BEN Burke and the podium in the Australian Prostock 1000cc championship are getting to know each other quite well in 2013.
In the only Australian National Championship road race held in the Top End, the Spring Terrace rider claimed a pair of top-three finishes at the Northern Territory’s Hidden Valley circuit during a hot and humid weekend.
After crashing out of race one, Burke ended the second and third races of the weekend with a pair of second-place finishes, adding he “immediately felt comfortable” on the Hidden Valley circuit.
“I came into the Darwin round excited,” Burke said.
“I had only competed at the Hidden Valley circuit once before back in 2010 and thankfully it was not as hot and humid this time around.
“I was happy with my qualifying, being only second to (series leader) Matt Walters and closer to him than before. Race one did not go to plan because of my crash, but am very happy with my pace.
“The next two races went well with second in both.”
A renowned fast a flowing circuit, Hidden Valley dished up some scintillating times.
Following practice sessions on Thursday and Friday, Burke set a fast lap time of one minute, 8.782 seconds during Friday afternoon’s first qualifying session.
The time was a remarkable 0.336 seconds below the race record.
Yet, it was still only fast enough to place him second, with series leader Walters putting in a super-human effort, one strong enough to see him retain pole on the front row.
After a great start to race one on Saturday, Burke crashed out when sitting in second behind Walters.
He then regrouped to secure two podiums in the next two races.
Burke, who finished seventh overall for the round, added there was plenty of improvement left in both himself and his Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Burke still sits fourth in the championship.
In their first venture to Hidden Valley, BCperformance by Bikesconnect team manager Kelvin Reilly was stoked with the weekend’s results, both Burke’s and that of rookie Patrick Lee.
“(Burke) put in some very impressive lap times during free practice and qualifying and if it wasn’t for the unfortunate crash in the race one, we could have had a better overall round result, but that is racing,” Reilly said.
“Ben is getting faster and more confident with the bike every time he rides.
“It is also great to have Patrick in the team, he brings a lot of enthusiasm and tries hard every session and that reflected his last race where he posted his personal best time.”
The team now moves onto the final event of the year at Phillip Island on the October 3 weekend.