“First you have no luck then there is bad luck.” Hardly any other quote could fit Lennox Lehmann’s start to the season better. The start of the season was really more than bumpy. With two crash-related retirements in Assen, everything was to be different at the second stop in Barcelona. Was Lennox Lehmann able to put his run of bad luck behind him in Barcelona and score his first world championship points?
With a small ray of hope in the bag
Two highsiders, zero points – Assen was the epitome of an unsuccessful start to the season. But there was one bright spot. Lennox Lehmann managed to secure a second place on the grid at Assen. Last season, the Superpole session was the Achilles heel for the KTM rider. Never the desired results jumped out. Lennox always had to come to terms with it and fight his way through the field during the race. During the preparation for the 2023 World Supersport 300 season, the topic of Superpole was explicitly addressed. In Assen, one could see that this preparation has borne fruit.
Chaotic Superpole Session
Lennox was able to take this positive feeling with him to Barcelona. But the Superpole went quite differently than normal. Due to irresponsible driving by the WorldSSP300 riders, the session was interrupted shortly after the start with a red flag. The riders gathered for a briefing directly in the pit lane. After urgent words and the appeal to remember an appropriate driving style, the session was resumed. During the entire time, the clock was not stopped. At a running pace, it was back to the bikes, as no more than seven minutes remained on the clock. Very little time to get the perfect time in. With only four laps timed, Lennox Lehmann was left with only 23rd place on the grid.
Interrupting the Superpole session was a good way for me to talk to the young drivers again. They needed a brief moment of reminder. But letting the clock continue to run was highly risky. On the one hand, you’re admonishing the WolrdSSP300 riders to drive mindfully, but on the other hand, letting the clock continue increases the pressure. Stopping the clock and thus accepting a delay in the schedule would have been the right choice in my eyes. This would also have shown that even the smallest class has a high value.
Back row – a familiar picture
Lennox Lehmann has often proved that he could also perform well from the back of the grid. Driver-wise, he was always convincing. In Barcelona, his luck ran out in the first race. The Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing rider caught a faulty front tire. After this wore out more and more, Lennox Lehmann steered his KTM back to the pits on the seventh lap and ended his workday. For the second race, it was a matter of clearing his head and getting back to his own strength. As in the previous season, Lennox Lehmann set out to catch up during the race. With his 15th place he was able to score his first world championship point. Barcelona may not have been entirely successful, but it was the first step in the right direction.
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