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Jun 17, 2013

More From This Past Weekend's BSB, CMRA And MotoGP Races (Updated)

CMRA Series: Danny Kelsey (34) in action at NOLA Motorsports Park. Photo by Linz Leard, courtesy of RPSraceteam.com.
Hernandez Records Best Yet for PBM MotoGP

Round six of the MotoGP World Championship took place at Catalunya this weekend and saw mixed fortunes for the PBM MotoGP team riders as Yonny Hernandez scored his best result of the season for the Penrith-based team of 13th place but Michael Laverty crashed out on the opening lap.

After the disappointment of just missing out on the points at Mugello in the previous round where they fell agonisingly short in 16th and 17th place, the team was hoping for better results in the heat of Spain. Both Colombian Hernandez on the Rapid Solicitors and Minxflix.com-sponsored Aprilia ART and Ulsterman Laverty on the Rapid Solicitors and Minxflix.com-sponsored PBM machine were consistent throughout qualifying and confident going into the race.

Both riders made good starts but for Laverty, from Toome in County Antrim, his race ended prematurely as he ran into the gravel on the opening lap and slid off meaning he missed out on another finish. For Hernandez, from Medellin, he battled hard throughout the 25-lap race and held on to finish in 13th place to claim his and the team's best result of the season to add to his points from earlier in the season in Qatar and Texas.

Despite Laverty's disappointment of his first non-finish of the season, it was another important result for the PBM team and Hernandez whereby he occupies 19th overall in the MotoGP World Championship standings with Laverty in 21st in his debut season. In the Claiming Rules Teams (CRT) class, Hernandez holds fifth with Laverty in seventh whereas PBM holds eighth place in the Constructors Championship in their debut season with their brand new British-built machine.

Michael Laverty: "It was really disappointing to go out on the opening lap of the race after making such a good start. The bike has been working well this weekend and I felt confident for the race. I got up to 12th and was right on the back of Espargaro but I got sucked in too deep at Turn nine and was unable to stop and ran off the circuit. It was a minor crash in the gravel but I was unable to get the bike restarted. It was frustrating to watch Espargaro win the CRT class doing lap times that I've been very capable of maintaining on worn tyres. I can take the positives from this weekend and with the test today we have improved upon our base setting and will be stronger again at Assen in a fortnight."

Yonny Hernandez: "I am happy to have scored some more points for the championship but in the race I had similar problems to some of the previous races. Here the rear tyre durability was worse for me, probably because of the character of the circuit and the high temperature. In the test today, we hope we have found some solutions for the durability."

Phil Borley, Technical Director: "This weekend has been disappointing because we could have scored some good points with so many prototype riders not finishing. Yonny had more than his fair share of problems during the qualifying sessions but the main issue he had in the race was similar to the one he has suffered in the previous races and we have concentrated on solving this in the test today. Michael was much happier with the bike and settings at Catalunya and could have had a really good race after the great start he had. Unfortunately he ran on whilst defending his position and after falling in the gravel could not restart the bike. Today with the PBM bike we have confirmed some of the developments we have introduced recently as well as testing some new components."

Paul Bird, Team Owner: "Although it's our best result this year, I'm a little disappointed that Yonny didn't finish higher as it was there for the taking. The problem seems to be a recurring issue and it's something Yonny as well as the team needs to address as he needs to look at his riding style and work on his training too. Michael again impressed me and I told him to push hard on lap one which he did, a little too hard as it turned out but I can't fault him for his efforts and already we are talking about next season."

Round seven of the MotoGP World Championship takes place at Assen on Saturday 29th June. For more information, please visit the team's brand new website www.pbmuk.net and www.motogp.com.




More, from a press release issued by Mar-Train Racing:

EASTON BACK ON TOP AFTER KNOCKHILL WITH IRWIN SHOWING GREAT PROMISE

Mar-Train Racing’s Stuart Easton took the lead of the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship during his home round at Knockhill in Scotland. Easton took two hard fought podiums, with third and second placed finishes in front of Mar-Train Racing team partners for the weekend, James Jamieson Contracts from Aberdeen.

The Hawick rider took his sixth and seventh podiums of the season, despite starting race one from row five and race two from row three. His maiden win at Knockhill still eludes him, but a thirty-six point haul was enough to give him the aforementioned top spot in the championship – just a solitary point over main rival Alastair Seeley.

His young team-mate Glenn Irwin had his best weekend to date in Mar-Train Racing livery with seventh and fifth placed finishes on his R6 Yamaha. Irwin and his crew perfected a new set-up strategy prior to Knockhill with a test at Kirkistown in County Down, and the youngster expects to push forward now and challenge for regular top six finishes.

Stuart Easton:
“I’m probably a little bit disappointed about not getting that first elusive win at Knockhill which I’ve been chasing for years but at this stage it’s all about the points. To take thirty six points away from the weekend was very productive after out crash on Saturday – especially starting from so far down the grid. It’s been a tough weekend so I’m pleased to come away leading the championship, although we are only a third of the way in and there’s a lot of racing still to come.”

Glenn Irwin:
That’s the best points scoring all year from me so far, which is a credit to the boys for the set-up changes we’ve made following the test at Kirkistown. All that hard work has showed up in those two results. If we can continue to do that, I believe I can chase top five or six in the championship and I think that’s realistically possible and within my ability. Let’s keep it going now for Snetterton.”

Tim Martin – Team Principal:
“After dominating the early sessions, Stuart’s crash was a big set back in terms of grid position and the work that needed done in both races, so to score two podiums and come away leading the championship is a great result for us. We made a few changes for race two, which meant Stuart had to be patient in the early laps but the strength of his finishes showed the pedigree of the lad.

“Glenn had a great weekend from start to finish and is maybe now showing his true potential. He made some really strong moves during both races but kept his head and we are delighted with the results. He can use this as a platform now to build on for the rest of the season."

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Knockhill, Sprint Race:
Ben Wilson (Kawasaki)
Alastair Seeley (Kawasaki) +2.865s
Stuart Easton (MarTrain Yamaha) +3.722s
Graeme Gowland (Yamaha) +5.083s
Glen Irwin (MarTrain Yamaha) +6.041s

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, Knockhill, Feature race result:
Ben Wilson (Kawasaki)
Stuart Easton (Martrain Yamaha) +1.459s
Billy McConnell (Triumph) +5.340s
Alastair Seeley (Kawasaki) +5.475s
Graeme Gowland (Yamaha) +5.860s

Motorpoint British Supersport Championship standings after Knockhill:
Stuart Easton (Martrain Yamaha) 156
Alastair Seeley (Kawasaki) 155
Ben Wilson (Kawasaki) 124
Billy McConnell (Triumph) 123
Graeme Gowland (Yamaha) 86




More, from a press release issued by RPSraceteam.com:

Kelsey marches on at NOLA

RPSRaceTeam.com sponsored Danny Kelsey continued to march through the 2013 season with five wins at the fifth round of the CMRA Sprint Championship Series. The event marked an opportunity for the team to also shakedown their GSX-R1000 in preparation for the AMA Pro National Guard Superbike event the following weekend. This event marked the CMRA’s first time at NOLA Motorsports Park.

The weekend was in question for Kelsey and the team as Danny and his wife Kayla welcomed Madison Rose Kelsey into their lives just four days prior to the weekend’s festivities. With Danny being introduced into fatherhood; the team, families, and crew chief all discussed whether Kelsey should even participate. All involved believed Kelsey should race and his wife Kayla was the leading voice in the discussion. Kelsey, however, would not be flying into NOLA until Friday night. This would provide several challenges for the team to overcome in order for Danny to succeed in his racing endeavors.

Kelsey and the team used the limited time on Saturday to attack the setup of the team’s Pirelli shod Suzuki GSX-R750 and GSX-R1000. Valuable setup data was gathered and crew chief Marcus McBain made a multitude of changes to address the challenges that were expected by the fierce competition that is the norm in CMRA sprint championship action.

As Sunday morning practice and qualifying concluded, the team was very pleased as Kelsey was able to run a 1:44.2 on his GP Suspension and JRi Shocks-equipped GSX-R1000 in the Breast Cancer Research Awareness Formula One qualifying and this put him on the front row for the CMRA’s premier class despite the hasty setup. The team’s GSX-R750 also responded well to the critical changes and the team was ready for the expected onslaught of CMRA challengers for top honors in Kelsey’s five classes he contests.

As the starting light sent the field off for 750 Superstock race, Kelsey quickly put his DP Brakes-equipped GSX-R750 into the lead and set a blistering pace. Although Kelsey was in the lead, he was also using the race to verify the smaller Suzuki’s setup. On lap three, he felt comfortable enough to push the pace into the 1:45’s. He continued to get faster every lap and on lap six he ran a 1:45.526 en route to his first victory of the day.

Open Superstock was anticipated to be a barn burner with some of the competition involved. Crashes by at least one of his key competitors meant that Kelsey was never challenged as he won by over 21 seconds after six laps of racing action. The Breast Cancer Research Awareness Formula One race additionally played out the same with Kelsey posting his third win of the day and a 23 second win as the checkered flag was displayed after eight laps of competition.

750 Superbike may have been the closest finish expected for the day, but again Kelsey was fortunate and posted another win. Again, Danny set the pace and ran a race fastest 1:48.863 on a drying track. As the CMRA fought delays from sporadic and heavy rainfall, Danny was facing new drama. His flight to return to his wife and new daughter was at 8:00 p.m. that evening. Open Superbike did not leave the starting line until almost 6:00 p.m. This meant that Danny would have to leave within 15 minutes of the checkered flag waving for the race. Kelsey made sure he finished upright while winning the Open Superbike Expert race and caught his flight with minutes to spare.

“It was a very difficult weekend for me. I really am very happy to have had the opportunity to compete with the tremendous support of all my family. We didn’t really expect these results. I am very happy for our sponsors. I also want to dedicate this weekend to my wife and daughter Madison,” stated Kelsey as he rushed to the airport.

Danny Kelsey will continue to contest the entire CMRA series in his efforts to regain the number one plate. The team would not be able to compete at this level without the special efforts of KMC Controls, RS Taichi, Pirelli, Dynojet, Vortex, Motoliberty, South Central Race Center, Motopia, M4 Exhausts, DP Brakes, K’s Motorsports, GP Suspension, JRi Shocks, Lone Star Track Days, Shoei Helmets, Hotbodies Racing, Silkolene, WRW Racing, Barnett, Chicken Hawk Racing. Kelsey will resume racing action at Baber Motorsports Park for the Triumph Superbike Classic presented by America’s First Federal Credit Union.




More, from a press release issued by Quattro Plant Kawasaki:

Highland joy for Walker and Quattro Plant Kawasaki

After their extremely successful campaign at the Isle of Man TT Races, the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team resumed their 2013 British Superbike Championship challenge at Knockhill at the weekend and Chris Walker ensured the success story continued with two excellent fifth place finishes.

After a five-week break, the Nottinghamshire rider was keen to maintain his top six position in the Championship and he signalled his intentions with a fine performance in qualifying, which set him up nicely for Sunday’s two 30-lap races. Conditions at the Scottish venue were perfect and a strong start to the opening race saw Chris complete the first lap in seventh place. A lap later he moved up to sixth and with Alex Lowes crashing out at half race distance, he was promoted up to fifth, a position he comfortably held all the way to the chequered flag.

Starting the second race from the advanced position of the second row, Chris was in confident mood and another superb start meant he immediately occupied fifth place. Although it would prove to be a relatively lonely ride for Chris and the Kawasaki ZX-10R, he was never seriously under threat from riders behind and he duly crossed the line for his second fifth place of the weekend. The haul of 22 points, his best thus far this season, not only consolidated his sixth place in the Championship table but also reduced the gap to fifth placed Jon Kirkham to 11 points.

Team-mate Danny Buchan qualified in 21st place but a heavy crash in the Sunday morning warm-up session left him with arm injuries and he was sadly unable to contest either of the two races.

Pete Extance, Team Manager: “What can I say, it’s been another fantastic weekend for Chris and the two fifth places were excellent results and thoroughly deserved by both him and the team. Twelve months ago, this round was a major disappointment with both our riders getting injured but we’ve certainly avenged that in fine style. Chris rode well throughout the weekend and it’s good to come back from our roads campaign and continue the strong results. It’s Chris’ best weekend of the season so far and consolidates his position in the top six so it’s definitely a case of ‘so far, so good’.”

“Danny showed well during practice and it’s a real shame he tipped off in morning warm-up. He was a bit banged up and needed to have quite a few stitches in his arm so he was unable to ride but he’ll regroup for the next round and, hopefully, will have better fortune there.”

The next round of the series takes place at Snetterton, Norfolk on July 5-7.




More, from a press release issued by Doodson Motorsport:

Points elude Harms at Knockhill

After a six week break the British Superbike Championship roared back to life at Knockhill in Scotland over the weekend. However the Doodson Motorsport team came away without championship points as Robbin Harms took 16th in race one and stopped with an electrical fault in race two.

Having left the previous round at Oulton Park with a wrecked bike following a crash in the first race the Doodson Motorsport Team were fortunate that a break in the calendar meant time was on their side to repair the extensive damage before heading north of the border to Knockhill near Dunfermline in Scotland.

It was also another new track for team rider Robbin Harms to learn and although the short 1.27 mile track looks simple on paper it is deceptively tricky on a 200Bhp Superbike.

Progress was forthcoming throughout practice and Harms completed the first phase of qualifying in a more than respectable 14th place.

Having improved his time by just over a tenth the cool track conditions caught Harms out on the circuit’s only really left hand corner as the front tyre let go meaning the Dane couldn’t improve further giving him an 18th place starting place for the first of Sundays 30lap races.

Ending lap one in 15th race one was all about a dice for 13th with fellow Honda riders Michael Rutter and Jakub Smrz. However Harms was suffering with the stability of the bike under hard braking and his challenge faded toward the end of the race with Howie Mainwaring taking the last points scoring position with two laps remaining leaving Harms to take the flag in 16th place.

With the stability issue resolved the Dane gave a stronger performance in race two from the off and held 12th on the opening lap. Having Mainwaring and Smrz for company once again, this time Dan Linfoot was also embroiled in the dice for a top ten finish.

Harms used great pace – his fastest of the weekend to get to the front of the group and hold tenth place on the 19th lap of 30. Having the faster pace of the group he tried to pull away but a slight mistake put him back into the clutches of the group.

With four laps to go as Robbin took to final hairpin corner the bike cut out and Smrz who was just behind in 14th clipped the back of his bike and crashed out meaning neither finished the race.

As the team diagnosed the technical issue after the race it appears a freak electrical problem caused the bike to stall. Little consolation following Harms’ impressive debut performance at Knockhill yielded no championship points.

Harms explained:

“Knockhill has left me with mixed feelings. I searched hard for my comfort zone after 6 weeks away from the bike and on a new track. I am pleased with my pace in race 2 and that we made a set up that worked well; unfortunately it's just much too late. It is a big disappointment to leave Scotland without points because of technical problems is tough to handle. But we have to look forward as a team and make it all come together”.

Team owner Tom Tunstall added:

“The team did a fantastic job rebuilding the bike following Oulton. Robbin and the team have continued that good work again here at Knockhill. To arrive without any testing prior to the event and to be running inside the top ten is very impressive at this level. There was far more positive than negative from the weekend, of course it’s frustrating to not have the results that our efforts deserve but sometimes “that’s racing” and we’ll be looking to put that right at Snetterton.”

With a test planned at the Norfolk track next week they should be well prepared to take on Robbin’s final track to learn this year as the series visits to take the fifth round over the weekend of 5th – 7th of July.




More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:

Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes collected a double podium at the Knockhill British Superbike round on Sunday with two fighting second places behind double winner Shane Byrne.

The Australian GSX-R1000 rider also received the Flying Haggis Award - in memory of the late great Steve Hislop - for the fastest lap of the weekend; presented by Steve's mum Margaret and his sons Aaron and Conor Hislop.

Teenaged British Superbike rookie PJ Jacobsen enjoyed his best weekend to date in the premier class with ninth and seventh placed finishes at the 1.271-mile Scottish venue. And in the Supersport class Taylor Mackenzie posted 14th and 11th places aboard the Tyco Suzuki GSX-R600.

Josh Brookes:

"In race one I wanted to lead and push to try and make a break on Shakey, but I hit a bit of a wall with my lap times, as the rear tyre was spinning up more than normal; maybe with the track temperature today. We did come together at one stage when he tried to make a pass but it's wasn't a big impact, but Shakey came back past and I had to settle for second.

"In race two it was mentally tough watching Shakey ride away from me, but it also spurred me on and I actually made some time back on him towards the end of the race. I just focused on narrowing it down bit-by-bit and seeing the gap come down gave me energy and encouragement.

"I did a brilliant lap to win the Steve Hislop Award, which is a great honour to receive, and we are now second in the championship. It's all about moving forward now and trying to bridge that gap to Shakey from the next round at Snetterton at the start of July."

PJ Jacobsen:

"After a good qualifying and getting up to sixth in race one I got a little bit tense and suffered arm pump, so I was disappointed to drop down to ninth. Race two was a lot better and I was able to hold off the guys behind me. To come away with two top 10 finishes at the most physical track I've ever ridden at is quite pleasing. There is absolutely no rest at this place and it's maybe not a track to suit the smaller riders like myself, but you have to 'man-up' and today I think I've done that."

Taylor Mackenzie:

"That second race was a lot better today and I was happy to score points, although it's not quite where we need to be, which is inside that top 10at least. In saying that it was always going to be difficult from where I was starting on the grid, but taking the positives: I've posted my quickest ever lap around Knockhill and my ideal sector times are really only about a tenth of the front runners - so that's encouraging. We need to get a decent run at Snetterton, but that's the best the bike has been all year; it's a real rocket ship so thanks to the boys in the team for their effort."

Philip Neill - Team Manager:

"Knockhill hasn't been that kind to us in the past in Superbike. And just coming off a busy period, it's fair to say our expectations weren't that high, but I'm very pleased with how Josh came away with two second places and the fastest lap of the weekend.

"There was a bit of pressure on him to be fair with people asking the question, was the road racing at the TT going to disrupt Josh in his BSB, and although we always believed that it wouldn't, there's always a chance that it could have. I believe it made him slightly sharper and definitely more determined.

"PJ as I've said all along, this year is a learning curve for him and he's finally accepted that. He knows where his place is and he progressed all weekend and had a super weekend. Taylor had a bit of a struggle after a slip-off on Saturday and had to start from 20th on the grid, which is never easy at such a small track. He showed determination and moved forward in both races so we have got to be happy with that."

Knockhill British Superbike Championship, race one result:

1. Shane Byrne (Kawasaki)
2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +1.069s
3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +5.013s
4. Keith Farmer (Kawasaki) +16.821s
5. Chris Walker (Kawasaki) +19.033s
6. James Westmoreland (BMW) +23.733s
7. James Ellison (Yamaha) +24.080s
8. Dan Linfoot (Honda) +24.214s
9. PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +24.265s
10. Peter Hickman (Honda) +24.711s

Knockhill British Superbike Championship, race two result:

1. Shane Byrne (Kawasaki)
2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) +0.814s
3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +8.637s
4. Alex Lowes (Honda) +12.723s
5. Chris Walker (Kawasaki) +15.620s
6. James Westmoreland (BMW) +19.802s
7. PJ Jacobsen (Tyco Suzuki) +23.382s
8. Jon Kirkham (BMW) +23.867s
9. Peter Hickman (Honda) +24.092s
10. Howie Mainwaring (Kawasaki) +31.061s

British Superbike Championship Standings:

1. Shane Byrne (Kawasaki) 166
2. Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 136
3. Alex Lowes (Honda) 130
4. James Ellison (Yamaha) 80
5. Jon Kirkham (BMW) 76
6. Chris Walker (Kawasaki) 65





More, from a press release issued by Grand Rapids Harley Davidson Racing:

Grand Rapids Harley Davidson Racing Wins Back-To-Back at AHRMA Grattan National

Grand Rapids, MI – Currently between AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series events, rider Greg Hutcheson and Grand Rapids Harley Davidson Racing had a great weekend at the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association Grattan National Road Race. Riding his Harley Davidson Sportster XL883R, Greg rode to convincing wins on both Saturday and Sunday in the Thruxton Transatlantic Challenge. The class is a matchup between British and American Iron and features lightly modified Triumph Thruxton racers and Harley Davidson Sportsters.

“I wasn’t able to get the start I wanted to as a couple of the Triumphs where really quick off the line” says Greg Hutcheson, rider and team owner. Greg goes on to say, “Fortunately, I was able to catch and get by those guys in the first couple of turns and put my head down for the win." Greg remains undefeated on the Sportster in the Transatlantic class.

Greg also went 2 for 2 in the Motard class aboard his KTM SMR machine against a crowded and competitive field of Supermoto-based machinery. Greg is the defending champion in the Motard class and runs the #1 plate.

Greg and Grand Rapids Harley Davidson Racing will now look forward to the Buckeye Superbike Weekend at Mid Ohio July 12-14th. Greg is looking for some redemption in the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series after a hard crash at the Road America round. For more information on this event go to: amaproracing.com/

For more information on AHRMA go to www.ahrma.org

About The Rider, Greg Hutcheson:
Greg Hutcheson is proudly sponsored by Grand Rapids Harley Davidson, WFO Racing, Michigan Engineering, Goldfren braking, Silkolene lubricants, and Saddleman.

Greg is active in the West Michigan road racing scene, regularly attending races and track days at both Grattan Raceway and Gingerman Raceway. He is an instructor with the Team Chicago School held every spring at Grattan and is known to show up to various bike nights and events. He is approachable and accessible to your customers, fans, and staff. His motorcycle racing career spans over 20 years and includes over 100 Pro-Am race wins (NASB/FUSA, WERA, AMA-CCS, AHRMA). Highlights also include being a Daytona 200 Qualifier (AMA Pro Superbike 1996) and a string of success in the Harley Davidson Twin Sport series with National Podiums at Daytona, Road Atlanta, Pocono, Loudon, and Road America. As well as multiple WERA expert Regional championships and an AHRMA National championship in 2012

Follow Hutcheson Racing on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GregHutchesonRacing