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Round 2 - Donington Park
Race Report - Donington Park Round 2
Friday Test Day
Friday didn’t go to plan really, I missed a few sessions during the day as mechanical problems halted any progress we made during the day, the bike just wouldn’t hold the race line like I wanted it too. this caused me to run wide and off line. there was no point riding round the problem I just had to try something different and fast. Dave Ogden tried a few clicks on the Mupo suspension and suggested that different gearing could maybe solve the problem. The next session after these changes made the Kawasaki handled so much better, at the end of the day I was happy with progress made and I was looking forward to qualifying the next day.
Saturday Qualifying and Race 1
On the Saturday warm up I felt really confident with the bike and the set up the Phoenix CFS Race Team had done the previous day, I went into the qualifying session confident, the bike felt good in the corners and we had eradicated the problems I encounter the day before, I ended up qualifying in 14th position overall which put me 5th in class. I had more to give and felt strong going into race one.
Race one and it wasn't the best of starts unfortunately, even after the first corner going into Redgate I came out well down the pack, I would have to fight back to try gain a credible finish. the bike seemed to be down on low end power. I was determined not to let the team down as they all worked so hard the previous day, I managed to finish a fantastic 13th position, 3rd in class overall, this was the best I could do with what I had. A great result and we were all buzzing within the team.
Sunday Race 2
I started 19th on the grid due to race ones fastest time, this put me in a poor starting position, again I just got swamped going into turn one, the grid had over forty riders and I got swallowed up and went backwards. I knew I had work to do.
I battled hard and by lap Six I’d managed to get back up to 10th overall, I was now in some free space and trying to get on the back of Lloyd Shelly. Unfortunately I over compensated at the Melbourne Loop going in a bit too hot, I needed to trail brake into the corner so I didn't lack power on my entry, braking too hard cost me dearly, the front end went from under me and the bike slid sideways towards the gravel. End of race 2.
Sunday Race 3
There wasn’t too much damage from the crash, the whole team worked like troopers. I had a fantastic start gaining a few positions going into turn one, on the exit though the bike again seemed like it was down on acceleration and low end power, I got overtaken by many riders. I was getting more frustrated by the minute, this put me way down the order but I wasn’t giving up. I battled through as many riders as I could before the end of the race. I finished in 17th position with was 8th in class, very frustrating as I knew I could give a lot more but circumstance dictated otherwise.
All in all we defiantly made massive steps forward with the bike, the team were fantastic all weekend, I feel that with a little bit more work we can be up at the sharp end for the next round at Snetterton and confident that the results in time, will come.
I would like to thank Dave and Paddy from Phoenix CFS for all their hard work throughout the weekend, My sponsors for standing by me and supporting me, without you I couldn’t go racing, Family friends and everyone that came to support me throughout the weekend, Big T, Ian and Maria, Thundersport GB and all the Marshals, medical staff for yet again putting on a fantastic race weekend.
See you at Snetterton.
Race Report - Dave Ogden
We had only just been returned the engines after having them checked after Spain and brands, Valve clearances checked and overall good bill of health we arrived at Donington with Healthy machinery but not with the additional parts we were expecting due to an order issue, so torque and drive were compromised.
Ashley had a bad mechanical failure first session which was caused by something out of our control, this aside after missing a few sessions he was already on the case and we started dialling in the set up with a a long chat after each session.
Qualifying went as well as could be expected but Ashley identified a problem delivering fast cornering and drive out of corners on two of the circuit corners.
We made changes for race one which worked very well but as he put in faster corner speed we found the problem rising again, but he had delivered a fantastic result from way down the grid giving a 2nd in class.
For the races on Sunday we made some more changes to geometry and after the 10 minute warm up he was delighted with the transformation although we were still struggling with the initial drive.
Second place was in our grasp in the first race on sunday but unfortunately whilst pushing the front let go at Melbourne loop on the 6th lap.
The last race saw a charge from a very! poor start get him to 7th in class behind his team rider Sam Holme.
Sam had tried different final gear ratio’s on Friday trying to compensate for the lack of Drive, and finally settled for a busier gear box but something that suited his style for qualifying and put his fastest lap in qualifying mid pack.
In race one on Sunday he got a very poor start and was unable to put a faster lap in for mega laps although he only dropped a few places on the grid and finished 10th.
Race two and three saw him make a few changes and get two 6th places and keeps him 8th in the championship.
A positive weekend in a lot of ways and we know what our demons are going forward, the main positive is that both bikes did not miss a beat and once we have the full package together we will have a bullet proof fast bike under our riders that will prove worthy throughout the championship in the end.
we are slowly coming to the sharp end and soon be looking top ten in the Elites and constant top three Sportsman.