Flying Fred shows true grit after frustrating outing

Fred Mcmullan, our sponsored rider, is delighted to have bounced back and put disappointment, and more riders, behind him in the British Superbike Championship’s Junior Supersport class.

After a frustrating round, through no fault of his own, he showed true grit to score his first championship points.

Thruxton in mid-August was a tough time, and tough luck, for Fred and TeamVal-Tech Racing.

He started the first race 24th on the grid but, unfortunately, did not complete the first lap after getting caught up in someone else’s accident.

That meant he started race two on the back of the grid but things got worse. His bike overheated so he had to start from the pitlane and was unable to slipstream other riders.

He rode well but couldn’t bridge the gap to the gaggle of Yamaha R3s. He finished the challenging race in 26th.

The next round, in early September, was at Snetterton – Fred’s ‘home’ track.

His first race there blew away all the disappointment of the previous round.

From 15th on the grid, Fred flew to his best finish in the championship – 8th and his first points.

He beat his previous personal best every single lap with a quickest of two minutes 10.6 seconds – 3.7 seconds faster than his previous PB – putting him 7th on grid for race two.

Fred dropped a couple of places off the line in the second race but was still contesting 5th place.

A race-long battle took him into the top 10 on the last lap but he finished 11th with a personal best lap time of two minutes 10.388 seconds.

He finished the weekend 18th in the championship after passing 13 people in the points standings.

“I pressed the reset button at Snetterton and went into it with an open mind, thinking I can still do it. If I have a bad round, I just forget about it,” said Fred who is still only 15.

After his confidence-boosting outing at Snetterton, it was Oulton Park at the end of last month.

Fred started the first race from 20th but didn’t quite get the jump he was looking for. He dropped back to 29th before working his way back to 26th by the end of lap one.

He continued to fight his way through and, by the end of the nine-lap race, was back where he started in 20th. A lap time of one minute 54.966 seconds was a new PB for Fred and he started race two 21st on the grid.

Fred got stuck on the outside of turn one in the second race and lost his knee slider along with a couple of places.

It hindered him throughout the race but didn’t stop him pushing as he got into some clear air. He put in a faster lap than the leading pack at the time, knocking a second of his PB with a one minute 53.99.

Sadly, he was unable to make any further indents into the pack ahead and finished 19th.

Looking back at his growing success and picking up the pace so far this season, Fred said: “I knew I could do it but it was getting it all to come together.

“I still have a lot to learn but it’s going well. Those first points have given me confidence that I can do it.”

Fred is fired up about the final two rounds of the championship this month at Donington Park and Brands Hatch. Good luck Fred.

Follow Fred on his Facebook page – @Frodmcmullan – and TeamVal-Tech Racing at @ValTechRacing