Jon Railton says he is going to have to work with his team to see how best to improve on eighth place in his first race of the new season.

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The 22-year-old Grafham motorcycle racer finished further down the field that he is used to in the first race of the season’s TriOption Ducati Cup at Brands Hatch – and told The Hunts Post, it was a difficult start to the series.

Railton came second only to Matty Nutt last year, but a change of bike has seen him struggle to find the pace to keep up with the champion who once again finished first for a 45-point head start.

“Round one turned out to be a difficult start to the season,” said the racer who is the current Hunts Post Sports Awards Sports Personality of the Year. “The Brands Hatch Indy circuit is a good circuit for me and one I enjoy riding and it was a great round for me last year. I was hoping to start this season the same way.”

Practice and qualifying were held in dry conditions and Railton managed a good number of laps to try out the changes he had made to the bike. But there was little difference in its performance and the Boast Plumbing team even debated whether to revert to the original settings.

Railton said: “With limited track time that made the decision to revert to the old settings even harder as I had qualified in seventh using the new settings and was disappointed not to have been faster and higher up the order.”

However, conditions changed on the Sunday and the first of the two races was held in wet weather. “I made a good start moving up to second by Druids Corner but I was still not comfortable on the bike and I dropped back down the order crossing the line in sixth,” said Railton. “In the end, we decided to take a gamble and on the set-up for the second race on Monday in an attempt to move things forward.

“The warm up for the second race was a damp affair and there was no way of telling if the set-up was better.

“In the race I got an average start but immediately knew the set-up was wrong. The bike was struggling to hold a line and I did what I could to ride around the issues but the pace just wasn’t there. I finished 11th which was a disappointing end to a frustrating weekend.

So Railton and co have some work to do in May ahead of the second meeting at Donington Park on the final weekend of the month.

He said: “The team and I are currently reviewing the situation regarding how to best improve the situation and get the championship back on track. Watch this space.”

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