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Debut success for Saunders

PUBLISHED: 10:55 14 March 2008 | UPDATED: 07:17 01 August 2010

SUFFOLK rider Andrew Saunders kicked off his motorcycle racing career in style with a pair of

top-15 finishes in the opening rounds of the 2008 British 250MZ Championship at the daunting Brands Hatch circuit in Kent.

SUFFOLK rider Andrew Saunders kicked off his motorcycle racing career in style with a pair of

top-15 finishes in the opening rounds of the 2008 British 250MZ Championship at the daunting Brands Hatch circuit in Kent.

Twenty-year-old Andrew, from Wrentham, achieved a remarkable seventh place from 33rd on the grid in the second of four races at the historic track, belying his novice status to beat a hatful of riders with years of experience behind them.

With the grid for Saturday's opening race of the weekend set from last year's championship positions, novice rider Andrew started from 29th spot on his Saunders Racing MZ ETZ 250. Frustratingly though, a mechanical failure ended his race on the second lap.

That put him 33rd on the grid for race two. But, despite a damp track, the youngster heroically battled his way up through the field, overtaking 14 rivals on the second lap and finishing in a remarkable seventh place in what was only an eight-lap race.

There was more impressive riding in Sunday's third race, although a coming together with a rival on the final lap put an end to a fierce battle for ninth place and left him and his team with some major repair work in order to ready his machine for the final race.

The hard work paid off as he made it to the grid in 27th spot and again used some late-race rain to his advantage, fighting his way up to 15th spot by the finish and his second win in the novice class of the weekend.

His efforts ensured that he scored 10 points throughout the weekend to lie 14th in the championship and saw him shortlisted for the Man of the Meet award.

“He's a name to remember,” said championship stalwart Brian Rogers as he commented on Andrew's performances.

Saunders said: “That's a pretty good start, I guess. I never really got going in the opening race, which was pretty frustrating, but it made me more determined to go for it later on.

“To start 33rd and finish seventh was pretty outstanding, and to get some of the guys who have been racing for a long time coming up and saying 'well done, you were really quick,' was pretty cool.

“The crash was annoying. I came into Surtees and was pushed out wide. Then, as I tried to straighten up, the other guy just cut me off and down I went.

“I was a bit more on my guard in the last race, but to get another finish and another point was the aim.”

The next round of the championship is at Donington Park on March 22-23, however Andrew is next planning to race at the third round at Cadwell Park on April 26-27.

For more information about Andrew Saunders, please contact Jamie or Vicky O'Leary on 07725 087316 or 07753 262601 or via email at Jamie.oleary@hotmail.co.uk and vickyoleary@hotmail.co.uk

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