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May 20, 2013

More From This Past Weekend's Various Races

CMRA Series: Danny Kelsey (34) won five sprint races at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit. Photo by Linz Leard, courtesy of RPSRaceTeam.com.
More International success for Hillier

James Hillier took the third International road race podium of his career at this week’s International North West 200 meeting and although wet weather caused the early abandonment of the race action, the Quattro Plant Kawasaki rider laid a firm marker down to more than indicate he’ll be amongst the favourites at the forthcoming Isle of Man TT races.

It was a busy week for James as he was one of only a handful of riders scheduled to contest all eight races, three on Thursday and five on Saturday and although problems with the Superbike in qualifying kept him down the order, he was handily placed in all of his other classes.

Thursday’s racing saw damp but ever-improving conditions and after a solid tenth in the opening Supersport race, James had a superb ride in the Supertwins race to take second, just 0.8s adrift of the race victor and former 250cc Grand Prix winner Jeremy McWilliams. He then rounded out his day with another strong ride, this time taking ninth in the six-lap Superstock race whilst team-mate Steve Heneghan came home in 26th in what would prove to be his only race outing.

The weather worsened considerably for the feature race day on Saturday and it meant organisers were only able to run one race before the torrential rain led to the rest of the programme being cancelled. It was the second Supersport event that took place and James ensured his 100% record of top ten finishes remained intact with a sensible, mature ride into eighth.

James Hillier: “The weather’s been a factor all week and had it not been for that I think my results would have been better but I’m happy with how the racing’s gone and with the progress we’ve made with the bikes. Obviously, the podium on the Twin was the highlight and it’s great to know that we’re right in the ballpark again in the class and well placed for success again at the TT. It’s a shame we didn’t get more races on the Saturday but the rain was really heavy and the spray along the straights was really poor so the organisers made the right call for sure.”

“Apart from the problem with the Superbike, I’m happy now with the set-up of the bikes and with the weather being tricky, it was simply a case of riding within myself and keeping out of trouble. I finished in the top ten in all of the races and my name’s right in amongst the list of contenders for the TT.”

Pete Extance, Team Manager: "Despite Saturday being a washout, James and the team gained some valuable time on the roads and with a superb podium and three other top ten finishes, we're quite happy to head to the Isle of Man on a high. For Quattro Plant and Bournemouth Kawasaki, this is hopefully going to be an amazing few weeks with James running the number one plate at the TT and I'm sure both he and the team will be up to the job. It's a real honour to have my bikes as number one at the TT and I'd like to thank all of our sponsors, James and the team staff for getting us in this position."

The world famous Isle of Man TT Races get underway on Saturday 25th May with the first race, the 6-lap Superbike TT taking place the following Saturday, June 1st.




More, from a press release issued by Paul Bird Motorsport:

Laverty Continues 100% Record For PBM

After scoring points in the opening three rounds of the MotoGP World Championship, the Penrith-based PBM MotoGP team of Yonny Hernandez and Michael Laverty couldn't manage to add to their tally at a damp and dismal round four held at Le Mans in France.

With Laverty continuing his progress of developing the Rapid Solicitors and Minxflix.com-sponsored PBM machine, the 31-year-old Ulsterman qualified in an impressive top twenty placing, just ahead of 24-year-old Colombian Hernandez who started in 23rd place on the Rapid Solicitors and Minxflix.com-sponsored Aprilia ART.

With wet conditions greeting the riders, it was always going to be a difficult task but a great start by Hernandez saw him up to 17th with Laverty in 22nd which is where they stayed for the opening half dozen laps before Laverty moved up a place.

Before long, the two PBM machines were circulating in formation with Hernandez, from Medelln, dropping to 18th but just one place ahead of team-mate Laverty, from Toome, as they scrapped it out in the Claiming Rules Teams (CRT) class.

Each rider moved up a respective place to 17th and 18th on lap 16 as they homed in on the points but on lap 20 of the 28 laps, Hernandez suffered a technical problem causing him to retire to the pits. That left Laverty to battle on alone and despite getting lapped for the first time this season, he brought the machine home to its fourth finish in as many races to continue his 100% finishing rate as he claimed a battling 17th on a drying track.

Despite not adding to their points score, both Laverty and Hernandez remain tied on points in 18th place in the MotoGP World Championship and equal fifth in the CRT standings going into the next round at Mugello in Italy next month. PBM remain in seventh place in the Constructors Championship in their debut season with their brand new British-built machine.

Michael Laverty: "I'm disappointed with the result; we had a good pace in the dry but today was a big learning experience as I hadn't ridden the Bridgestone wet tyres or the PBM bike properly in the rain. I felt like a fish out of water in warm up but the team improved the electronics for the race and I got more comfortable as the race went on. Once I understood the tyres I was actually lapping as fast as the top CRT guys but I had lost so much time in the early laps that a good result was impossible. The main positive from today is that I know we can be competitive when the rain arrives in future."

Yonny Hernandez: "It was a difficult weekend for me as I never found a good rhythm with the bike in the dry. In the wet warm up session I was happier and was much more competitive but in the race there was a different feeling and too much spinning. I thought there was a problem with the tyre and it was not safe so I retired. I am sad because I think I could have had a good result if the feeling had been the same as the warm up."

Phil Borley, Technical Director: "It has been a frustrating weekend as our potential in the conditions of the race is better than our results. With Michael, his times in the dry improved during the weekend as he became more familiar with the circuit and as the bike setting developed. In the wet condition his speed increased as the race progressed, setting the second fastest CRT time, but it was too late to challenge for some points. Yonny was struggling in the dry but he was very fast in the wet conditions so it was especially disappointing that he retired with a lack of rear grip. We will check the data to try and understand why his bike felt so different between the warm up and race."

Round five of the MotoGP World Championship takes place at Mugello in Italy on Sunday 2nd 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 Carter Sport Media:

Ninth For Cooper As Rain Halts North West 200

Cornwall-based Centurion Racing had their assault on the Vauxhall International North West 200 Road Races curtailed by torrential rain on Saturday but not before Stroud's Daniel Cooper gave the team their second top ten finish of the week.

Atrocious weather conditions on the Antrim coast meant that it was only possible to run the opening McKendry Supersport race of the five-race programme and this was stopped on the third of the scheduled five laps. Nevertheless, the 25-year-old former British 125cc Champion put in another excellent ride on the Centurion Racing Triumph Daytona 675R to finish in ninth place as a result was declared as of two laps.

Starting once again from 18th on the grid, Cooper completed the first lap in 11th place as he battled with leading road race protagonists James Hillier, Stuart Easton and William Dunlop. Despite the heavy rain making visibility difficult around the 8.9-mile circuit, Dan moved up to ninth place during the second lap and was well placed to move further up the leaderboard as the race progressed when the red flag came out and the race stopped on the third lap as conditions worsened.

Dan Cooper: "I was disappointed seeing the red flag as I was just getting going but it was stopped for the right reasons as the conditions were getting worse. It would have been good to have a run out on the Superbike but the weather was against us so I'm really pleased to achieve the results we have this week with a pair of top ten places on the Triumph and a top 15 on the Superstock Honda Fireblade. Thanks to the team for a great job and now we are concentrating on the TT which starts next week so hopefully, we can enjoy some good racing over there."

Paul Rees, Team Principal: "It was a shame regarding the awful weather but we were hoping the race would go for at least one more lap. Dan was moving up the field and we all believed he could have come away from that race in sixth as he has been riding really well and the bike was set up to his liking. Unfortunately no one can do anything about the weather and it wasn't possible to race any more at the NW200. It was our first time over there as a team and we will be back as the organisation and officials did a great job, especially with the conditions they had to deal with. It was a good shakedown for the team in preparation for the TT this coming week also. Dan is riding well, the bikes are running well, and the team is working well so hopefully that bodes well for some good results in the Isle of Man."

Viewers can watch an hour long highlights programmes being screened tonight on BBC Northern Ireland (Sky Channel 953) at 22.25.

As in previous seasons, Centurion Racing will continue to show their support for Help for Heroes, their chosen charity, by displaying H4H logos on the bikes and team attire. Team Principal Paul Rees, who spent 20 years in Her Majesty's Royal Marine Commandos, was given permission to have the bikes carry the H4H logos in order to encourage the public to be more aware of this charity that supports our Armed Forces, many of whom are making daily sacrifices in Afghanistan.

Centurion Racing would specially like to thank Silkolene Oils, Arai, FTR, GPR Racewear, Dunlop, RichArt, R2 Logo Print & Embroidery, Akrapovic, SW Commercials, 2K Coachworks and Daytona for personally supporting Dan, and all our friends and followers.

For more information visit the website: www.centurionracing.com (Also on Facebook) or please contact: Paul Rees, paul@centurionsafety.net, mobile: +44 (0)7785 248934 or John Cooper, jgcooper60@gmail.com, mobile: +44 (0)7584 901191.




More, from a press release issued by KTM:

VINALES WINS MOTO3 AT LE MANS TO MOVE AHEAD IN CHAMPIONSHIP
KTM riders again made it an all-Spanish affair in Sunday’s Moto3 GP on the Le Mans racing circuit in France with Maverick Vinales winning in front of Alex Rins and Red Bull KTM Ajo factory rider Luis Salom taking the minor podium place.

Vinales becomes the first rider of the season to take two victories and he now moves ahead in the championship standings. The Spanish teenager now leads Salom by 13 points with Rins in third place.

Vinales looked impressive throughout the race and really turned up the heat in the final laps. He was justifiably pleased with his ride: “This was an incredible win. I went very fast considering the condition of the track,” he said. “We improved some things on the bike in tests two weeks ago and this was good for us.”

The three front riders continually jockeyed for positions in the first half of the race together with Germany’s Jonas Folger (Kalex-KTM). Folger led for much of the time and was in line for a podium finish but he lost touch with the leading three when he rode off the track, seeming to swerve to dodge crash debris. He eventually coasted home in a comfortable fourth place.

The race was declared as dry however parts of the track were still wet when it started, which presented the teams with some setup problems.

It was also a tough weekend for Salom, who crashed heavily on Saturday and rode with a lot of pain in his hand. “It has been a difficult weekend for me. We had some setup problems on the grid but it was still a good race and good to be on the podium.” Salom, well known for his last lap attacks started putting in very fast lap times at the close of the race but said this time he didn’t want to risk anything during the final lap.

Also unlucky were Salom’s factory teammate Zulfahmi Khairuddin and KTM rider Niklas Ajo. They had successfully broken away from the following group and were engaged in a battle for places seven and eight when with just five laps to go Fahmi had a huge highside. His airborne bike came down catching Ajo on the foot and both riders slid off into the gravel. Both walked away from the crash.

Australian Arthur Sissis, the third Red Bull KTM Ajo factory rider finished in the points at thirteenth place.

The French GP was another race that underlined the success of the KTM Moto3 bike with the top six riders all on KTM-driven machines.

Moto3 Results
1, Maverick Viñales, Spain, KTM, 42:05.448
2, Alex Rins, Spain, KTM, +1.264
3, Luis Salom, Spain, KTM, +1.387
4, Jonas Folger, Germany, Kalex KTM, +14.593
5, Alex Marquez, Spain, KTM, +37.949
6, Jakub Kornfeil, Czech Republic, Kalex KTM, +40.295
7, Romano Fenati, Italy, FTR Honda, +43.325
8, Brad Binder, Republic of South Africa, Suter Honda, +43.537
9, Alexis Masbou, France, FTR Honda, +45.511
10, Isaac Viñales, Spain, FTR Honda, +45.674
Other KTM
13, Arthur Sissis, Australia, KTM, +58.713
15, Philipp Oettl, Germany, Kalex KTM, +1:18.027
16, Livio Loi, Belgium, Kalex KTM, +1:18.384
18, Toni Finsterbusch, Germany, Kalex KTM, +1:27.726
19, Ana Carrasco, Spain, KTM, +1:27.754
21, Jasper Iwema, Netherlands, Kalex KTM, +1:28.165
24, Eric Granado, Brazil, Kalex KTM, 1 Lap
DNF, Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Malaysia, KTM, 5 Laps
DNF, Niklas Ajo, Finland, KTM, 5 Laps
DNF, Jules Danilo, France, Kalex KTM, 11 Laps
DNF, Florian Alt, Germany, Kalex KTM, 18 Laps

Moto3 Standings after Round 4
1, M. Viñales, 90
2, Salom, 77
3, Rins, 61
4, Folger, 53
5, Binder, 32
6, Khairuddin, 28
7, Kornfeil, 27
8, Marquez, 24
9, Masbou, 23
10, Oliveira, 20
Other KTM
11, Sissis, 19
12, Ajo, 18
19, Iwema, 5
21, Oettl, 1
22, Loi, 1

Moto3 Manufacturers Standings after Round 4
1, KTM, 100
2, Kalex KTM, 53
3, Suter Honda, 33




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

Kelsey sets Track Record at Hallett

Georgetown, Texas rider Danny S. Kelsey set the Hallett Motor Racing Circuit motorcycle record during the fourth round of the CMRA Sprint Championship Series. The team and Kelsey entered the weekend realizing from past performances that the goal was attainable, but track conditions and mother nature would ultimately be the determining factor for success. Kelsey and the team inspected the track on Friday and found numerous seeping spots of water. This obviously concerned team, but the time tested track quickly dried up and the team was able to put together a fastest lap of 1:15.9 despite the tricky initial conditions. This provided good momentum for Kelsey and RPSRaceTeam.com entering the weekend events.

Saturday provided the second round of the CMRA’s Team 60 event and Kelsey elected to pair up with up-and-comer Conner Blevins in the Heavyweight Class. Kelsey started the race for the team and quickly got down to business by posting a race-fastest 1:15.882 on lap 2. With a one-lap lead, Kelsey handed off to Blevins who maintained the lead and the win. Unfortunately for Kelsey during the race, he had hit one of the numerous curbs at Hallett and damaged the internals of the RPSRaceTeam.com GSX-R1000 front forks. With severe weather forecast for Sunday and damage to the big red Suzuki, Kelsey and the team were concerned that this would be a wasted opportunity to demonstrate the level of performance the team was capable of.

“It was quite a task getting the forks rebuilt. All the mid-valve and compression shims were bent and oil was passing by pistons providing almost no damping. We didn’t have all the shims that I needed to get the forks back to optimum shape, but I was able to get them close. In the middle of working on the forks that night, I had to stop several times as lightning, heavy rain, tornado watches, and high winds made me have to stop and wait for safe conditions. I wasn’t able to get everything done until 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning,” noted crew chief Marcus McBain.

It was a small miracle as the wet track quickly dried Sunday morning and the ominous clouds held the rain that was forecast. Kelsey felt out the conditions and decided to not push too hard in Formula One qualifying, but was still able to post a 1:16.186 on the used tires for 20 laps from the Saturday Team 60 race and 10 laps Sunday morning.

“I realized that the Pirelli SC0 rear and SC1 front slicks were going to be up to the task if the weather held. Those tires are amazing. I couldn’t believe how little they fell off. I felt that we had at least another second in the Suzuki GSX-R1000 with new tires,” stated Kelsey.

The 750cc Superstock race was up first and Kelsey made up for missing the warm up lap by posting the fastest lap of the race with a 1:17.061 and a 1.568 second win on his M4 Exhaust- and Dynojet-equipped GSX-R750 against very stiff competition. Next up was Open Superstock and Kelsey used this as a shakedown to ensure the big red Suzuki would be able to handle the performance needed to set the track record. Kelsey quickly took the point and posted a 1:15.670 on lap two to set the fastest lap of the race. At the checkered flag, Kelsey was able to win by 20 seconds with his DP Brakes-equipped liter bike and felt that everything was in place to make a run for the record in the Breast Cancer Research Awareness Formula One race.

As the field gridded up for the CMRA’s premiere class, it was apparent that it was all coming together for the former CMRA overall champion. The competition was going to be tough. The class which promotes breast cancer research awareness and generates money for this very important cause resonates within the CMRA racing community and entries were strong.

With the starting lights sending the field into Turn One, Kelsey posted a 1:16.466 from a standing start. As lap two completed, stop watches and scoring were instantly abuzz as Kelsey became the first rider to circulate in the 1:14 range in the counter-clockwise direction with an amazing 1:14.706 lap. He then backed up the new record with two more laps below the now previous track record. As the checkered flag fell, Kelsey took a 4.065-second win and was now in the CMRA and Hallett record books.

“It just all came together. When I saw my pit board I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to break the track record, but really didn’t believe that I was going to get into the 1:14’s. This season is really just continually amazing. The JRi shock and GP Suspension cartridges really perform unbelievably. The M4 exhaust, Dynojet Power Commander, and Silkolene oil really make this engine a rocketship despite still being in showroom shape. The RS Taichi leathers make it so easy to relax on the motorcycle and comfortably ride knowing you are wearing one of the safest suits in the industry. Audrey from Moto Liberty is lifelong industry professional and always provides so much support. Obviously the Pirelli SC0 rear and SC1 combination are just a phenomenal combination. John Hutchinson from South Central Race Center provided a lot of help make sure we got the most out of the Pirelli tires. Lastly, Hallett is nothing more than a brake dyno. The DP Brakes are incredible at every track, but at Hallett they really shine where you can’t hide any flaws in brake performance. It took an incredible group of sponsors to make sure this record happened and we did it,” stated Kelsey as he celebrated.

Kelsey still had two tough battles to contend with to ensure that Sunday would be another “perfect day”. With A superbike up next, Kelsey would again put the hammer down and post another lap under the old lap record with a 1:15.318 en route to 4.577-second win. As the day wound down, Kelsey faced one final obstacle from completing a perfect day in the B Superbike race. As the green flag dropped, the team’s aging Suzuki 750 looked to be losing compression and Kelsey was finding himself in an impossible situation to win. With races cut to five laps and a 1.2-second deficit on lap two, he really dug down deep. On lap 4, he posted the fastest lap of the race with a 1:16.935 and cut the deficit to 0.45 seconds. With one lap to go, he put his head down and on the last turn of the last lap he made a spectacular pass for a 0.295-second win. The win cemented his fifth win for the day.

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, and Chicken Hawk Racing. Kelsey will resume racing action at NOLA Motorsports Park in June during the fifth round of CMRA Sprint Championship Action.