Round 6 – Snetterton Race Report

We have already reached the halfway point of the season which took us to Snetterton in Norwich. The weekend began with glorious sun and we were lucky to not be hit by too much rain over the weekend, unlike Knockhill in the previous week where the Sprint race was postponed on Saturday due to heavy downfalls (whilst the rest of the UK were enjoying the 30oC heatwave) and Sunday did not show much improvement.

Matt is still recovering following the crash at Brands Hatch which saw him break his ankle in two places, the Talus and Distal Tibia. Utilising hyperbaric treatment to speed up the healing process, he is looking forward to moving from a non-weight bearing cast to a supporting boot in the next couple of weeks and is hoping to be back riding as soon as possible.

The Snetterton weekend began on a high starting note with both Free Practice 1 and 2 putting Kurt in top 10 positions, including a P5 for FP1. However, whilst his lap times were strong and consistent Kurt was having issues handling the bike around the twelve demanding turns of the Snetterton circuit. He knew that improvements could be made to the bike and suspension to resolve these issues and the team worked hard through Friday afternoon to late evening making the changes they believed would be most beneficial based on the data from each practice session.

Saturday morning the sky was covered with clouds but a dry session meant that Kurt had a good opportunity to put the changes made into practice. He needed the first part of the session to adjust to the difference in handling the bike. Having the best speed through the speed trap in sector 1 which included the hairpin, he continually improved throughout the session, putting his best lap time down on 11/13 laps. With over a second improvement on his lap time, Kurt achieved P6 in Qualifying. Still feeling as though the bike was not handling as best as it could be, further changes were made to the bike in preparation for Saturday afternoon’s race.

Despite a heavy spell of rain on Saturday afternoon, the track was dry ready for the Sprint race. Kurt had a good start and kept in with the pack fighting for the top 10 positions. Half way through the race a couple of GP2 riders interrupted the flow, setting Kurt and his fellow competitors back slightly. However, a close battle enabled the fight to achieve 10thto continue. By the end of the race, with a gap of 0.164 Kurt crossed the finish line in P11.

Kurt began the Feature Race on Sunday from the fourth row of the Grid. A bad start set him back slightly, surrounded amongst three GP2 riders. Kurt fought hard to keep with the group, not losing sight of his fellow Supersport competitors just ahead. However, after big changes to the bike’s geometry over the weekend we fell short of grasping that ideal setup, closing the race with a P13 finish. The weekend was a significant struggle in terms of achieving the best setup for the Snetterton circuit, however we will not let this influence our motivation after such a positive first half of the season, with Kurt retaining a top 10 position in the championship.