the lap record. Victor was also well on the pace finishing third overall with the second best ideal lap, and in the top five through the three sectors.
Second qualifying saw Backlund pushed down to third by only 0.204 seconds but his time was good enough for second overall and a place on the front row of the grid with Cox finishing 17th overall for an unfamiliar place on the sixth row.
Working closely as always with Richard Adams from Maxton Suspension, the settings used by the team in qualifying gave them valuable feedback for the race and they got it spot on.
Backlund grabbed the race by the scruff of the neck. Taking the lead on the first lap and breaking the lap record, he led from Joe Burns and Hudson Kennaugh with pole-setter Josh Wainwright in fourth. Cox meanwhile had made a great start but due to a collision with another rider his fuel tank side fairing was smashed and hanging loose, as a result he had dropped from inside the top 10 to 21st at the close of the lap and had it all to do.
On the third lap, Backlund smashed the old lap record by over a second, and with Burns entering the pits Filip’s lead was now over three seconds from Wainwright and championship leader Hudson Kennaugh. Cox was also on the move and had battled his way back into the points in 14th.
With 100% confidence in the ILR Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja and consistently lapping quicker than the opposition in the low 2:10s, Backlund was never headed and he eased back slightly on the last lap to run out a comfortable winner by over nine seconds from Kennaugh with Lee Jackson claiming the last podium place. Despite having to try and hold on to his smashed fuel tank side fairing with his knee for virtually the whole of the race, Victor’s spirited ride took him to 12th and four championship points.
Backlund’s race win, ILR Kawasaki’s second success this season, moves him up to third in the championship with Cox occupying fourth spot with one round remaining at Brands Hatch in two weeks time.
Filip Backlund: “A superb weekend where we put everything together to take the win and a new lap record. I want to thank my whole team, mechanics, suspension support from Richard at Maxton Suspension, all my sponsors and the other people who are helping me out on the way – I’m grateful for all this!”
Photo: © Jon Jessop Photography
Filip Backlund and ILR Kawasaki team manager Ian Lougher.