Archive for May, 2010

Peter Malloy Brands Hatch

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

After a patchy start to the 2010 campaign – thanks largely to a huge crash at the first round on the practice day (Friday) in which the bike was completely wrecked, this event saw the start to a return in form for rider and machine – hence my lack of updates as I’ve been flat out busy getting everything back together! The bike was completely destroyed save for the engine and exhaust pipe – not much left then!
This round was on the sweeping full length Grand Prix track at Brands Hatch which threads its way through a small part of the Kent countryside, the weather was perfect and the mood positive.
Qualifying saw 40 competitors take to the track to fight it out for the starting positions of the three races, two sessions with the fastest time from either being that taken for qualifying. My qualifying this year has been inconsistent as after the crash, I found I needed to be chasing someone in a race to be actually trying as hard as I dare – all subconsciously of course! Knowing this I went for a quick time early on which saw me get 8th in the first session – a big improvement from my usual 15th or so and only 0.7 secs off my previous best. In the second session I was just winding up the bike when some drizzle came from the skies which meant a bit of pace had to be knocked off as the dodgy conditions meant the dry tyres were starting to slip and slide a touch. A rider went down when throwing caution to the wind and the red flags were waved. With only 7 minutes of the session remaining, we went back out after the track was clear but I got stuck in some traffic and didn’t pick my way through aggressively enough. My cautious approach cost me dear again as I was bumped down to 13th. A little disappointing.
For race 1 I decided to use a soft compound sticky tyre to see if I could improve on my lap time set at the British Superbike event at this track last year. Sure enough I was able to take 0.4 secs off my PB and consistently so lap after lap. The race was quite hectic, I got a slack start and was demoted to about 18th. The first few laps I tore through the field passing two bikes at a time in places. On the second corner I went round the outside of three riders – the new tyre was definitely gripping! As I got nearer to the front the opponents got better and harder to pass. With only 7 laps available I managed to get up to 6th but several riders in front were Pro’s practising for their event at the track in August so of the championship regulars I got a 4th – my best result of the year.
Race 2 on Sunday morning saw some new tyres on the bike front and rear and a real determination by me to finish in the top 5. My lap times in the first race suggested I could mix it at the front, the challenge was getting there from 13th on the grid. I got a great start and was immediately up into 7th, picking another 2 off in the opening lap. This saw me 5th and within half a second of the leader. I had got into 4th when the red flags came out and halted proceedings in the 3rd lap with me being the fastest rider on track at the time – damn!! – a rider had fallen at the tail of the field and needed to be seen to during a stoppage. Lunch was called. I was spewing as I knew I could have picked off one or two more. After a brief lunch break the race got back underway reduced to 7 from the 9 laps. Again, I got a decent start from 13th and was up with the lead pack. The front two broke away leaving me in a dice for 3rd. The 3rd placed rider with 2 laps to go was slowing and the guy in 4th got through, I was in 5th at the time. I couldn’t quite pass and it was a drag to the line being beaten by 0.014 seconds or about a foot at 165mph. I wasn’t too despondent though as I was again one of the quickest riders on track and could see the leaders up close at the end of the race for only the second time this year.
The third and final race was a similar story to the second apart from I got a diabolical start initially to be saved by another red flag situation on the first lap so we reformed and away for another go. This time it was straight up to 7th then into 6th by which time the lead 3 had broken clear. With 3 laps to go I had 2 riders in front of me and I could see 4th place on the cards. I got a bit excitable and in the effort to push on for 4th made a few mistakes, one being my foot coming off the peg under heavy braking for one corner, nudging the bike into 3rd gear instead of 4th and another being taking a 3rd gear corner in 4th, both sound minor but each cost me about half a second which at these speeds is about 100 yards. So a steady ride home in the end for 6th.
I need to wait for the points to be published to be sure where I finished in the regular points scoring championship as some of the guys finished ahead where just out for practice but it looks like I got a 3rd and 2 4th’s. The weekend was also busy off track with Keith Flint from the Prodigy (who was racing at his first event) in the next door garage attracting some attention and hanging out with our usual crowd in the evenings and talking to us all in the day just like any normal bloke (as he turned out to be) would, that was a little surreal to start with. Also, Paul Martin, one of the Jordan Suzuki camp suffered a bad accident on Sunday and is in hospital with life threatening injuries – he runs Altamura, the company who paint the team bikes – our thoughts are with you bud.
Next round is at Silverstone on 12th-13th June, local to me and a great track with excellent facilities. Anyone who wants to come along and watch is most welcome.
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Oulton Park 2010

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

The Swan Honda team returned to the top step of the podium at Oulton Park as Stuart Easton took the opening victory of the day at the third round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.

Easton took a characteristic lightening start off the line to lead the pack into Old Hall on the opening lap and despite coming under pressure from championship leader Tommy Hill on the Worx Crescent Suzuki he was able to maintain the advantage to the finish.

It was a challenging second race for the team though as Easton struggled in the opening laps and believing he had an issue with his rear tyre he pitted before rejoining the race. The problem reoccurred when Easton went back out on track and he was forced to retire, however the impressive performance in the opening race has elevated him to second in the overall championship standings.

Easton said: “The whole weekend we have been up there on top, apart from qualifying where we were second so I felt that we would be able to challenge for both race wins today. In the first race we had edged out a lead and there was nothing really between us, so I just kept fighting and was able to hold on for the win. It was a great feeling to win the first race as it was my first one of the season and I was feeling really fired up to do the same in the second.

“In the second race it didn’t really work out as we had hoped. I thought that I had a problem with the rear tyre so I came in to the garage but we later found out it was just a setting that didn’t work out with the electronics. It was disappointing as it had worked unbelievably in the first race, but we really went into the second one blind as we had only had a handful of laps to practice in the wet. We have moved up to second in the standings now though after the win so we have come away in a better position overall so now we are looking forward to Cadwell Park.”

Team Manager Shaun Muir concluded: “It was great for Stuart to have won the opening race for the Swan Honda team. He likes to lead from the front and we knew Tommy (Hill) was going to be strong and they were quite evenly paced so it was an impressive and controlled race from Stuart. In the second race it was obviously disappointing to have not finished, but we are now second in the championship and we are looking forward to building on that at the next round in three weeks’ time at Cadwell Park.”

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Oulton Park

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

 

         

                         

 

In the opening race of the day Josh was running in the top four early in the race, but as the race progressed he continued to suffer with chatter which inevitably dropped him down the field to finish sixth. Kiyonari also suffered disappointment when he was challenging for the final podium position, but on the ninth lap he was forced wide by Alastair Seeley which dropped him down the order before he retired with a technical issue.

 

In the second race, Kiyo led the pack on the opening lap having started from pole, before he was passed by Michael Laverty. A battle then ensued between Kiyo and Michael Rutter for the advantage, before he was nudged back to fourth after John Laverty made his move although a determined effort saw him remain in the position to the chequered flag. Josh was struggling for rear grip during the second race as the conditions continued to change, leaving him eighth at the end of the shortened second race.

 

Steve Plater powered the HM Plant Honda Fireblade to a third consecutive podium finish in the National Superstock 1000 Championship with a hard-fought second place, to keep a 19 point advantage in the overall standings. Steve had dropped back to eighth on the opening laps but a determined performance saw him carve his way through the field as the race progressed. On the final lap he was able to close Kirkham’s advantage from just over two seconds to just 0.200 seconds at the chequered flag showing, the pace of the Honda CBR1000RR.

 

Josh said: “It has been a difficult and frustrating day for me. I think that somewhere along the line we made the wrong decision on the setting and I was desperate to go out and make amends for it in race two, but that didn’t happen. In the second race it was difficult as we were on a wet tyre on a drying track and by the end everyone’s tyres were destroyed as expected, but ours went off very quickly. I feel annoyed that I couldn’t get back up there in the second race, despite the whole team putting in a huge amount of effort and hard work. The reality is that these things happen sometimes though, so we just need to learn from today so it doesn’t happen again and get back up there at Cadwell Park.”

 

Kiyo said: “It has been a tough weekend for me and I am disappointed to have not finished on the podium today. In the first race Alastair Seeley passed me into Shell Oils corner really hard and it pushed me wide which lost me positions and my momentum. I then had a technical problem so I had to retire, but I was happy to be starting from the pole position in the second race. In race two I was really pushing hard as I wanted to make up for not finishing the first race but there was a big gap to close. I then got pushed wide again by John Laverty and he leant on me and it was impossible to hold the line. I now just want to go to Cadwell Park and fight again for the podium.”

 

Steve said: “For sure that was a tough race as I dropped back a bit in the opening laps but I came through. It was hard work and busy in the opening laps but I just kept my head and stayed out of trouble and that did the trick. I really wanted to catch Jon for the win and I thought if there were backmarkers then I might be able to just do it, but I really needed another lap as I wasn’t close enough to make the move. I am happy to be back on the podium though and still have the championship lead for HM Plant Honda.”

 

Team Manager, Havier Beltran concluded: “It has been a tough day for the team and it has been disappointing for Josh and Kiyo that we didn’t get the results we thought we could achieve. Both riders struggled; for Kiyo he got beaten up in both races whilst Josh really struggled with rear tyre deterioration in the second race. However for Steve he had another podium finish and put on another great show for the HM Plant Honda team and to show the pace of the Fireblade, to keep his championship advantage. The whole team is now looking forward to our home race at Cadwell Park in a few weeks.”

 

 

 

British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, race one:

 

 

1.Stuart Easton (Honda)

2.Tommy Hill +0.058s

3.John Laverty +10.399s

4.Alastair Seeley +10.843s

5.Michael Laverty +10.849s

6.Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +11.073s

DNF Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) – technical fault

 

 British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, race two:

 

 

1.Michael Laverty

2.Michael Rutter +6.00s

3.Tommy Hill +11.333s

4.Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +16.029s

5.John Laverty +23.590s

6.Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +30.283s

 

 

British Superbike Championship standings after Oulton Park:

 

 

1.Tommy Hill 126

2.Stuart Easton 75

3.Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) 74

4.Michael Laverty 65

5.Alastair Seeley 63

8. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 53

 

 National Superstock 1000 Championship, Oulton Park, result:

 

 

1.Jon Kirkham 

2.Steve Plater (HM Plant Honda) +0.200s

3.Tristan Palmer +1.264s

4.Ian Hutchinson (Padgetts Honda) +1.480s

5.Howie Mainwaring +2.578s

 

 

National Superstock 1000 Championship standings after Oulton Park:

 

 

1.Steve Plater (HM Plant Honda) 70

2.Howie Mainwaring 51

3.Jon Kirkham 50

4.Tristan Palmer 35

5.Ian Hutchinson (Padgetts Honda) 29

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