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COMPETITION TIME!

As the 2017 season has come to an end, we have a fantastic give away of an A2 framed picture featuring our Sorrymate.com Yamaha R6 signed by Kurt!

This photograph was taken by RBPS Photography at the Brands Hatch GP British Superbike round this year. We invite you to take a look at RBPS Photographys page for a season of fantastic photographs.

Simply like and share the post on the Wigley Racing Club Facebook Page and you will be entered into a draw where the winner will be selected at random towards the end of November. Don’t forget to like the page to validate your entry.

Big shout out to everyone for their support and those who follow us along with The Graphics Co for their top print work.

BSB Round 12 – Brands Hatch  

Closing the 2017 Season with Eight Top 10 Finishes!

The final round of the British Superbike season took place at Brands Hatch on our third visit to the Kent based circuit of the year. The weekend began on a good foot as we hit the damp circuit for free practice 1. Kurt took the first stages of the session steady due to the unpredictable conditions but then began to increase the pace as the dry line appeared leaving himself in P4 for the opening session.

Free practice 2 proved to be somewhat of a challenge for the team as an incorrect gearing change meant that Kurt was struggling to get the power on the exit of the turns, despite this, we began developing the suspension setup for the demanding circuit so that it did not go to waste.

The challenge with finding a smooth bike setup continued into the qualifying session as each lap Kurt was on the limit of losing the front entering the first and final turn, along with this, we continued to search for a solution to the bike running excessively wide on the exit of fast turns. Kurt improved on his lap time throughout the session but unfortunately it was only enough to leave him in P15 for the grid in the afternoons sprint race.

The opening race of the final round was tense as several changes was made in a bid to reach where we aimed to be. As the lights went out, Kurt immediately began to make up positions, however, it wasn’t long before the bad luck struck and it became apparent Kurt was suffering with progressive brake fade. On the entrance to turn 4, Kurt failed to slow down enough but attempted to make the corner nevertheless. This resulted in him losing the front and crashing out. Kurt was unhurt nor was the bike severely damaged but frustration arose with how the day had panned out.

Due to Saturdays race being cut short for the team, we started the feature race back in P19 but determined to make the most of a bad situation. With nothing to lose, we made a further gearing change along with alterations to the front suspension and engine braking. As the lights went out for the second time, Kurt headed to the outside of the circuit aiming to keep a smooth line and carry the momentum. Over the course of the race, Kurt moved up to P11 for the finish.

Despite a series of DNFs and technical issues at the beginning of the year, we concluded our rookie season with a P15 in the British Supersport series and totaling eight top 10 finishes. We would like to greatly thank everyone who has been involved throughout the season as we could not do it without you. 2018 plans will soon be confirmed as we aim to continue our progression.

BSB Round 11 – TT Assen CircuitRace Report

Tough Weekend for Sorrymate.com’s Kurt Wigley

We had the long journey over to Holland last weekend for the 11th round of the season as we attended the famous TT Assen circuit. The first free practice session of the weekend proved to be somewhat of a learning curve as it was the first time Kurt has seen the circuit in 6 years. We had a progressive session catching up with those who attended the circuit last year and improving lap times right down to the last lap.

FP2 proved to be better still, following a change of gearing and amendments to the suspension setup after the initial session of the weekend. This weekend we had the support again of Mupo who worked with the team between sessions and in pit lane helping to find the best setup and overcome any problems that arise. The session came to close with a P11 finish and a new personal best lap time 2.5 seconds faster.

After FP’s big steps in the right direction, we were all feeling confident for the Saturday morning qualifying session. The session began in damp conditions so we hit the track on wet tyres to get started, after the first stint Kurt had made his way up to P2 and with a dry line rapidly appearing he was forced to pit and change to drys. Following a 4 minute pit stop, Kurt headed back out at which point he had fallen back down to mid-teens. The lap times began to drop and Kurt moved up into P10 where he then began his fastest lap of the session. After a green first two sectors the session was brought to an immediate stop in the final stages as on the exit of a fast left turn he hit the damp edge of the circuit launching him over the handle bars. Kurt didn’t sustain any major injuries, however, the bike had rolled several times on the tarmac smashing the rear wheel and ripping off the clocks.

Race 1 was later that day therefore the team worked flat out to get the bike fixed within 3 hours in a bid to make the start. It was close but they pulled through just in time for a very wet sprint race. After a delayed start due to the downpour, the race was soon under way. Kurt made his way up to P6 on the opening lap but as the race progresses he began to struggle and lost a few positions due to the beating he withstood earlier that day. As Kurt began to regain the lost positions, an overtaking maneuver put him off line for the hairpin resulting in him crashing out on the exit when the rear broke traction. The incident was minor and the only damage was a dented pride as Kurt picked up his own bike off the track side and pushed it through the gravel.

Kurt was determined not to let the weekend conclude on a bad note despite qualifying P15 after the unfortunate end to race 1. As the red lights went out he headed straight to the inside of the circuit for the first turn and began to push forward whist everyone was bunched up. As the field began to spread out, Kurt battled through to the front of the group he was in before bridging the gap to those in front. After a tough race the day came to a close with a P8 finish even following a position penalty due to exceeding track limits.

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 BSB Round 10 – Oulton Park Race Report

Two top 10 finishes in the Supersport 600 Class!

As the end of the season approaches, we revisited Oulton Park for round 10 of the British Superbike championship. The weekend commenced with some unfortunate luck as we hit the track for a very wet FP1, on the opening lap the steering damper bracket snapped causing Kurt to almost lose control of the Sorrymate.com Yamaha on a straight exceeding 100mph. He got the bike safely back round to the pit lane where the team worked franticly to create a quick fix, however, this only lead to one other completed lap meaning we began the event on the back foot having completed 2 out of a possible 15 laps.

FP2 began on a more positive pathway, by this point the circuit had dried up and Kurt wasted no time in putting down some strong lap times. He worked his way up into the top 10 and continued up to P7 by continuously beating his previous lap. Once again, the session abruptly came to a stop for the team as the bike lost all power and cut out exiting turn 1. Kurt was forced to retire from the session. Further investigations following the session lead to the discovery of a blown fuse which was a relief that it was something so simple but at the same time frustrating that it halved the session.

Saturday mornings qualifying session was the first full session of the weekend meaning we had a lot of work to get the bike set up closer to perfection in time for the race. With Oulton Park being on the opposite end of the scale to Silverstone in terms of the bumps, cambers and twisty sectors there was minimal information we could carry over for the new Mupo suspension. The session was tough to make vast improvements on lap times whilst sacrificing time on track to make adjustments to the setup, but this didn’t stop the team from securing a P10 finish in class putting us on row 4 in P11 for the race.

Race 1 on Saturday afternoon proved to be somewhat dramatical. Kurt had a strong start to the race as he broke away with the top 10 on the opening few laps, feeling positive he was ready to fight for a best finish but soon became aware that the brakes were fading and quickly. We have never experienced this issue previously and Kurt was coming ever closer to running off track or colliding with another rider entering corners. Fortunately, the race was red flagged because it began to rain allowing the team to change the pads and bleed the brake fluid through the system along with swap the wheels to wets in the desperate attempt to make the restart. Other than a few burns from the disks and pads it was a success and Kurt made his way onto the grid where he once again got a strong start and managed get to the front of the group he was in to take a P7 finish. In his bid to break away from the group when at the front, he put down the 6th fastest lap time of the race putting us on the second row of the grid for race 2.

Moments before the second race it began to rain heavily which was a shame for us as we were hoping for a damp circuit as this is where we get our best results. The wet race soon began, unfortunately for Kurt a few close moments when finding the limit set him back on the opening couple of laps resulting in him being pushed back to P13. He spent the first half of the race trying to get into a rhythm and reduce the mistakes in a bid to not repeat last weekend’s Silverstone race. When Kurt finally settled down, he began closing the gap to the bike in front and at one stage was lapping a couple of seconds faster than those directly ahead as he made his way up to P11. With 4 laps remaining and the track drying out, he had a big push catch those in sight and obtained another 4 positions before the final lap completing the final race of the weekend with another 7thplace finish.

BSB Round 9 – Silverstone Race Report

Testing New Suspension

Last weekend was the next round of the season as we made our way over to the famous Silverstone GP circuit. The forecast was looking very unpredictable even before arrival therefore we did not know what to expect. This meeting has been a huge learning curve as we tested out the new MUPO suspension being the first person in the Supersport class to do so, with the assistance of MUPOs experts trackside with us to aid the development.

The first practice session on Friday consisted of getting the bike set up and understanding how it functioned differently to that of the existing setup, therefore, we made regular pit stops making changes to improve the settings. This was a wet session giving us the opportunity to prepare the bike for if rain was present for qualifying or the race.

FP2 later that day also began wet as the heavens opened shortly before the Supersport class took to the track. Kurt took this opportunity to get some laps under his belt and push the bike in the attempt to discover further improvements that can be made. He stayed out for the entire session hitting P1 mid-way through and didn’t stop there, each lap he continued to better his lap time and as a dry line began to appear. On the final lap, Kurt made a mistake exiting turn 1 as he ran out of track and made the sensible decision not to chase the rest of the lap in the attempt to make up the time lost and again improve his lap time. As a result of this the session came to a close with a P4 finish which we were over the moon with putting us in a great mindset for the forthcoming sessions especially if they were damp.

We had some unfortunate timing for the Saturday morning qualifying session … it was dry. This was the first session with the MUPO suspension in the dry conditions where setup can be less forgiving. Kurt pushed from the start with not only the possibility that the second half of the session would be wet, but we had much to learn. After a couple of pit stops to adjust the handling of the front entering corners, the lap time came down but not enough to where we aim to be leaving the team in P14 for the first race despite only being a couple of seconds off the fastest lap of the session over a 3.6 mile lap.

Race 1 of the Silverstone round was in extremely odd conditions as the majority of the circuit was dry, however, six of the turns on the far side of the track were wet with standing water. This meant there was a wide range of tyre combinations from everyone on the grid with a selection of full wets, intermediates and dry tyres. We went for the dry option hoping that a dry line would appear on the wet turns and it would be the most beneficial choice in the later stages of the race. This was a success, Kurt battled his way up to a P9 finish but better still, in the final lap he aimed for the qualifying lap for the second race pushing the Sorrymate.com Yamaha through the damp section of the lap as fast as he could without compromising the current sprint race result. The team were over the moon to see Kurt had qualified on the second row of the grid for the race 2 with a P6 lap time.

Sunday afternoon brought the Supersport feature race which was looking to be dry until moments before pit lane opened to form on the grid, it began spitting. We went for the gamble and quickly changed to wets hoping that the opening stages of the race would be damp but dry up encouraging everyone to choose the dry option giving us the advantage to get away at the start. As we sat on the grid we thought that the plan had worked until the rain began to get heavier showing no signs of stopping forcing everyone else to change to wets on the grid. As the lights went out for the race Kurt was P5 entering turn 1 but understood he needed to be progressive in the wet conditions and build to his fastest laps. For the first five laps he was in a battle with another 5 riders with continuous overtaking every lap. Kurt finally made his way to the front of the group, seeing his opportunity to break away he began to get his head down and settle into a rhythm. Unfortunately, this came to an abrupt end as on the exit of the fast right hand bend following the back straight, Kurt lost rear traction. As the tyre re-gripped, he was launched into the air over the front of the bike but he refused to give up, in the battle to remain in the race he gripped onto the bars as the bike skipped from side to side with the rear wheel off the floor. Just when he landed back on the bike it was too late and once again the rear spun round crashing out leaving him with a DNF but a spectacular replay on the Eurosport live race.

Despite low points of the weekend, it has also been a fantastic learning curve and we are getting ever closer to where we want to be.

BSB Round 8 – Cadwell Park Race Report.

Pushing Forward!

For round 8 of the British Superbike season we were at Cadwell Park. We have been working hard over the past couple of weeks to improve the performance of the Supersport Yamaha R6 in order to give the weekend everything that we could.

The first free practice session of the weekend brought a few issues to the surface regarding the bike setup as Kurt got to grips with the demanding Louth based circuit. As the session progressed so did the lap time with the second but last lap being a new personal best for Kurt putting him in 12th position. Following this session, the team investigated on how to find more time and improve for the FP2 session with the aim of making changes to the suspension setup.

Friday afternoon did not go as planned due to an unexpected down pour only minutes before the beginning of free practice 2. In order to make the most of the session despite not being able to test changes to suspension, we put the wet tyres in and stayed out. Each lap Kurt improved his lap time putting himself 1ston the time sheet for almost the entire session. As the circuit began to dry up the rear wet tyre was eventually destroyed, with 4 minutes to go we fell to 3rdposition and then the final lap saw Kurt drop out of the top 10 due to everyone putting dry tyres in for the final couple of minutes. There was little that we could take from this session into qualifying other than the hope Saturday brought more rain.

Unfortunately, rain was not the case and Saturday proved to be a nice day. The mornings qualifying session began positively, however, disaster struck mid way through the session following a fresh tyre change. A few laps in Kurt lost the front and crashed out at Mansfield. With the time running out he picked it up and made his way back to the pits where the mechanics worked promptly to clear the dirt out of the machine along with bending bars and rear sets back to where they should be. It was a quick fix for the meantime that allowed Kurt to get back on track for the remaining 4 minutes of the session. Despite the bent bars etc. Kurt improved his lap time beating that of FP1 also but this was not where we needed to be meaning Kurt had to start from the last row on the grid for the afternoon race.

Determined to make up for his unfortunate qualifying session, Kurt got stuck in as soon as the lights went out utilising the exit of pit lane to gain 3 positions before the first corner. He then went on to battle his way up the grid but two laps in he crashed out again in the exact same place. This was a huge disappointment for the whole team especially Kurt as he knew that it was no fault of his own. Under further investigations later that evening, we established that the front suspension was bottoming out causing both crashes and due to the change in elevation on that specific turn the problem was enhanced.

Sunday morning 8-minute warm up became a vital element of the weekend as the team made who significant changes. The gearing was altered to maximise top end speed along with a change of stiffer fork springs in the attempt of stopping the forks hitting the bottom of the stroke. This proved to be a success from what we could see Kurt put down a lap time 0.7 of a second faster than his qualifying time.

We started race 2 also from the back end of the grid in 19th position as a result of the race 1 disaster but we were all feeling confident because we had made progress even in morning warm up. As the lights went out for Cadwell Park’s second British Supersport race, Kurt headed straight to the outside of turn 1 in the attempt to go around the outside of the group. The initial part of the race quickly became very active as Kurt pushed forward to take any advantage he could. One issue that he struggled with throughout the race was the bike running wide which was always a concern as the side effect of hardening the front suspension. Despite this, Kurt went on to set a new personal best lap time and round up the weekend with a 10th place finish.

The team worked exceptionally hard this weekend to push forward to the higher end of the points and leave us in a goof mindset for the next round at Silverstone in 3 weeks time.

BSB Round 7 – Thruxton Race Report

Team Sorrymate.com take on the fastest circuit on the British Superbike calendar!

Last weekend British Superbikes were down at Thruxton for the seventh round of the championship. Due to the lack of time following our discovery of the reduced bhp of the Supersport R6, we were to attend the fastest circuit on the calendar knowing that top speed would be a struggle.

 

FP1 began looking positive, however as the session progressed, Kurt struggled to improve his lap time due problems with the bikes handling. Exiting the fast sweeping corners, the bike was sliding and bouncing around in the attempt to high side. The team put their heads together to establish a solution following the 13th place finish which is not where we aimed to be. This lead to a series of suspension changes to compensate for the bumpy flat out circuit.

 

The second free practice session began to look positive as by lap 4 Kurt had knocked 0.6 of a second off his best lap from the previous session, however, this came to an abrupt stop as it became apparent that we were facing similar problems to the mornings FP1. The session came to an end with a 15th place finish and confusion as to where we had gone wrong.

 

Saturdays qualifying session was later in the day leaving us some more time to understand what we were up against. Under further inspections we identified that there was a mechanical fault with the rear shock meaning there was nothing we could do to the settings to resolve the handling issue. The shock was removed and serviced in preparation for Q1. Kurt took another 0.6 off his best lap time but because of the series of events leading up to this we were playing catch up and had to start from scratch back at the original base setting for the suspension as any alterations previously made were obsolete. The session came to a close with another 15th place finish.

 

Saturday afternoon brought the 10-lap sprint race for the Supersport class. Further changes were made leading up to the race which always hold a risk that it wasn’t for the better, however, this was not the case and Kurt’s personal best lap time was improved again. Kurt was in a heated battle with another 5 riders making his way up to 11th position at one stage. On the final but last lap, Kurt over ran the chicane leading onto the home straight and in the attempt to revert the advantage gained he fell back to P14 for the chequered flag.

 

Sunday brought an 18 lap feature race meaning tyre wear was a problem that everyone faced due to the abrasive circuit of Thruxton. The second race proved the difficulty faced with competing when down on power as every lap Kurt was overtaken on the back straight reaching speeds in excess of 150mph. This meant that he had to try and outbreak someone leading to him failing to stop and missing the chicane on several occasions each time knocking him out of a rhythm. The race came to a close with another 14th position finish picking up points in the championship but frustrated with the circumstances of the weekend.

 

Cadwell Park is right around the corner and we aim for a better performance with plans in place to replace the engine.

 

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PC: RBPS Photography

BSB Round 6 – Brands Hatch GP

Changing conditions keeping the team on their toes!

This weekend we headed down to Kent for the mid-season event at the famous Brands Hatch circuit. As Kurt set off for the next round of the season, Matt underwent an operation at the Birmingham QE hospital where his broken Vertebrae was cemented in order to offer it stability therefore he spent the weekend watching from home on the recovery looking forward to his return.

 

The team got off to a great start with Kurt improving on his lap time and personal best throughout the whole session. After a quick pit stop to make some minor changes to the suspension setup when struggling to find confidence in the front grip through the fast sweeping turns, Kurt set his best lap of the session with one lap remaining. Although the session ended up with a 10th place finish, there was still an element of frustration present because of the determination to improve faster.

 

After a team debrief to establish a plan of improvement for the Friday afternoon FP2 session, Kurt straight away matched his lap time from the previous session which is always a relief as there is always potential that chances made to the bike could cause a more significant issue to arise. A large part of the session was spent chasing the lap time that we set out to achieve right down to the last couple of laps where Kurt improved by 0.3 of a second, however, due to the competitive nature of the Supersport class, this left him in 10th position again despite spending a substantial duration of the practice session just outside the top 5.

 

Further analysis of the data obtained from FP2 lead us to a risky decision for the Saturday qualifying session, a gearing change was the only conclusion which could potentially allow us to improve the top speed of the bike as we were up to 6mph down. The team got ready in pit lane to reverse the changes during the session if Kurt couldn’t make the new approach work as this would change where and how many gears were used around the circuit. The rain approached as the session began therefore it became apparent we only had half of the session to set a fast lap. Each lap completed was a significant improvement from the previous as Kurt reached lap 7 breaking into the next second and smashing his FP2 best lap by half a second. Following this, the rain began to fall eliminating any opportunity of improvement leaving Kurt to begin the first race in 9th.

 

Saturday afternoon proved to be miserable in terms of weather as the heavens opened and racing was put on hold until further notice from the officials. The sprint race was reduced to a 10 lap dash following the delays earlier on in the day. As the lights went out, Kurt began his first ever wet session on the Sorrymate.com Supersport machine which soon became extremely frustrating as he got trapped on the inside of the circuit on turn 2 behind a competitor on the wrong tyre choice. Following this, a series of mistakes lead to Kurt falling down to 18th following the end of lap 2. After all the hard work that was put in for qualifying, this was emptying to say the least for everyone. Fortunately, Kurt quickly settled down and began to push forward until the short race came to a close putting him in the points with an 11th place finish.

 

Sunday brought slightly more predictable conditions as the race was declared dry following a delayed start to see what the clouds brought as it began to drizzle, this soon blew over and racing was underway for the 18 lap feature race. From the first corner Kurt was in the thick of the battle as he attempted to move forward whilst defending those off behind. As the class broke up Kurt found himself in a tough battle for 10th with continuous swapping and changing of position each lap. All of a sudden, Kurt hit a false neutral entering an 80mph corner causing the bike to lock up almost resulting in him crashing out, this caused him to miss the turn and not only cost him the battle for a top 10 finish but put him back to the group behind who all saw the opportunity of taking advantage of Kurt’s mistake. Kurt tried to settle back into a rhythm in order to break the group and catch up where he left off but a series of overtaking maneuvers against him prevented this until the last lap where he defended his position and broke ahead by four tenths of a second crossing the line in 12th and setting a new personal best lap time that was half a second faster than that of qualifying and also quicker than the 4 finishers in front.

 

Following the race meeting we have discovered that the Yamaha R6 during our time at Brands Hatch began to lose power merely beating the bhp of a Superstock 600 therefore further investigations to pinpoint the fault and resolve the issue is underway before Thruxton in less than 2 weeks time.

 

PC: RBPS Photography

BSB Round 5 – Snetterton Race Report

Strong Return With Two Top 10 Finishes!

This weekend was the next round of the British Superbike Championship consisting of a journey over to Norwich to the Snetterton Circuit. Matt was unable to attend due to his injury which is expected, however, Kurt was more or less back to health ready for a new weekend.

 

Fridays FP1 started the weekend on a positive note as Kurt managed to set a new personal best time and spending the majority of the session running in a strong 6th position. After struggling with front grip entering the bumpy first turn, minor suspension changes were made by Go Racing Developments to push the team to an even better lap time closing the session in 9th.

 

Kurt and the team sat down to establish a plan of attack for the second practice session later that day knowing full well that the times would drop significantly. Again, the route to adjust the suspension set up was taken which proved to be beneficial as 0.4 of a second was Kurt’s FP1 fastest lap but this was not enough to keep him in the top 10, rounding up the session in 14th. However, there was still something missing as the bike was slower in the speed traps to our competitors reaching a 9mph difference.

 

We were not entirely pleased with the results from FP2 therefore changes had to be made as the team was aware of the lap time needed to be competitive in qualifying and we were still too far away. A gamble was taken and big changes were made to the gearing along with the sessions approach on Kurt’s behalf. This was a risk as if it didn’t work then time would be wasted in the session changing back to the original gearing. Fortunately, it was a success and Kurt was back in the top 10 swapping and changing every couple of laps. Kurt finally took 1.4 seconds out of his FP2 personal best lap time at the closing stages of the session putting him in a strong 10thposition on the grid for race 1 on Saturday afternoon.

 

As the lights went out for Saturdays 10 lap race, Kurt started on a slight disadvantage as he completed the first lap in 13th place following an unfortunate turn 1 which resulted in him being pushed wide on the fast sweeping right. This was not an issue as the circuit offers many great overtaking opportunities which he immediately began to exercise. As the laps continued the race for 8th place consisted of Kurt and a fellow competitor which saw regular overtakes and elbow to elbow racing. With two laps remaining, Kurt kept the pressure on before the other contender had an off-track experience leaving us to take the 8thplace finish we needed to improve our best result of the year.

 

Qualifying for race 2 on Sunday was determined by the lap times of the first race, therefore the lengthy battle and overtaking manoeuvres took its toll on the lap times of both riders leaving Kurt to begin from 13th on the grid. Kurt had a strong start maintaining his position and keeping out of trouble for the opening lap. Once forcing his way to the front of the group he was stuck in initially, Kurt began the tense race as he set attempted to close the 4.5 second gap to the next bike whilst being chased by others and defending his current position. The team were feeling the pressure in pit lane as they watched the huge gap reduce along with the laps left. With 2 laps remaining, the gap was gone and Kurt took no hesitation in taking 6th position which he then defended to the line.

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 BSB Round 4 – Knockhill Race Report

Downward Spiral as the Team Faced a Streak of Bad Luck at Knockhill!

It was the first time back at the Scottish circuit for the team since last season and we were all very excited following our 2016, first and second row start for the race from a brilliant qualifying session where the team earned their first pole position in the series.

Fridays FP1 session was looking good for Kurt despite the cold conditions of Knockhill, and also despite it being the first session on a Supersport bike here. Early on in the session, Kurt had a huge moment coming out of turn 3 throwing him out of the seat but he maintained control of the bike and continue. Although this can be quite disruptive for a racers rhythm, Kurt settled straight back into things.  Towards the end of the session he was sitting in 12th place but the session was cut short following a huge high side attempt forcing him to run off the circuit dropping the bike in the gravel.

Matt’s found the FP1 session on Friday tough.  The 1000cc bike was completely different to ride around such a tight, twisty and bumpy circuit.  Matt was finding it difficult to get the power down in the right places and the undulation was causing difficulties with bike setup. Matt rounded out the session in 30th place with a lot of hard work to do for the rest of the weekend.

The team cleaned up Kurt’s R6 ready for the second practice session of the weekend on Friday afternoon. The session began steady and progressive when looking for the rear grip whilst Kurt continuously improved his lap times and once settled down within a pack of riders who were pushing each other along, the fast laps began. The team were thrilled in pit lane when Kurt went 2nd fastest in the first sector, however, mid-way through sector 2 when it was looking like a top 5 finish, he lost the front on a high speed right turn due to the bumps causing him to crash out. The bike hit the air fence followed by Kurt which resulted in a red flag when he sustained a substantial impact to his lower back preventing him from standing. Moments later he obtained some stability to his legs and was assisted into the ambulance for further assessment.

After a few changes to the Kawasaki ZX10 setup, Matt went into FP2 with high hopes and plenty to improve on.  During the early stages of the session rain spots started to appear, however, Matt was still able to match his FP1 time and gain more of a feel for the track with a good plan of attack for Saturday’s qualifying session. A red flag cut the session in half due to an adhesion related issue. Shortly after, Matt retired from FP2 after a team decision concluded that the risks outweighed the gains due to the wet weather conditions.

Matt was out first thing on Saturday for qualifying and determine to progress faster, he left the pits with a fast group of riders whom he managed to close on during the early stages of the session. Knocking 2.6 seconds off his practice personal best, Matt continued to push and work his way up the grid to 22nd place. Lap 4 brought a horrific crash for Matt when he lost control of the 1000cc machine, leaving the circuit at high speed and colliding with the fence entering the final turn. This also provoked a red flag for the session and following investigations at the local hospital it was confirmed he was unfortunately left with 2 broken vertebrae.

Struggling to walk from his accident in FP2 on Friday, Kurt was determined not to let the weekend end so soon. He returned to the medical centre to pass his fit to ride assessment and with nothing broken just muscular and tissue damage he went out in qualifying later Saturday morning. He began the session pacing himself although it was apparent that Kurt’s injuries were causing him some difficulty but continued to progress and worked his way up to 14th  place on the grid, knocking 0.2 seconds off his practice time.

Saturday afternoon saw the British Supersport race where Kurt faced a poor start putting him down in 17th place in the beginning stages leaving him with a challenge on his hands. As the finish drew ever closer, Kurt challenged his way up to 13thplace battling it out to the line as he faced a last minute lunge to the final turn, he immediately counteracted the fellow competitor who launched past him to reclaim his position and earn a further 3 points in the championship.

 

 

 

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New Race Truck Ready for WSBK & Knockhill!

It’s finally here!

After spending almost two years building our own race truck using an ex- 45ft DHL container, it is ready to display in the World Superbike Paddock at Donington Park in May!

A massive thanks is due to MFT Commercials who have not only had the truck painted for us, but will be storing and pulling the truck to the race meetings.

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BSB Round 3 – Oulton Park Race Report

Top 10 finish in the Supersport Class!

Oulton Park was the location of round 3 last weekend over the bank holiday weekend. This was the first weekend Kurt could be a serious contender with a consistently performing Supersport bike as following the Brands Hatch round, further investigation revealed a mechanical fault with the engine preventing it from performing to the best of its ability.

Saturdays FP1 proved to be a step in the right direction as Kurt began to climb up the timing screen, he stayed out on circuit for the entire session as track time was vital due to many other competitors attending the Official BSB Oulton Park test day the week before. Kurt set his fastest lap of the session on the final lap completing the session in 13th.

It was a difficult start to the weekend for Matt compared to the last outing at Brands Hatch. The bumpy twisty Oulton Park circuit was a shock to the system as he found himself trying to overcome what normally wouldn’t prove to be an issue on the Superstock 600. Nevertheless, having never been to Oulton Park on the ZX10R we had a clean session putting Matt in 32nd place.

British Supersport free practice 2 was Saturday afternoon and after analysing the data on the bike and making gearing and suspension changes, Kurt went out to beat his new personal best lap time which was set in FP1. We had a fantastic session reaching 5th position mid-way through but due to the competitive nature of the class, during a short pit stop Kurt fell back down to 9th before the session came to a close with a P11 finish.

After analysing all the data collected in Matt’s previous session, he formulated a strong plan of attack to lead him into the afternoon.  We had a brilliant free practice 2 knocking just over a second off his lap time, however, the challenge regarding setting up the ZX10 was still present and each time Matt went out he felt more and more comfortable and confident.

Sunday brought the Supersport qualifying along with the first race of the weekend which proved to be quite the opposite of Saturday’s highlights. After a difficult qualifying session where Kurt struggled to make further improvements to his lap time, the session ended with a disappointing 15th place despite matching his FP2 lap time.

Matt began the Superstock 1000 with high aspirations, the struggle came with the front of the bike lifting over the large bumps and crests the circuit had to offer resulting in a series of ruined lap times. Following a few alterations to the bike and Matt’s technique, he went on to reduce his personal best sector times. Unfortunately, although a 0.5 second improvement on his ideal time was made, Matt only managed to match his FP2 time putting him in a similar scenario to Kurt in this weekend’s qualifying sessions.

Following a challenging Q1, the first race took a similar pathway when Kurt had a poor start after getting trapped on the inside of turn 1 and falling backwards in the pack. Once getting to the front of the group Kurt was in, the gap to the next 5 riders who broke away at the beginning stages was over two seconds in front. Kurt continuously pushed in the attempt to bridge the gap, however, after closing it down to a few tenths of a second, he lost the front in the middle of the first chicane and crashed out.

Matt was left with a lot of work to do in the race having qualified in 33rd on the grid but after a brilliant start Matt battled his way through the field reaching 20th position during the initial stages of the 18 lap race.  On the 4th lap a mistake was made entering turn 1 resulting in Matt running off the racing line putting him on the wet part of the circuit, this was a costly mistake as the pack in front was able to break away.  Lap 6 brought a red flag when the rain began to increase resulting in a restart following a change of tyres.  We were forced to begin the restart from last on the grid following a mechanical issue in pit lane resulting in the window to form the new grid being missed. This was a setback for us all, however, Matt became ever more determined to pick up where he left off.  To begin with the track was a bit too dry for full wet tyres but as the race went on the heavens opened evening out the field.  As the laps reeled off Matt gained more and more positions before finishing in a respectable 19th place. The team moral was high to come back from so far but we only wished there was a second race at this particular event.

The Monday Supersport Feature race began with another grid position of 15th. Kurt attempted a different technique for this race putting himself on the outside for turn 2, this comes with more risk regarding being taken down by another rider on the inside or pushed off the circuit which is exactly what happened. He was pushed out the edge of the track mid corner and forced to shut off the throttle in order to avoid the grass. The consequences of this was a position of 18th by turn 3. Determined not to be fazed by the outcome, Kurt began to re-gain positions as fast as possible. This time around, the next group hadn’t created such a large gap at this early stage of the race so Kurt swiftly caught up and then worked his way through the group into 10th place before setting his sights on 9th who was 2.6 seconds ahead. At this point, there was 4 laps remaining of the feature race, one of which Kurt successfully took 0.6 of a second out of the gap. Unfortunately, had the race been 1 more lap longer Kurt believed he could get a shot at obtaining 9th position. He crossed the chequered flag around half a second behind P9.

It was a positive outcome for the team to achieve the top 10 finish that we set our sights on to begin with and break into the teens in Stock 1000, we will continue to better our performance and bring home some much-deserved results. The next British Superbike round is Knockhil but first we will be stopping off Donington Park for the World Superbike round in a couple of weeks time.

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Photos Credit to RBPS Photography!

BSB Round 2 – Brands Hatch Indy Race Report

Points position for Kurt in the Supersport 600 Class Despite a Number of Technical Issues!

For the second round of the British Superbike Championship we headed down to Brands Hatch in Kent. We had 3 Supersport races for the weekend with one being carried over from Donington Park 2 weeks ago and two for the Superstock 1000 class.

Friday’s free practice 1 set us on the right track for the weekend with Kurt completing his first ever session on the Supersport bike. Throughout the session, setup changes were made as the new bike handled completely different to that of the Superstock 600 and as it came to a close, Kurt brought it home in 13th with a list of alterations to make for FP2. There were a few technical issues after a software update on the ZX10R meaning that Matt was unable to achieve the lap times that he wanted during FP1, however throughout the session his lap times decreased which set the pace to build on for the weekend.

Following the morning’s FP1, Kurt sat down with the team and Mark from Go Racing Developments to establish a plan for the next session. All of the pieces of the session fell into place when Kurt improved his previous lap time knocking 0.6 of a second off with an ideal lap time of a further 0.2s. This was a fantastic improvement but due to the increasing level of competition he rounded up the session with another 13th position. Unfortunately for Matt, FP2 did not go entirely to plan as it was difficult to overcome the software issues without having chance to be out on the bike. It was not until the second half that Matt was able to get some decent time on track and by the end of the session he had knocked a further 0.3 seconds off his lap time.

We began the Supersport qualifying on a strong foot as we moved even closer to the top 10 we’d been aiming for. However, after matching his FP2 lap, Kurt pushed for that next step in the attempt to qualify on the top 4 rows resulting in him losing the front entering turn 2 having tried a later braking marker which didn’t agree with the bumps on the entry to the bend. He crashed out with over 1/3 of the session remaining and left the Yamaha R6 placed on top of the air fence on the outside of track. As the session ended, Kurt left disappointed and fell back to 16th on the grid. Matt’s aim to improve his lap times for qualifying was to increase his drive exiting turn 1 and turn 5 and as the session progressed he perfected this. However, it became a challenge to continue to progress as the session advanced due to the larger capacity bike which accelerated tyre wear more than anticipated. The session ended and Matt had reduced his lap time by a further 0.5s, qualifying in 35th position on the grid.

The Supersport Race 1 on Sunday was an 18 lap sprint around the short Indy circuit. As the race began, Kurt struggled to get off the line and immediately fell back into the early 20’s. This added more pressure to the task at hand and although he pushed to gain places, the race ended leaving him in 21st drawing the worst session of the event.

Weather conditions became unpredictable for Sunday afternoon’s races and the pressure was on for the team with Kurt’s second race and Matt’s 38 lap race being back to back. Sunday lunchtime brought the second sprint race for Kurt where further changes to the bikes setup were made although there was nothing that could be done about the issue we suffered with the clutch and getting off the start during race 1. He started 22 on the grid as per the previous race with the determination to not be defeated. A second challenging start was on the tale but Kurt set out with the aim to make up as many positions on the first lap as he could. The race was red flagged after one lap due to a change in weather allowing teams to change tyres if needed and soon a shortened race restarted taking original grid positions. Kurt battled his way through the group that surrounded him and then set his sights on catching the next 3 who had broken away during the initial stages, however, with the reduced race distance he fell short of time and completed the race in 16th position.

Following that, Matt’s race was then declared dry despite a few spots of rain and dark clouds threatening overhead. He decided to go out on dry tyres as conditions were not severe enough to opt for wets although the thought of endurance for the long race ahead was kept in mind. During the race, Matt worked his way through the pack and battled to reach 27th position. As time passed the weather conditions worsened and the race was red flagged. Due to the fact that the race had reached ¾ of the way through it was cut short.

Monday’s bank holiday British Supersport race was much longer and having temporarily overcome the clutch issues, Kurt had a fantastic start reaching 13th by the end of the first lap. The next hurdle was another restart when the race was red flagged due to an incident on the final turn. The second start was not as successful but Kurt nevertheless managed to move up the field until he entered turn 2 when the was forced off line and to the outside of the circuit at the hairpin re-joining early 20s once again. It was unfortunate and frustrating that Kurt was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time and although he gave it everything he could, an 18th position was a result of a bad day at the office.

Matt was in high spirits for Race 2 as data was used to analyse areas for improvement from Sunday’s race. Further adjustments were made to the ZX10R meaning that it handled more smoothly during the morning warm up. Unfortunately, Matt did not have the best of starts but managed to claw back the positions that he lost in the first few laps of the race. After breaking away from the pack, Matt battled it out with another rider and they managed to bridge the gap between the group in front but this was lost as the rubber on his tyres began to wear away and drive was lost out of the sharper turns. Matt finished the race in 27th position but also knocked a further 0.65s off his lap time from qualifying which will provide a good platform to build on for the next few rounds.

We wish a speedy recovery to those caught up in the final race incident and again a huge thank you to the team for all their hard work. With less than 2 weeks to go until Oulton Park for Round 3 it is all hands on deck to get ready and improve our game.

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Thanks to RBPS Photography for the fantastic photos!

BSB Round 1 – Donington Park Race Report

A Bumpy Start to the Season!

The opening round of the British Superbike season took place this weekend at our local circuit, Donington Park. After testing all through March, both Kurt and Matt felt confident that they would get off to a good start despite Matt carrying a shoulder injury because of an incident at Cadwell Park a couple of weeks ago.

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Kurt’s first practice session of the weekend didn’t go anywhere near as planned when he failed to complete one lap as a result of the teams new 600 Supersport bike suffering from a severe mechanical issue. This was costly to our entrance into the Sport 600 class and left us with no choice other than to continue the weekend on a standard Superstock engine. Friday afternoon brought the British Supersport FP2, the team accepted the circumstances under which we would have to compete and hit the session with all that we had bringing back a respectful 19th with a lap time that would have put him fastest in the Superstock 600 class by 0.3s. Matt managed to obtain a fair amount of feedback from the bike in the first practice session of the event which aided his progression entering FP2. The more laps he got under his belt, the better the lap time he put down and by the closing stages Matt had a new personal best for the ZX10 by a further 2 seconds.

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Saturdays Qualifying brought some luck for the team as the wet conditions levelled out the field, each lap Kurt got faster and faster right up to the final lap where he put down his fastest of the session securing a grid position of 15th for the race to follow.  This alone was a great achievement in our eyes and proved the benefit of staying out on track for as long as possible two weeks ago at the wet, Donington Park Official BSB test. Matt also faced a wet Superstock 1000 qualifying session which was looking positive as he climbed up the board to 19th even reaching 17th at one point against the full class of 46 competitors. Matt’s confidence was growing as he continued to push himself each lap until the teams session was cut short after a minor crash entering the Melbourne Loop when he lost the front under braking. Towards the closing stages of the session a dry line appeared resulting in us rapidly falling down to 30th. Nevertheless, this gave the team high hopes for the race following the progression in qualifying.

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Saturday afternoon was the first 100 mile race of the season for the Superstock 1000 class which consisted of two 50 mile stints separated by a short pit stop for tyre changes and refuelling. Luck was against us from the beginning as Matt was forced to begin the race from last on the grid following a mechanical issue that delayed our arrival to the circuit. This was not an issue as the initial stage was wet and following the morning timed practice session, Matt had already proven he has what it takes. The light went out and straight away the team stood back and watched Matt gain positions every lap, it wasn’t long before we he was battling it out for points in his first ever race on the new 1000cc Kawasaki, bringing home a 16th position. The team faced more challenges with the bike during the pit stop and as he rode down to the pit exit in order to join the grid, we fell short of the 60 second window and as the exit was closed in in front of Matt, yet again he was to start from the back. For the second time, the lights went out and Matt gave it all he had to take as many places whilst the field were bunched up. Matt was forced to retire from the session due to technical issues resulting in a DNF for the second half.

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Come Sundays race, we realised the extent of the challenge Kurt was about to face when sitting mid-field on the Supersport grid. As the lights went out, Kurt headed straight to the inside of the first bend to block any overtaking manoeuvres and successfully managed to hold his position for the opening stages of the 14 laps feature race. Each of the long straights he lost out to other competitors by top speeds up to 10mph, however, Kurt had every bit of determination to make back lost time on the brakes and entering turns which was proven when he crossed the line to take the chequered flag in 16th.

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We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has enabled us to take the next step in our racing progression and are more than confident that Brands Hatch will bring some strong results in 2 weeks time.

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Photo credit to RBPS Photography.

Brands Hatch isn’t far away now and we can’t wait! It will be fantastic for Kurt to get out there with the Supersport engine and we have high hopes! Last year he achieved a lap time of 0.001s off the lap record for the Superstock 600 class!

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New Sponsorship Deal with ESL Group!

We would like to say a huge thank you to ESL group for agreeing to sponsor us for the forthcoming season.

To read more about the organisation, visit our Sponsors page or take a look at their website:

http://www.eslgroupuk.com

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Testing for the 2017 season 

We have been to a number of tests to prepare for the upcoming season including the Official BSB Test at Donington Park and also to Cadwell Park!

See the images below about how we got on and or more information find us on Facebook!

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Photo credit to Neil Gandy Photography

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2017 Plans Outlined in the Express and Star

A huge thanks to the Express and Star for their fantastic article outlining our plans for the 2017 season! To read more click here!

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New Look for the ZX10!

The ZX10 has finally had the race-bike makeover and is ready in time for this weekend’s Motorcycle Expo show where it is proudly being displayed on Bike Alert’s stand.

A huge thanks is due to Steve at Chase Accident Repairs for helping us to get it ready on time for the show. The paint work has turned out looking fantastic and its brilliant to see our designs being implemented on the new bike.

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ZX10R to be beneath Matt for the 2017 season!

A huge thanks to Langley Industries and Chase Accident Repairs for supplying Matt’s brand new Kawasaki ZX10R ready for his leap up to the BSB Superstock 1000 class for the 2017 season!

The upcoming year is sure to be an exciting one with many changes occurring, including Kurt moving up to the BSB Supersport 600 class but sticking with the Yamaha R6 built by Go Racing Developments.

 

Matt ZX10R

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2017 Kit Incoming!

A huge thanks is due to our new sponsor HJC Helmets and to Ultimate Hearing Protection Systems for the new kit which has arrived ready for the 2017 season… and just in time for Christmas!

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HJC will be sponsoring us with their high quality helmets and we are very excited for the new partnership to begin. A lot of research and development goes into the design and manufacturing of their products, including considerations about reducing aerodynamic drag, improving ventilation, maximum stability, minimum vibration and noise and much more. All of these factors contribute to ensuring that the rider is comfortable, which is especially important for us to ensure that we can perform the best that we possibly can.

Ultimate Hearing Protection Systems have supplied our earplugs for many years now and we are confident that their products give us the best possible protection to cope with the noisy track environment.

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New partnership with Omega Scaffolding Solutions Ltd.

We are excited to announce our new partnership with Omega Scaffolding Solutions Ltd which will commence in the 2017 season!

You can find more information about them on our Sponsors page or by visiting their website at www.omegascaffoldingsolutionsltd.co.uk!


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Click below to see our archived news .

2016

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BSB Oulton Park - September 2016 - Superstock 600-35