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kurtmatt

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Last Season

The 2016 Season

The 2016 season has certainly been a rollercoaster, with some of our best ever achievements during our racing careers, accompanied by those unfortunate days of bad luck that are renown in the world of motorsport.

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The highlight of the year was Knockhill’s qualifying sessions, as Kurt took his first pole position and Matt joined him at the front of the grid in 4th place at the small damp circuit of Scotland. Kurt also went on to receive two podiums, one at the Donington Park WSBK round, and the other at Brands Hatch GP where Kurt’s confidence soon began to show. Earlier in the year, Kurt set the fastest lap of the race on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit which was only 0.01 of a second off the lap record. From an extensive number of interviews and the victory of spraying the champagne on the rostrum, Kurt describes his year as “one of his greatest achievements.”

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Matt had a decent start to the season with two top 10 finishes in the second and third round and this was followed up with his best qualifying yet at Knockhill on the second row in 4th position. Following this he unfortunately experienced a run of bad luck, with in incident at Thruxton where he was taken out by a fellow competitor who crashed into him from behind. He sustained an injury to his elbow which took more than a couple of months to recover. On his return, he came back on a mission. Donington Park was his second race meeting back where he fought for his highest position of the season, rounding up the top 5!

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 We are always extremely grateful for the support that we are given and we would like to say a huge thank you to our sponsors and supporters! The team have done an absolutely fantastic job this year, all pulling together to strive to be the best that we can be. The 2017 season will be here before we know it and we have big plans that will be revealed within good time. Keep an eye on our News page for regular updates!

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History

.Take a look back through time at our history starting with when it all began at the age of 6 years old.

The very first race Kurt and Matthew competed in took place at Donnington Park (as shown right) where Matthew gained his very first 1st trophy. They began racing in the Junior C group which was for novice riders. Admittedly they were a little wobbly at the time, but have progressed over the past six years beyond belief. Many people talk about how unbelievable the boys are if they have a crash they just get straight back on their bikes without losing valuable seconds per lap on their timings. They have also developed great style to go with their speed.

Kurt and Matthew show their dedication and commitment as they are constantly pushing beyond their limits, racing against the clock to bring down lap times. During the boys second year of racing they had been put up into the Junior ‘A’ class with boys who were so fast we thought it would be years before our team were up to such speeds, but during the winter months the boys practiced hard

During 2004 Kurt and Matthew raced with increased speeds. There were some extremely close racing with lads actually leaning on one another round corners, just like the big bikes and we are extremely proud with the end results of the season with gaining both first and second places in a number of Championships as can be seen in their individual records.

During 2005 they again achieved brilliant results which can be seen on the pages for each of the riders. Their speeds and skills have constantly developed during this year they gained more confidence in passing slower riders and were now at the stage where they are able to concentrate on other riders to see where their lines are on the track and what their pit people are saying to them to enable the boys to think up plans and different lines to try on each lap to help in overtaking or defensive riding if required.

Pic by MSPR Photography

Minimotos have centrifugal clutches and no gears and therefore races are won on incredible corner speeds. During their second year, the boys lacked a little speed around the corners, but with riding their new 8.5hp machines, they are now throttling the 4.2hp machines and almost riding them flat out everywhere. We have many comments from people amazed at how well our team have improved during the past couple of years and seem to get stronger and faster each time they ride.

During this year we took part in the LCRRC British Championship, the British Minimoto GP, the North of England and Eastern Counties Championship and the South of England Championship with meetings ranging from Rowrah in Cumbria down to Lydd in Kent, mainly on kart circuits.   It turned out to be an amazing year.  Although it was a lot of hard work racing almost every weekend throughout the season the team  managed an amazing record of being unbeaten in both the aircooled and watercooled class.

We also competed in Belgium, again the results can be seen on the rider profiles, and were extremely pleased with the results considering this being the first time abroad racing where rules and regulations are quite different to the UK. The BMS bosses and riders were also present and also attended meetings in the UK during this year and were extremely happy with the boys’ performance, especially at times when they have been overtaken, but would not give up until either the end of the race or Kurt and Matt at Rowrahthe regain of their place. Kurt and Matthew are now developing some aggressive riding which is sometimes needed with stiff competition.

During 2006 this was an unusual year for the boys. They began riding their new 50cc GP bikes at the start of the year by way of a trip to the South of France following a couple of days practice at Rednal. Not only do they now have gears to change, but the complete physical size of the bikes to throw around corners was massive compared to their little bodies as they could only just touch the floor. The first half of the year was a huge learning curve but they worked hard and got to grips with things getting back their style and becoming one with their new bikes. Half way through the season we decided to take a further step up to the GP70 machines which was basically the same size of bike, but with engine modifications. Kurt and Matthew practiced hard on these new machines and towards the end of the year were setting some of the fastest lap times, but due to the changes we made this meant that they could not gain any decent championship positions.

At the end of October we travelled to a circuit near Lyon in France to take part in an FFM round of the French Championship on the new supers. Unfortunately as Kurt was still in plaster from a broken wrist we only had one rider, but Matthew intended to win for the both of them. After qualifying in the first group of two of out of 60 riders and putting his machine in 7th place on the grid he battled with people from the age of 12 years upwards to take a 3rd place overall. He was then invited to compete in the race of champions whereby the fastest 12 racers on the day battled it out. Matthew gained the 2nd place on the grid. Once the lights had changed, Matthew whole shot the start and lead the race from start to finish. As you can see from the above picture, this shows the top 6 riders who broke away from the pack, but towards the end of the race, Matthew settled down into a rhythm and left the same distance between him and the next 5 riders. This was certainly an experience none of us will forget managing to beat the 5 times French Champion at his own circuit.

Pic by Wileman Photography

During 2007 – If it was good enough for Leon Haslam and James Toseland it was good enough for us so we did, we went scooter racing. Derbi supplied us 2 No. 50cc scooters which we converted into 70ccs and made them into all singing dancing flying machines capable of reaching speeds of 103 mph with 22bhp. At 11 years old the ACU will not allow us to ride geared bikes on big circuits, but they will allow them to ride 100mph automatic – this does not make sense, but anyway, the lads had chance to ride with adults on large tracks and loved it. When they went into open practice and had 900 Ducati’s passing them down the straight they said that was awesome as the draft off them blew the boys off line. It was even more fun being able to sit the big bikes up in the corners and pass them through the tight twisty bits. It was the best racing they had had for a long time. The paddock was really friendly and helpful and the boys just had fun, but at the same time gaining experience of new circuits and battling hard against adults was a huge challenge.

Pic by PLJ Photography

During 2008 – Kurt and Matthew road their new Moriwaki framed 250, 4 stroke machines at a number of UK circuits. Their debut outing was at Brands Hatch with the New Era Club where they rode in the CB500 class. Although they qualified mid pack, as they had not road these bikes in race conditions and with not taking part in a race start on these machines before we decided to request that they start from the back of the grid to ensure they did not get in the way of other riders, but when the lights changed the boys had 10 laps to do their best. Coming from the back of 37 riders it was surprising to see, but they worked their way through to a respectable 3rd and 7th place finish. In race 2 they again started at the back of the grid and finished 1st and 11th. Their corner speed was the most amazing thing along with their late braking. We have since rode at the majority of the Derby Phoenix club rounds in the 400cc open class and GP125cc. We have also rode with the Darley Moore club and the Super Mono Association. All of these clubs have made us feel extremely welcome and have accommodated us with the new machines.

The best circuit has been Donnington Park and Brands Hatch. The Snetterton straight was too long and the 400cc just left us on the straight line power.

Pic by Richard Glover

In the formula classes the boys have not been beaten, but the best race was in the wet at Brands Hatch in the 125GP class. From the third row on the grid they managed to holeshot and beat a number of 125GP machines.

During 2009 – Kurt and Matthew continued in riding the Moriwaki MD250cc, 4 strokes.  They are so reliable.  The engines were prepared by Roger Ditchfield of Revolution Racing who certainly knows his stuff.  The boys took part in many races in the Derby Phoenix Open 400 Championship and learnt a great deal as they started off the back of the grid which assisted them with learning their track craft in overtaking and working their way through the grid.  We finished a respectable 3rd and 5th overall in the Championship.  One of the highlights of the year was having Shoei paint a couple of helmets to Kurt and Matthew’s design as a one off.  The boys were really proud of these.

Pic by Richard Glover

During 2010 – 2010 started off well using the same machines as we had ridden for the past two years, however, SMR who run Swan Honda at BSB agreed to look after Kurt and Matthew’s bikes for the 2010 season through their performance centre.  With some extra engine work the bikes gained bhp and lap times started to drop.  By lapping Cadwell Park in 1:40 on a 41.7 bhp machine we feel is quite respectable.  It has been excellent having an association with the Superbike team and having the same people working on our bikes who work on the top BSB machines has been a real boost to the lads.

We have once again chosen to race with the Derby Phoenix Motorcycle Club and are taking part in the Mini Thunderbike Championship with bikes up to 750cc minitwin engines.  We may lose out on top speed down the straights, but the boys certainly make up for it with their corner speed.  The Derby Phoenix Club have been nothing but excellent to the boys from the Marshalls, Office, Organisers and fellow riders.  We have just completed the Championship with a fantastic result of Kurt 1st and Matt 2nd place overall.

During 2011 – Kurt and Matthew managed to complete a full year racing in the French Superbike Championship in the Pirelli Superstock 600 class.  The boys were only 15 years old and have moved onto the larger capacity 600cc machines with two new Triumph 675Rs.  Not only was this a challenge with learning all new circuits, but was also the jump to the higher cc.

Pic by Jackey Ley

It was a fantastic year riding for the Coutelle Junior Team under the guidance of Stephane Coutelle who was himself an ex championship rider and now reporter for the famous Moto Journal magazine.  The circuits in France are huge compared to what we have been used to in the UK which took time to get used to but Kurt and Matt loved it.  The nice weather also made a great change with most races being in blistering sunshing.

Pic by Jackey Ley

Both Kurt and Matthew qualified each time to be on the grid and although at the beginning of the year qualified in the late 20s as the year progressed worked their way further forward on the grid with a best qualifying of 11th place.  Matthew also began earning points towards championship places as the year progressed which was fantastic.  Unfortunately, Kurt did not have quite such a good year as he had a few DNFs due to being caught up in other rider’s accidents and regularly finished in 16th place which was just outside the points.  He still, however, showed a great deal of improvement through the year with some great challenging riding.

During 2012 – Unfortunately, this was a really hard year for sponsorship and the bank of mom and dad had totally dried up to top it off.  We therefore thought we would take on a new challenge and try something different.  We changed our machines to Yamaha R6s and entered some 3 hour Endurance races.  Some we took part in at the Hottrax meetings in the UK and others in France for Eybis.  This was certainly an experience.  We are so used to being number one enemies out on the circuit but had to change our tactics to become team mates and helping each other.  We also had the challenge of being consistently quick without going to mad and risking crashing which seriously effects your chances in Endurance.  We had some brilliant fun.

 

Pic by Richard Glover

We also travelled to France for a wildcard ride in the French Superbike Championship in the Supersport class, but on our Stock bikes again with Stephane Coutelle.  We had a brilliant weekend and although we were seriously under powered compared to the sport bikes, Matthew managed to come away with points in the Championship, however, both riders had a good race.

During 2013 – Once again, we have a new challenge.  We are racing in the MCE  British Superbike Championship in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 class.  Our bikes have just returned from UK Dynojet where they have been refreshed and set up in accordance with the Stock rules and all ready to go.

This year, we have teamed up with The Black Country University Technical College as a project.  We will be taking a team of 12 students from the college who will learn different aspects of the racing to bring their Engineering studies from the classroom to practical studies.  With the assistance of some of our sponsors they will be taken to visit the respective premises and undertake different workshops to learn about different manufacturing techniques.  They will also visit companies such as K-Tech who are on board with us whereby they will learn the handling affects of the machines in accordance with the different setups.  They will take a visit to Yamaha to learn about the engines and different torques and tolerances and to Dynojet UK to learn about other aspects of setup of the machines with the electronics etc.

There is such a wide range of subjects to cover, some at Sponsor’s own premises and some trackside.  As the year progresses the students will become competent pit crew and a great asset as the team develops.  The riders will continue to be Kurt and Matthew as they have the knowledge and experience on track.

Keep visiting our site to find out how a project is progressing through the year.

A big thank you to all who have helped the boys to where they are today.  Many thanks – you know who you are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2014 Season

For this season we competed in the Pirelli National 600cc Superstock class at British Superbikes. Sorrymate.com was our title sponsor and had supported the team for a few years previously. They enabled us to progress in our racing careers with the aim to develop us both as a team and as individual riders. Sorrymate.com struck a deal with ex South African Superbike Champion Mike Dickinson during the beginning of the year. The arrangement was for Mike to fly over from Spain for each round of the BSB championship to coach Kurt and Matthew Wigley throughout the season with the aim to bring them towards the front of the grid. Mike taught us how to be calm forward thinking riders, understand the theory of what it is we do on track, identify issues on the circuit and then find the solutions in order to piece together fast laps. Kurt and Matt made huge improvements throughout the 2014 season despite the injury Kurt sustained within the beginning stages of the year. With regular finishes of late 20’s and early 30’s in 2013 the lads came a long way to their  finishes of top 15 and even a recent top 10 finish later on.

 

Sorrymate.com not only had their own race team but they also made it possible for us to run a project to give young engineering students the opportunity to learn about the motorsport industry by attending the Superbike race meetings. This project has given the students work experience which is highly valued by potential employers. Some of the students involved in the course progressed on to University and Higher Apprenticeships whilst others still within their College years. This was all possible thanks to our sponsors.

To find out more about the coaching offered by Mike Dickinson take a look at Get Faster.

 

 The 2015 Season 

This season we competed in the Pirelli National 600 Superstock championship at MCE British Superbikes which has now come to a close with some tough challenges and new personal best lap times all year round. We have faced some unfortunate luck at times throughout the season each time the ball was in our hands to perform such as Thruxton where Matt started the second qualifying session in 7th position which was soon brought to an end with a mechanical failure forcing him to retire from the session during the initial laps putting him back down the grid. Kurt had a similar scenario at Snetterton where he proved that he could put down the lap times in qualifying one but by lap 4 of the second session he was in pit lane with a burst radiator. Both of the lads have managed to smash their old personal best lap times at almost all of the circuits this year with some being less than half a second from the lap record. With the teams best weekend being Silverstone GP we are all looking forward to the BSB opening round there in 2016.

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We would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to everyone who has been involved in the team this year and all of those who have followed us. Sorrymate.com have once again been an excellent title sponsor this year working with us all to find what is best for the lads from testing to tyres we couldn’t be more grateful so thank you to Fergus and Paul for all that they have done.

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MPTT have continued their support to complete two years now and have been a substantial help alongside LAM Associates who are new to the British Superbike paddock and RIDI, again, thank you to all who has been there.

We are currently working on our plans for the forthcoming with the aim of having a greater presence, however, updates will be available when we are on more solid ground.