The curtain came down on Team ILR's British Championship season at the weekend with the final round at Brands Hatch where regular campaigner Robert Kennedy was joined in the Dickies British Supersport Championship by Vasco van der Valk who was making a welcome return to the team having ridden for Team ILR in the 2015 British Motostar Championship.
Practice saw van der Valk getting acclimatised to the unfamiliar ZX-6 Kawasaki and both he and team-mate Kennedy finished a damp first session inside the Top 20 with just 0.011s between them.
A drier second session allowed Robert to climb to 14th quickest with Vasco settling in nicely on the Kawasaki in 22nd but less than a second off a Top 15 place.
Vasco then went well over half a second faster to finish qualifying in 20th with Robert two places ahead in 18th for Saturday's Sprint race, a race that would see the young Dutch rider crash out in spectacular style at Hawthorn Bend on the third lap after being taken out by another rider.
It was a nasty crash with red-flags rightly introduced, and amidst genuine concern Vasco was flown to hospital in London where miraculously, and thankfully, he was found to be not seriously injured and he was able to return to Brands with the team later that evening.
Under difficult circumstances Kennedy knuckled down and did well to finish 17th in the re-started race, battling with three riders with only 0.4 seconds separating them.
Unfortunately Robert's weekend also came to a premature conclusion when he crashed out of Sunday's second race in wet conditions.
The 2018 season will conclude this weekend for the team at the Sunflower Trophy races at Bishopscourt.
Team ILR owner-manager Ian Lougher:
"It was really great to work with young Vasco again after a 3 year absence. Despite the first session being wet/damp conditions which obviously spoils things a little with set up time for the dry, and him never ridden a Kawasaki ZX6 before, Vasco lapped faster on the Team ILR 600 than he had on his own Yamaha 600 back in July, which was pleasing for him and the team.
Unfortunately in Saturday's race getting rammed from behind at 130mph at Hawthorn Bend by another rider which resulted in him getting a helicopter ride to hospital wasn't the best way to finish his meeting with us.
Thankfully he was allowed to go home later in the evening with only minor abrasions.
RK had a mixed meeting also, and after a good ride in Saturday's race coming home in a creditable 17th position improving his lap times lap by lap resulting in him breaking into the 1m 29 bracket.
Unfortunately in Sunday's race in the dire conditions, where most of the field hit the deck Robert was amongst them and bit the dirt coming out of Graham Hill bend, thankfully unhurt.
It really was just one of those weekends!"
"It was an up and down weekend for me, struggling a lot mentally with not having a lot of confidence in riding and with bike set up.
We had a good race in Race 1 and ended up 17th, not where I want to be but with bike changes and not being on the bike in 4 weeks it was nice to battle for some points.
Race 2 we made more changes to the bike but the rain came and I ended up coming off half way through the race.
But it was nice to back on the bike and hopefully I can soon get back to riding like I know how.
Massive thanks to Team ILR and all my sponsors who keep me going every weekend."
Vasco van der Valk:
"Hard day in the office in Bennetts British Superbike Championship last weekend.
But still was great to be back riding fast, being in that paddock again and experience how everyone helps out when things get rough in racing.
Mostly ok now, some small injuries left but will be good.
Thanks to all for the amazing help and kind messages, and thanks a lot for the professional and caring team after this nasty crash: Ian, Asa, Richard, Jacko and all the others who did a great job in helping to get to grips with the new bike and after bad luck hit us.
Hope to be back in the future someday!"