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Apr 8, 2013

More From This Past Weekend's Various Races (Updated)

British Superbike Championship: Chris Walker (9) in action at Brands Hatch. Photo by Tim Keeton - Impact Images, courtesy of Quattro Plant Kawasaki.
Walker stars for Quattro Plant Kawasaki at season opener
The Quattro Plant Kawasaki team got their 2013 British Superbike Championship campaign underway at Brands Hatch at the weekend and whilst it was an up and down meeting for the team, Chris Walker starred with a set of excellent results.

Continuing with the strong form he showed throughout 2012, Chris opened his account with an excellent seventh place in the opening 30-lap race, just three tenths of a second behind sixth placed Keith Farmer and ahead of former triple Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari as well as reigning Australian Superbike Champion Josh Waters and American PJ Jacobsen.

The second race followed a similar pattern with Chris again in contention for a top six position but when Tommy Bridewell’s Honda machine started throwing out water, he had to ease his pace slightly so as not to get caught up in an accident and it was enough for the pack behind to close up. Nevertheless, Chris brought the bike home for another solid eighth place and with 17 points from the two races, he’s slotted in to a more than useful seventh overall in the Championship table.

For new team member Buchan, it wasn’t the debut with the team he’d hoped for though as he suffered with technical issues all weekend, meaning he never got to complete either of the two races. However, the youngster rode hard all weekend, maintaining a professional approach at all times and, with a bit more fortune, the whole team are confident he’ll be joining Walker in the points at the second round.

National Superstock 1000cc Championship contenders Kyle Wilks and Steve Heneghan also experienced disappointment as they crashed out of the races, the former impressing greatly though as he battled for a top 15 position in his first 1000cc outing.

Pete Extance, Team Manager: “Chris had a very consistent weekend, and he was always in the top ten, enjoying an excellent first race to claim seventh and get his campaign underway in the style we’ve all become accustomed to. It looked like he’d better that in race two, but when Bridewell’s bike started smoking, it allowed Karl Harris and Peter Hickman to close up. As we all know, Chris always battles hard and he was rewarded with another top eight finish and a good solid start to the season.”

“Danny had no luck at all and suffered with technical gremlins all weekend but his time will come and, hopefully, at the next round he’ll be able to start showing his true potential and what we all know he’s capable of. A big thanks to John Murphy of the Quattro Plant Group and to all our sponsors for a great first weekend together and we’re all looking forward to the next round.”

The series now moves on to Thruxton, Hampshire with round two taking place next weekend, April 12-14.




More, from a press release issued by Triumph Triple Challenge organizers:

Phil Atkinson turns 8th into 2nd with two broken ribs

Phil Atkinson began Race 2 of Triumph Triple Challenge (TTC) on the second row of the grid, but was able to turn it into a podium although suffering extreme pain with two broken ribs.
After a tough race yesterday for Atkinson he was feeling the pain even more today. Nonetheless he was able to pull into second off the line and pushed hard from there.

Into lap eight Chrissy Rouse and Atkinson began battling with the younger rider taking the prize. It was clear Atkinson was losing his pace and Charlie King also managed to pick him off on lap ten.

Dan Fuller was closing in behind the South African, but it was over the line that Atkinson demonstrated his determination to make his mark this season. It appeared all to play for between Rouse and King but when they got caught up behind back markers Atkinson made his move, taking second in the podium.

He commented: “I’m in a lot of pain right now, it was worse this morning when I woke up if I’m honest. Starting from eighth I didn’t think that was possible but we managed to get up to the front row pretty quickly. I couldn’t run with Freddy’s pace so I just had to try and slow everyone else down. It wasn’t the ideal situation but that’s all I could do today!”

Rouse also told us: “I didn’t have the pace I would have quite liked because I was hoping to go with Freddy but he was too fast early on. I ended up getting in a little battle with Phil and suddenly a few other riders came past us and it turned into a bit of scrap so. I’m pleased I got back to the front of that pack and then I just hit the back markers in the wrong place and Phil managed to get past.”

King achieved an impressive fourthoverall and first in the Cup class, he told us: “It was a brilliant race, I got off to a good start and got into fourth. I just really put all my heart in to that race. A bit more experience and we’ll be there in there next few rounds!”

While the battle for second was going on behind him, Freddy Pett, who had started the race second after Rouse, was storming away from the pack.

Pett got a good start off the line and moved into first. From then, things only got better for him and he crossed the line ten seconds ahead of Atkinson.

Pett apologised after the race saying: “I’m sorry I made it a boring race for everyone again! I got into first and I’d decided that if I got the holeshot I was just going to go for it. From a championship perspective I’d like it to be like this for the rest of the season but the racer inside me wants some battles but I know the other riders are soon going to be on my tail.”

Fuller made great strides in the race, starting from sixth he got a poor start and went back to ninth. By lap three he’d overtaken Piers Hutchins and continued to pick away at the other riders.

Going into lap ten he was in fifth and managed to pass Ben Taylor on the last lap, putting him fourth over the line.
He commented: “We got off to a really bad start and moved back to tenth or eleventh by the first corner and we just had to make up loads of time. I was slinking my way through, slowly but surely slithering but it wasn’t quite enough, I wanted to get the win but Charlie beat me to it.”

Sam Cox also had a good race and came third in the Cup class and seventh overall. After starting in 12th he was happy with the result.

“Generally Brands has never been my strong circuit,” commented Cox. “I’ve never really done well here. I got a good start though and I was tagged in with Piers and Jesse and I knew was third cup so I had that to aim for. I just plugged away and eventually got him with two laps to go, and I managed to get a bit of a gap on the last lap so it was nice to relax a bit over the line.”




More, from a press release issued by Marty Nutt's publicist:

Nutt’s Championship campaign gets underway in superb style
Castlerock’s Marty Nutt got his 2013 Ducati 848 Challenge Championship underway in fine style at the weekend with two podium finishes at Brands Hatch. With cool weather making conditions tricky, Marty put in two measured rides at the Kent venue to claim second and third and put himself into second overall in the early Championship table.

The weekend couldn’t have started better for Marty with a brilliant pole position although it was close with Jonathan Railton just 0.03s behind. Indeed, from the moment the lights turned green in Saturday’s 15-lap race the two went head to head with veteran Mike Edwards also in the mix. The trio were nose to tail for the first half of the race before Marty took the lead with Railton going with him as they opened up a gap over Edwards. Railton managed to find a way by Marty in the final third of the race and after a slight moment at Paddock Hill Bend, scene of his heavy crash 12 months ago, he opted to settle for a strong second and 20 Championship points.

Sunday’s second encounter saw Marty make a slightly sluggish start and he found himself back in eighth at the completion of the first lap but he gradually worked his way through the pack and was up to fourth by half race distance. By that time, Railton and Edwards were clear in first and second and so Marty had to battle with Darren Fry for the final podium place and he moved up to third at the beginning of the 11th lap. Here he stayed until the chequered flag and the results mean that after round one, Railton leads the way on a maximum 50 points with Marty and Edwards tied for second on 36.

Speaking at the conclusion of the weekend, a delighted Marty said; “I didn’t imagine taking two podiums this weekend so to come away with a second and a third is brilliant and we’re a very happy team right now. We’ve learned a fair bit with the bike over the winter and it all paid dividends off the start line in the first race and being in the top three at the end of the first lap was just where I wanted to be. It was a really good, strong and consistent race and although the win looked on the cards at one stage, I had a moment at Paddock Hill when the front wheel locked and it was enough to make me back off a wee bit.”

“I made a bit of a schoolboy error on Sunday though and fluffed the start but I know what I did wrong and although I dropped back to eighth I stayed calm and just picked them off one by one. Jonathan and Mike had opened up a fair sized gap but it’s a long season and, mindful of what happened this time last year, I just brought the bike home for third. It’s been a great start to the year and I’m over the moon with how it’s gone so thanks to all the team for their hard work.”

The next round of the series takes place at Donington Park on the weekend of May 26-28.




More, from a press release issued by Birchall Racing:

It was not the start to the season that Ben and Tom Birchall either wanted or needed as they were forced to pull out of the opening round of the 2013 Eastern Airways British F1 Sidecar Championship at Brands Hatch after encountering technical gremlins during free practice and qualifying.

They lost valuable track time on Friday as they failed to complete a full lap of the short Kent Indy circuit and worked long into the evening to try to rectify the problem.

They did however get out for qualifying on Saturday but after setting the second fastest lap which would have given then a front row start to the first race later that day they were forced to pull in with further problems to the Mitchells of Mansfield supported outfit.

“The new bike is still in the early stages of development,” said Ben. “Despite the extensive pre season test programme we unfortunately encountered some technical issues at Brands, which can be expected as the new outfit is still in its infancy.

“But even the brief few laps we did put in on Saturday we were quicker than ever before so we are quite excited about what is yet to come once we sort out these technical issues.

“We knew we would not be out in the second race and so withdrew to gain extra time to work on the outfit as we have an uphill battle to be prepared for the first round of the world championship at Aragon in Spain at the weekend . It’s a race against time and touch and go whether we make it although even with only a few days before we have to leave for Spain we are optimistic we will be on the grid.”

There are two qualifying sessions, one on Friday and final qualifying on Saturday ahead of the 15 lap race that is scheduled to take place at 6.10pm CET




More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Racing:

Yamaha Kick Off Title Challenge with Victory in British Superbike

Yamaha’s campaign to take the 2013 MCE British Superbike Championship and Motorpoint Supersport Championship titles began in style yesterday at Brands Hatch with race wins in both classes. Milwaukee Yamaha Team rider James Ellison celebrated his return to BSB in style, starting from pole position in race two, the British rider was only temporarily checked by rival Shane Byrne before recovering the lead on lap two and holding it to the line for his first race win of the year aboard the YZF-R1. Ellison was clearly working well with the R1, delivering the fastest lap of the race in both race one and two. A small mistake in race one resulting in no points puts Ellison into fourth place in the Championship with 25 points as they head for round two at the Thruxton Circuit next weekend. Ellison’s teammate Josh Waters made an encouraging start to his first ever British Superbike season, the double Australian Superbike Champion taking tenth in the first race as he got to grips with the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

In the Supersport class it was Mar-Train Yamaha’s new signing Stuart Easton making the title challenge clear, The YZF-R6 rider taking the chequered flag in the first race, just 0.255 seconds ahead of closest rival Billy McConnell. Easton’s teammate Glenn Irwin was only six seconds behind him over the line in seventh place. The win from Easton places him fourth in the standings ahead of Thruxton in a week’s time, despite a DNF in yesterday’s second Supersport race.

James Ellison
“It was great to bounce back in the second one from the schoolboy error in the first race as it was really disappointing. I had a bit of a moment at Graham Hill Bend and I thought that was going to be enough for Shakey to try and make a move but we were lucky and held onto it. I really enjoyed being out the front with the other guys and full credit to the Milwaukee Yamaha team as we have had an impressive start to the season.”

Stuart Easton
“I expected Ben Wilson to be aggressive but I got past him though was always expecting him to lunge through at me, then I heard a Triumph up behind me. I was doing my best to stay consistent and it is so good to win first time back."




More, from a press release issued by John McGuinness' publicist:

Brilliant podium at Brands for McGuinness

Morecambe’s John McGuinness got his 24th season of road racing up and running in superb style on Sunday when he took a brilliant third in the opening round of the National Superstock 1000cc Championship and it was only a slide at mid-race distance cost him the race win around the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

John’s participation in the event was in doubt up until a few days before the event but he wasted little time on the Padgetts Honda in the opening qualifying to top his session, despite arctic conditions. The weather, and temperature, improved on Saturday but John was still comfortable and although he got overhauled on the timesheets by Adam Jenkinson, a time of 47.402s was good enough for second in the group and third overall in the 58-rider field.

Starting from the front row was the ideal place to be around the tight and twisty Indy circuit and John took full advantage in Sunday’s 24-lap race, immediately taking the lead going into the first corner. Riding better than ever, John extended his lead over each of the next ten laps with the gap to second placed Adam Jenkinson over two seconds at half race distance. It would be unlucky lap 13 for John though as he suffered a major slide coming onto the start and finish straight which almost pitched him over the handlebars.

It reduced his lead to 1.2s and as he regrouped and got back into his rhythm, the chasing pack seized their opportunity to close back up. With three laps to go, John still led but Jenkinson made his move on lap 21 with Filip Backland following suit a lap later. It pushed John back to third but he came home 0.9s behind race winner Jenkinson for a brilliant podium finish, the ideal start to his season.

Speaking later, a delighted John said; “What can I say, it was a brilliant race and given the fact we only put a late entry in a few days before the event, to end up third is a dream start to the year for both me and the team. I’ve been testing quite a lot with the Honda TT Legends team so felt good straightaway on Friday and that form carried on throughout the weekend. I thought the other boys would overhaul me once they got dialled in but tt didn't happen and the front row was the ideal place to be.”

“I made the perfect start and immediately opened up a gap and a two-second advantage around the short Indy circuit is worth almost double that. I was able to maintain a consistent pace and my lead stayed the same but on lap 13, I got a huge slide coming on to the start and finish straight. My feet were on the floor, I was pushed into the tank and almost thrown over the handlebars and as I got back into my rhythm, the others saw their opportunity and reeled me in. Had it not been for that, I’m confident I could have held on for the win but I’m delighted to be back on the box and it’s credit to the whole team that we could pitch up and be so strong each and every time we took to the track.”

John now heads to the Isle of Man on Tuesday for the official launch of the 2013 TT Races.




More, from a press release issued by Doodson Motorsport:

Strong Start for Doodson Motorsport

Doodson Motorsport Team rider Robbin Harms made a strong start to his 2013 campaign narrowly missing out on a top ten finish at the opening British Superbike round.

Back onboard the Doodson backed Honda for 2013, preseason preparations had gone well off the track but with weather interrupting the team's test schedule track time was in short supply.

Early practice sessions on the shorter Brands Hatch Indy circuit were also hampered by the far from ideal British spring weather, and it was still “work in progress” for the Yorkshire based outfit highlighted by a below par 20th place grid position. However the result belied the potential, with Harms being only 0.2 from eighth and with still more potential to extract from the bike set up.

There was no doubting that potential in the race day morning warm up session, the Dane posting the 5th fastest time 0.4 faster than his best in qualifying.

Harms set about working his way up the field during the 30 close and frantic laps around the 1.2mile circuit. On lap 19 he passed fellow Honda riders Peter Hickman and Jakub Smrz to take 13th place which he held as the race ended a lap early due to an accident involving two riders ahead, meaning Harms was classified 11th in the results. His pace also earned him up to a 12th place start for the second outing.

An issue off the line saw the Copenhagen man end the opening lap of race two in 14th and embroiled in a six rider dice for 9th place. The group included Australian Superbike Champion Josh Waters, American PJ Jacobson and Superstock 1000 Champion Keith Farmer. Harms managed to hold 10th place briefly before being pipped by Farmer two laps from the flag taking another hard fought 11th place finish.

Harms explained:

“The races today was a great improvement compared to the speed we had Friday and Saturday. Two 11th place finishes is a solid start and leave us with room to improve for the next races. It was great to work with the crew of Doodson Motorsport again and I am looking forward to more progress.”

Team manager Tom Tunstall added:

“We suffered from the lack of track time but as a team we made positive progress throughout the event, highlighted by Robbin setting his fastest lap of the weekend in race two as the team continued to work on bike set up. Despite an issue with rear grip Robbin did a great job to be fighting for the top ten. It’s great to have a strong start to the season and we still have some untapped potential to work on."

The second round of the 2013 BSB series takes place this weekend at the high speed circuit of Thruxton in Hampshire.




More, from a press release issued by SMT Racing:

Dream return to British Championship paddock for SMT Racing

The Lancashire-based SMT Racing team made a dream return to the British Superbike Championship paddock at the weekend with Tim and Tristan Reeves and Adam Jenkinson sweeping all before them in the Eastern Airways British F1 Sidecar and Pirelli National Superstock 1000cc races respectively.

Reigning World Champion Reeves came into the weekend expected to be fighting for the Sidecar race wins and, with brother Tristan back on board as passenger, that’s exactly what happened. The Kent duo were on the pace immediately on their newly-liveried LCR Suzuki outfit and duly claimed pole position although it was close with Sean Hegarty/Calum Lawson hot on their tail.

In Saturday’s 15-lap and Sunday’s 18-lap races though, the siblings weren’t to be denied and, keen to regain the British title Tim last won in 2011, they signalled their intentions for the season by clinching an emphatic double. On both occasions, they grabbed an early lead and with a consistent pace, just a couple of tenths of a second outside the lap record, they were able to come home ahead of Hegarty/Lawson by a comfortable 2.158s and 1.857s respectively.

It was a similar story for Jenkinson in the hotly-contested Superstock 1000cc Championship. Despite not having tested the Kawasaki ZX-10R, it didn’t show and he matched Reeves’ feats with pole position, his time of 47.208s giving him an advantage of 0.112s over Simon Andrews. In the 24-lap race, Adam had to give second best to John McGuinness in the early stages but when the TT legend had a major slide at half-race distance, Adam was able to close in, eventually taking the lead on the 21st lap. Despite coming under pressure until the end of the race, Adam made it the perfect weekend for the team on their comeback with another race win.

Speaking later, a jubilant team owner Robin Croft said; “I’m a bit speechless to be honest and having been away from the short circuits for over a year, to mark our comeback with two pole positions and three race wins, it really has been the perfect start! Tim and Tristan were expected to be at the front and we were pretty confident they’d be in the hunt for the race wins but you can never take things for granted. They did a thoroughly good, professional job and with two wins, it’s the ideal start to their campaign.”

“It was the same story with Adam who we, again, had every confidence in. The bike only got finished a few days before the event though so we were considerably unprepared but it didn’t show and right from the off he was on the pace. We’d have been happy with the front row so pole position was a bonus and to come through for the race win was the icing on the cake. We’re all over the moon right now and it was nice to be back in the paddock and welcomed back so much by everyone involved with MSVR – we’re all buzzing so long may it continue!.”

The team now head to Thruxton, Hampshire for the second round of the series, the meeting taking place this weekend, April 12-14.




More, from a press release issued by T3 Racing:

Guiver steps on the podium at Round 1

Rob Guiver finished today’s race 12th overall but 2nd in the Cup class, putting him on the Supersport podium at Round 1.

The Ace Cafe T3 Racing team have already made huge strides to improve the Ace Cafe Racer after just one round. Guiver qualified 13th for today’s race, suggesting before he was even out on track that there was more to come from the bike.

After a bad start off the line he was thrown back into 19th position. It seemed the second race would end much the same as the first.

As the race progressed Guiver settled into the bike and was gaining on the riders ahead. It was from there that Guiver managed to move through the pack and into 12th.

“I didn't make the best of starts,” explained Guiver, “which left me on the back foot really. Once I got in to it and the tyres started coming to me I could start pushing and was more comfortable passing people. I was surprised I caught the big group at the end, once I caught them I managed to get through them pretty quick and got a good position.”

After the race Guiver spoke about their problems:

“We gambled on the gearing and it made it really short like a motocross gearbox so it was pulling a wheelie off the line. There was nothing I could really do about it I just had to slip the clutch, but it was the initial couple of laps where everyone was pushing hard and I was hanging back a bit wary of the tyres. But, once I got into it everything settled down, I managed to get a rhythm and pass a couple of people, so big lesson is, go like mad off the start!”

Team manager Ricky Chadwick was really impressed with how far the team had come in such a short amount of time. He commented:

“Im really pleased, from where we started on Friday when the bike had basically just turned up with no development and no real testing to end up second on the podium was amazing and there's credit to Rob he is just such a good rider!”

However, there are still problems to be overcome. Chadwick also explained that achieving higher speeds meant they were finding new issues with the bike.

“The quicker he goes, you get another problem then you have to solve that problem, he goes a few tenths quicker and there's another problem and its just problem solving,” commented Chadwick.

The team now face a quick turnover before racing again at Thruxton next weekend (11th & 12th April 2013).

For more information visit www.t3-racing.co.uk or www.ace-cafe-london.com. Alternatively you can find us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/t3racing) or follow us on twitter (@T3Racing).




More, from a press release issued by Team Honda Racing:

Team Honda Racing's Josh Hook Impressive on Debut

8th April 2013 - Team Honda Racing's young gun, #34 Josh Hook has put on a very impressive display at Round 2 of the Australian Superbike Championship in his debut points event to be placed 5th overall in the championship standings just behind team mate #27 Jamie Stauffer in 4th. The battle has begun!

Round 2 at Symmons Plains was the team's first opportunity to race on the Honda CBR1000RR under Australian specifications having competed as Wildcards at the World Superbike event in February. The team tested on the Dunlop tyres prior to their first event and were consistent throughout the weekend although admit they will benefit from a solid test before Round 3 in Queensland in June.

The event at Symmons Plains, held in conjunction with the V8 Supercars Tasmania Microsoft Office 365 presented an extra challenge to Team Honda Racing on Saturday when Stauffer was controversially excluded from last of three Superpole Shootout sessions and therefore forced to settle for a P6 start in both races. The matter resolved, Team Honda Racing focused on making the most of the weekend's on-track battles.

Starting from the 2nd row, Stauffer still managed to take 4th place in both races and is looking forward to testing prior to the next event to strengthen his position on track.

Stauffer: "Our first event of the season didn't quite go to plan and we faced a bit of a challenge, but we are well and truly in the battle after Symmons Plains and the CBR1000RR is a solid package. This was our first event on the Dunlop tyres and I feel really confident that we will find the extra tenth that will give us an edge going into Round 3."

Stauffer's team mate and very determined rookie on the Superbike this season, Josh Hook caught everyone's attention with his performance over the weekend. Hook qualified well early in proceedings to start both races from P7 on the grid.

Hook's willingness to give it his all was displayed in Race 1 when he crashed in spectacular fashion, flying over the crashed BMW of Linden Magee who had high sided directly in his path, only to stand and run to the pits and take to his spare CBR1000RR for the race re-start. Letting the adrenaline guide him, Hook then raced to a 5th place finish. Race 2, not nearly as dramatic, but no less exciting saw Hook battle throughout to take a solid 5th place again. Hook is pleased to start his first Superbike season in the top 5.

Hook: "To be 5th in the championship after our first event is really exciting although it would have been much better without a crash. I am obviously looking to move forward from here to put some real pressure on the front of the field although it is a very strong field this year. The team have given me a really good set-up this weekend and I already feel strong. I'm looking forward to seeing what more we can get from the bike going into Queensland."

Team Principle, Paul Free is pleased to be in the points after the first round, but is already planning the next round of testing.

Free: "As our first event of the season on Dunlop tyres and with the bike set-up to Australian standard, I am pleased to come away with solid points, however I won't be resting until Queensland to push these riders further up the ladder and find more from both motorcycle and rider alike. I am extremely proud of Josh for his efforts this weekend. He is riding fantastically and is really beginning to mature as a rider. For him to be placed 5th after his first event shows how much he wants it and I believe there is more to come yet. Jamie's weekend was strong given his start from the 2nd row, but we have some work to do in testing to place him where he should be on the track. I am already formulating the plan of attack and I'm looking forward to seeing what evolves going into Round 3 in Queensland."

The battle for points will continue at Queensland Raceway 14 - 16 June.




More, from a press release issued by GR Motosport:

TEAM WD-40 BEGIN SEASON IN STYLE WITH PODIUM

As spring finally began to show itself, the 2013 season got off to a flying start for Team WD-40 and riders Joe Francis, Jon Railton and Tommy Aquino at Brands Hatch.

The opening rounds of the National Superstock 1000 and the Monster Energy Motostar British Championships delivered¬¬¬¬¬ some excellent results, including a first podium and trophy of the season.

Joe, from Backford (Chester), secured second place in the Motostar race to get his season off to a flying start.

After qualifying second on the grid, the 15-year-old was always on the tail of the leader, Tarran Mackenzie, as both riders pulled away from the rest.

A red flag on lap two, shortly after Joe had briefly taken the lead, meant a delay; the restart was from original grid positions and both riders battled hard throughout the 19 laps as they fought for the lead.

They reached the chequered flag over 11 seconds ahead of their nearest rival and are set to renew the battle at Thruxton this weekend.

“This was a great way to start the season and while it was frustrating not to win, the points from this race could be vital at the end of the year,” said Joe.

“My bike was brilliant and I can’t thank the lads in Team WD-40 enough for getting everything ready.

“Thruxton can’t come quick enough and I’m ready to race again for a podium place – this time the top one!”

In Superstock 1000, In a very close qualifying where 65 riders were split by just 3 seconds, Jon did a fantastic job qualifying on the front row, fourth on the grid. Tommy, who had never raced or tested in the UK until two weeks ago, put in a brilliant performance to be just one second off the leaders yet such is the competition in the British Superstock he was on the ninth row.

Both Jon and Tommy made great starts to the race, Tommy picking up places and Jon running with the leaders. After 24 growling laps where both riders suffered brake problems towards the end of the race, Jon finished a frustrating ninth, while Tommy made up 12 places to pass the chequered flag in a creditable 23rd place.

Jon said: “I was in a great position in the leading pack towards the middle of the race, but my brakes started to fade away and I had to reduce speed earlier than normal at the braking areas. This meant I was losing time and instead of challenging for the podium places, I as battling to stay in the top ten. The positives are we’ve collected points and the team and I are more aware of how the bike works, after an almost test free pre-season. I’m really looking forward to Thruxton and I’m sure Team WD-40 will have podiums to celebrate in the Superstock 1000 championship in the near future.”

Tommy’s small chattering problem under hard braking meant he was unable to make up as many places as he had hoped, but he was happy with most aspects of the race.

He said: “I’m pleased that I made up over ten places during the race, but know that I can go faster the front chattering was a little unnerving.

This has been a tough learning curve as I’ve never raced at Brands Hatch or on a 1000cc bike and next time at Thruxton I’m looking to be further up on the grid.”

Team WD-40’s manager, Brent, said: “I’m very proud of all three riders and my whole Team, I am delighted with the form they showed after very little time on the bikes during pre-season with the hideous weather problems we have all encountered. The podium finish from Joe was a superb result and it shows that he is a rider with the talent to continue progress through the ranks of racing. He’s put himself in a superb position to challenge for a championship and we hope he can build on the performance at Brands Hatch this weekend at Thruxton.

Tommy and Jon both suffered small teething problems during the Superstock 1000 race, which hampered their progress, but the results show we’ve got two fast bikes with two committed, determined and fast riders. The season continues very quickly and I’m sure Tommy and Jon will continue to improve on the season’s start.”

David Whittome, UK marketing manager for team sponsors WD-40 Specialist, said: “This was a very good start to the season and was a great way to mark the start of the company’s new WD-40 Specialist Motorbike range of products. Jon, Tommy and Joe showed we have some excellent young riders and we’re all now looking forward to more exciting action at Thruxton this weekend.”

www.wd40specialistmotorbike.co.uk/

www.teamwd40.com

Team Partners
Cargolink Express, L&A Reinforcements, Carrino access flooring, The Air Con Experts, F&G Commercials, Bennetts Motorcycle Insurance, Kent Holiday Cottages, RS Components, 3 Squared, Signsxtra

Technical Partners

Kawasaki, Scorpion Red Power, Dynojet UK, Swinton Motorcycles, R&G racing, PPG Paint, Goodridge, Pipercross, Solo Motorcycle products, Super B, MG Competition, Dellorto, Geotech.




More, from a press release issued by Cartersport Media on behalf of Paul Bird Motorsport:

Hernandez Scores Points As PBM Riders Deliver In Qatar

The PBM MotoGP team of Yonny Hernandez and Michael Laverty were in action at the opening round of the MotoGP World Championship in Qatar this weekend where both riders put in an impressive performance for the Penrith-based team.

Both riders were contesting the Claiming Rules Teams (CRT) class where Hernandez, in only his second season in MotoGP was aboard the team's updated-specification Minxflix.com Aprilia ART and Laverty rode the revolutionary brand new PBM-chassised Minxflix.com Aprilia at his debut event.

24-year-old Colombian Hernandez, from Medelln, overcame a couple of crashes during practice to compete against the other CRT entries and in FP2, was 14th overall and second CRT bike. As the weekend progressed, Yonny ended up sixth in the new-look qualifying format to place himself in a handy 16th on the grid for the opening race of the season.

Meanwhile 31-year-old Laverty, from Toome in Northern Ireland was tasked with developing the unique machine as well as initiating himself into the series and he acquitted himself magnificently throughout the weekend. Gradually bringing himself and the machine up to speed, he posted 14th fastest time during qualifying to slot into 24th space on the grid as his lap times tumbled.

Into the only night-time race of the season and both riders didn't make the best of starts with Hernandez running in a points-scoring 15th place in the early stages as Laverty climbed inside the top 20. By half race distance, Hernandez was challenging for 14th with Laverty also looking to improve on his top 20 place and although Yonny was briefly up to 13th place, he had to settle for 14th at the flag, just missing out on third placed in the CRT class by a second.

Laverty gamely battled on and steadily improved his position, climbing to 17th overall and seventh CRT machine on lap 16 where he held off Lukas Pesek to claim his first MotoGP finish. It was testimony to his and the PBM team's spirit and resolve that he remained on the same lap as eventual winner Jorge Lorenzo after 22 laps of the Doha, Losail track.

Michael Laverty: "It is great to get the first round under our belts and to bring the bike home safely. It's not the position we wanted but we have to keep reminding ourselves that Rome wasn't built in a day. We are making good progress with the PBM bike and all things considered we are not that far away from the top CRTs at this stage. I believe we can take a good step forward in Austin for round two."

Yonny Hernandez: "I did not have a good start and lost some positions but was able to recover them before the end of the first lap. The bike set-up felt good, so I was able to push hard and I had a nice fight with Hector Barbera in the race. I am happy with the result and scoring two points for the team and championship is great. With more time on the bike and set up work for the latter part of the race, I am confident of improving further."

Phil Borley, Technical Director: "We are pleased with the results as both of our riders rode their bikes at a high level. Yonny did not have the best of starts but soon got into a strong rhythm and achieved a points scoring result. Michael's race was affected by the lack of time we have had setting up the new PBM bike but his race lap times were consistent and we are more than happy to have finished our first race at a respectable pace. With the benefit of the race data for both of our riders, we now look forward to the Texas race."

Round two of the MotoGP World Championship takes place at Austin, Texas, USA on Sunday 21st April. 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 Bel-Ray:

Bel-Ray Racers Score Excellent Results in Qatar GP

FARMINGDALE, N.J. (April 8, 2013) ? The 2013 World Championship Series began this past weekend in Qatar at the Losail Circuit in Doha. Under the lights, the series kicked off with excellent results for Bel-Ray’s racers, which were entered in all three racing divisions.
The Moto3 class is the entry-level class in world championship racing. The closely matched racers and machines generally lead to excellent racing all season. The opening round in Qatar saw Bel-Ray-sponsored Mapfre Aspar racer Jonas Folger set a new track record during the event, with a lap 6 with a 2’06.839 on the sixth lap of the evening’s race. Folger is widely considered to be a threat to win the World Championship, and a fifth-place finish at the opening round places him in a good position with the entire season ahead of him.

Folger spoke about the event following the checkered flag. “The weekend has been fabulous. Things went well in all of the practice sessions and I was always in the top positions. All these factors gave us great confidence for the race. I had an optimal setup, was confident and I started well.” He had expected a better finish but is happy with the results. “In the end we finished in fifth place. I expected better, but I’m calm because we gave our all throughout the weekend.”

The Moto2 is class is the next step toward the premiere MotoGP class. Mapfre Aspar Bel-Ray racers Jordi Torres and Nico Terol are both top 10 racers that can also challenge for a top position if the track conditions allow. An 11th for Torres and 14th for Terol enabled both to score points in this closely matched class.

Torres spoke about the weekend and his results following the checkered flag. “I am happy because we finished the weekend well, mainly because the team did such a good job. I still need to adapt my style completely to this bike, but we are on the right path. On the opening lap there was a melee and I made a mistake, but in general I am happy with my performance. I have learned a lot and hope to continue like this in Austin, where the track, being unknown, will level the playing field.”

Terol was also looking forward to the next round in the United States, where he hopes to improve on his finish. “I arrived very prepared mentally for this first race of the year and was ready to fight for the top spots. I set off from seventh, and at the end of the straight I tried to pass (Mika) Kallio in order to not lose any places. However, the bike wobbled and I almost flew off it. That was the moment in which various riders got past me, and I lost a little concentration. I took a risk at the start of the race that didn’t turn out well for me, but I have learned a lot tonight. One of those things is that on the opening laps you have to push, but also do so with calm. I am convinced that in the next race we will get a better result.”

The premier MotoGP class is the pinnacle of racing success. Bel-Ray-supported Power Electronics racers Aleix Espargaro and Randy DePuniet picked up right where they left off in 2012, battling each other for the top CRT position. In 2012, the Spaniard Espargaro bested his French teammate DePuniet in the overall standings, but the battle was waged each weekend between the duo. If Qatar is any indication, 2013 will not be any different. Espargaro finished 11th, with DePuniet right on his rear tire in 12th.

“Obviously we always want more, and we’ve been left wanting more tonight, said Espargaro. “We were hoping to fight against some of the MotoGP riders. The thing that made that so tough was that we CRT riders lose a lot of distance on the straight and have to take risks on the corners. We have every reason to be very happy, at a circuit as long as this, with a finish just 49 seconds behind the winner. It is quite an achievement. We leave here as leaders of the CRT standings, so it was ‘job done.’”

DePuniet was also confident with his opening-round results. “I had a good feeling during the first three parts of the race. I could stick with my teammate, Aleix, and, although he escaped slightly, I could reel him back in. However, with eight laps to go, I started having problems with the left handers, as I just couldn’t turn into them. Later, with eight laps to go, I started to have chatter problems and lost almost two seconds per lap. It seemed like the air intake had come unstuck, which impeded me from turning the bars and led to a lot of bouncing. It’s a shame, as I could have stayed with Aleix throughout if not. We have to think positive—at least I was able to complete the race and was also the second-best CRT rider. Despite this setback, we had a very consistent race.”

All five racers rely on Bel-Ray products to protect their machines and to perform at the highest level. The same products used by the team can be found on dealers’ shelves worldwide.

Bel-Ray Super Clean Chain Lube is one of the products chosen by the teams to keep their machines performing their best.

Bel-Ray® Super Clean Chain Lube is an aerosol chain lube that utilizes the latest innovation in chain lubricant technology, combining unsurpassed anti-wear protection for long chain and sprocket life with an outer protective coating that will not attract dirt, sand or grit and ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT FLING OFF when used as directed.

The World Championship Series continues April 21th at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, United States for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.
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