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SFS Performance bike News News Category - SFS | CARS | BIKES | REO/SHOWS | ALL

Up and down weekend for Reeves and Hawes

Schleiz, Germany was the latest stop for Tim Reeves and Ashley Hawes in their quest to win the 2012 World Sidecar Championship and it proved to be an up and down weekend for the duo with victory in Saturday's race offset by a collision and DNF in Sunday's second encounter.

After qualifying in fifth place, well within touch of pole position men Ben and Tom Birchall, two close races were again expected with less than a second separating the top six but rainfall before the first race added a new dimension to proceedings. However, it mattered little to Tim and Ashley and with a super start and first corner, they grabbed the lead of the 11-lap race, something they wouldn't relinquish. Reading his pit board, Tim was able to control the gap to second placed Jorg Steinhausen/Gregory Cluze and any time the German-French pairing closed up, he was able to pull away almost immediately eventually taking the chequered flag 1.6s clear for his third win of the season.
 

The victory increased his lead in the Championship to 19 points but that was wiped out as soon as Sunday's 22-lap race got underway. Tim and Ashley made another great start and with some bumping and barging at the first corner, they opted for the outside line to stay out of trouble - or so they thought. Further back in the pack, Josef Moser/Dan Evanson had left their braking a little too late and, after hitting the back of the Birchalls, they hit Tim side on and punted him out of the race. Ashley was knocked clean out of the outfit, luckily escaping with bumps and bruises whilst the LCR also emerged relatively unscathed.

However, with Pekka Paivarinta/Adolf Hanni winning the race, they've now joined Tim on 120 points at the top of the Championship table and with the Birchalls and Steinhausen equal in third on 114 points, just six points split the leading four crews with just three races to go.

Speaking later, Tim said: "The weekend was really good - and then it was really bad! Moser must have been doing 20-30mph more than what I was doing and he practically came out of nowhere. I got a great start but couldn't find any room so went for the outside line and it was working until, out of the corner of my eye, I saw him come flying up the inside. He went straight into the side of Ash and we were out straightaway so it was very, very disappointing especially with Pekka going on to win. It's made the Championship very tight!"

"Prior to that, everything had gone perfect. Fifth in qualifying was spot-on and I didn't want to keep throwing tyres on so was more than happy with our pace. I got a great start in the first race and just went up the inside of everyone at the first corner! Steiny wasn't too far behind but I was able to control the race from the front and just kept my eye on my pit board. It enabled us to extend our lead further but that, of course, has now disappeared. It would have been nice to have still had a good cushion going into the last two rounds but, on the plus side, the bike's flying and I'm really happy with how I'm driving so I'm confident of some more wins."

"It's a case of winner takes all now and whoever can win races and be the most consistent will win the World Championship. We're heading to Assen now for the Gamma Race Day meeting where we'll get some decent testing done and then head to Oschersleben all raring to go. The team did a great job again this weekend so big thanks to everyone involved especially Ash, the Haith family, H&S Contractors and everyone at Dave Hudspeth Carpets."


The next round of the Championship sees Tim and Ashley return to Germany with the Oschersleben circuit hosting two races on the weekend of August 10-11.



Nick Crowe Racing - British F2 Sidecar Championship

Tim Reeves vows to 'dig deep' for second Sure Sidecar outing at 2012 TT
Three-times Sidecar World Champion Tim Reeves will dig deep and give it his best shot when racing resumes at the 2012 Isle of Man TT fuelled by Monster Energy.

His hopes of taking victory in the opening Sure Sidecar race on Saturday were dashed when mechanical problems forced him out on the opening lap.

Despite the set back, he is determined to challenge for top honours in the second Sure Sidecar TT, scheduled for Wednesday.

After setting the second fastest lap of practice at 112.808mph, with new passenger Dan Sayle, hopes were high going into the three-lap race and although they were lying in 3rd at the first timing point, their race was soon over as they were forced to retire.

Practice week had started steadily for Reeves and Dipash Chauhan with a lap of 110.748mph during Monday night's session, but Dips was later forced to admit defeat in his battle to return to competitive racing at the TT after sustaining a broken leg in a short circuit crash in May 2011.

As a result, Reeves drafted in 7-times TT winner Dan Sayle who agreed to come out of sidecar retirement to join Team NCR/Dave Hudspeth Carpets. The partnership immediately gelled and the duo posted a lap of 112.808mph during Tuesday evening's session, which turned out to be the second fastest of the week behind Dave Molyneux/Patrick Farrance.

A breakdown during Friday's final practice session wasn't ideal preparation and left the team with work to do.

Great work by the team saw the LCR Honda ready in time for the race and as the outfits passed through Glen Helen for the first time, the outfit was lying 3rd, 2.5 seconds down on Molyneux/Farrance and 1s down on Ben and Tom Birchall.

However, when they went through the Sulby speed trap at 54.8mph, it was clear all was not well and their race ended soon after and they stopped at Sulby village.

Reeves said:

"It's been a tough week to say the least. After the first couple of practice sessions, Dips had to admit defeat and we were all gutted for him after all the work he's put in, but there was no shame in it and fair play to him for standing up and making the decision in the best interests of the team."

"Dan had obviously decided to retire from passengering last year, but he was in the solo paddock so we approached him and he jumped on board in time for Tuesday. We put in a solid lap and then made a few adjustments to the chassis, but had gone in the direction so ended up going slower."

"We decided to go back to what we knew for Friday, but then had some trouble with the valves and only got as far as the Wagon and Horses before we had to stop so it wasn't ideal preparation.”

He added:

"We were all ready for the race though and were determined to do well, but, although we were in contention at Glen Helen, I could tell the bike wasn't right. After the problems the night before, we discussed what the best strategy was and the plan was to take it steady on the first lap and then go for it after that, but, sadly, we never got that far."

"The more the lap continued, the worse the problem got and with more valve trouble we had no choice other than to pull in.

"It's a massive disappointment for the whole team and we've got a lot of work to do between now and Wednesday, but we'll dig deep to make sure we're on the line and give it our best shot when the flag drops.

Sweet 16 for Moly in second 2012 Sure Sidecar TT race
Dave Molyneux took his 16th TT win when he won the second Sure Sidecar race after he and Patrick Farrance overhauled Tim Reeves/Dan Sayle at the start of the third lap. It was the fifth time the Manxman had completed a Sidecar double at the TT.

Reeves/Sayle flew out of the traps but, ultimately, had to accept second best to the third most successful TT competitor of all time whilst Ben and Tom Birchall took their second podium of the week in third.

With weather on the Island far from favourable, a number of delays meant it was 4.25pm when the race did get underway with drivers warned of damp patches all around the course and the possibility of rain over the Mountain. Lack of adhesion flags were also on display.

It was Molyneux and Farrance who led through Glen Helen for the first time but it was close with the Birchalls just 1.1s behind and Reeves and Sayle only a further 0.6s adrift. Molyneux was some 13mph slower that the Birchalls through the Sulby speed trap and, indeed, the lead had changed hands as they went through Ballaugh. By Ramsey, the Birchalls were leading Molyneux by over three seconds but it had all changed again at the end of the lap and it was Reeves/Sayle who were in front with an opening lap of 111.692mph.

Molyneux/Farrance were still in second but the Birchalls had dropped to third with just over nine seconds separating the trio whilst Conrad Harrison/Mike Aylott, Gary Bryan/Jamie Winn and Dougie Wright/Martin Hull completed the top six.

On the second lap, Molyneux/Farrance were again slower through Sulby but this time it was only 7mph and throughout the 37.73 miles, they were eating into the lead held by Reeves/Sayle. The gap had almost been halved to 3.5s as they swept through Ramsey and it was now seemingly a two horse race with the Birchalls now 13.5s behind the race leaders.

At the Bungalow there was only 1.45s between the front two outfits and as they flashed across the line to start their final lap, there was barely anything to separate them as Reeves continued to lead albeit by the reduced margin of 0.82s. The duo had both lapped in excess of 113mph with the race hotting up whilst the Birchalls still held onto third from Harrison/Aylott, the latter lapping slightly quicker to close to within 11s of a podium place. Bryan/Winn and Wright/Hull remained in fifth and sixth.

At Glen Helen for the final time, the fight back by Molyneux/Farrance continued as they hit the front once more, having turned their deficit to Reeves/Sayle into a 1.75s advantage. As the lap progressed, it was clear they were finding a good rhythm with Molyneux using all his experience and after leading by seven seconds at Ballaugh, it was almost 11 seconds as they rounded Ramsey Hairpin for the final time.

Molyneux/Farrance weren’t to be denied and they duly completed their double with their eventual winning margin a commanding 17.11s. The Birchalls and Harrison/Aylott circulated in close formation for the second half of the race but whilst the former held onto their podium position, the latter dropped out on the final drop down the Mountain. That promoted Bryan/Winn and Wright/Hull up to fourth and fifth with the top ten completed by Greg Lambert/Jason Crowe, Rob Handcock/Ken Edwards, Tony Baker/Fiona Baker-Milligan, Karl Bennett/Lee Cain and Frank Lelias/Charlie Richardson.

No joy for Reeves in opening Sidecar TT race
Tim Reeves’ hopes of taking victory in Saturday’s F2 Sidecar TT race were dashed when mechanical problems forced him out on the opening lap. After setting the second fastest lap of practice of 112.808mph, with new passenger Dan Sayle, hopes were high going into the three-lap race and although they were lying in third at the first timing point, their race was soon over and they were forced to retire.

Practice week had started steadily for Tim and Dipash Chauhan with a lap of 110.748mph during Monday night’s practice session but Dips was later forced to admit defeat in his battle to return to competitive racing at the TT after sustaining a broken leg in a short circuit crash in May 2011. As a result, Tim drafted in 7-times TT winner Dan Sayle who, despite contesting the solo races, agreed to come out of sidecar retirement to join Team NCR/Dave Hudspeth Carpets. The partnership immediately gelled and the duo posted a lap of 112.808mph during Tuesday evening’s session, which turned out to be the second fastest of the week behind Dave Molyneux/Patrick Farrance. However, a breakdown during Friday’s final practice session wasn’t ideal preparation and left the team with work to do.

Great work by the team saw the LCR Honda ready in time for the race and as the outfits passed through Glen Helen for the first time, Tim and Dan were lying in third place, 2.5s down on Molyneux/Farrance and 1s down on Ben and Tom Birchall. However, when they went through the Sulby speed trap at 54.8mph, it was clear all was not well and their race ended soon after and they stopped at Sulby village.

Speaking later, a disappointed Tim said; "It’s been a tough week to say the least. After the first couple of practice sessions, Dips had to admit defeat and we were all gutted for him after all the work he’s put in but there was no shame in it and fair play to him for standing up and making the decision in the best interests of the team. Dan had obviosuly decided to retire from passengering last year but he was in the solo paddock so we approached him and he jumped on board in time for Tuesday. We put in a solid lap and then made a few adjustments to the chassis but had gone in the direction so ended up going slower. We decided to go back to what we knew for Friday but then had some trouble with the valves and only got as far as the Wagon and Horses before we had to stop so it wasn’t ideal preparation."

"We were all ready for the race though and were determined to do well but although we were in contention at Glen Helen, I could tell the bike wasn’t right. After the problems the night before, we discussed what the best strategy was and the plan was to take it steady on the first lap and then go for it after that but, sadly, we never got that far. The more the lap continued, the worse the problem got and with more valve trouble we had no choice other than to pull in. It’s a massive disappointment for the whole team and we’ve got a lot of work to do between now and Wednesday but we'll dig deep to make sure we’re on the line and give it our best shot when the flag drops."



Nick Crowe Racing - British F1 Sidecar Championship

Full Croatia report, courtesy of Mark 'Wally' Walters - Race One (10 laps)
As the lights went out it was Kurt Hock and Enrico Becker Hock Racing, LCR, Suzuki who got the hole shot under the blazing sun, right with them though was Pekka Paivarinta and Adolf Hanni, Team Suzuki Finland, LCR, Suzuki, Ben and Tom Birchall, Mitchells of Mansfield, LCR, Yamaha then Tim Reeves and Ashley Hawes, “The Relocator” LCR Suzuki. There was a small gap to the next group which was led by Jorg Steinhausen and Gregory Cluze, Steinhausen Racing Team, LCR, BMW who were side by side with Markus Schlosser and Thomas Hofer, Team Schlosser, LCR, Suzuki, right behind them was Josef Moser and Daniel Evenson, Team Tirol, LCR Suzuki, and right with them was Michael Grabmuller and Manfred Wechselberger, Delta Racing, LCR Kawasaki.

By lap two Reeves and Hawes had passed Hock and Becker bringing with them the Birchall Brothers who had got passed Paivarinta and Hanni, this put Hock back to fourth. Steinhausen and Cluze managed to get passed Schlosser and Hofer and started to reel in Hock and Becker, Hock started to get tyre problems which let Steinhausen get by, but as they were getting to grips with the race they too had a problem first losing water then power but they managed to cross the line in fifth place. The battle at the front had moved to the Birchall Brothers and Paivarinta as Reeves and Hawes started to pull away from the pursuing teams, however with the battle raging for second spot, this let Schlosser catch and make it a three way battle for the second place spot, as they all fought amongst themselves Reeves and Hawes pulled away and they were to take the chequered flag by nearly 10 seconds. The following teams fought hard for their places but with tyre problems affecting all of them it was hard going.

In the end it was an overjoyed Markus Schlosser and Thomas Hofer who crossed the line in second place. Closely followed by Paivarinta and Hanni and the Birchall Brothers Ben and Tom with them. Following Steinhausen over the line was Kurt Hock and Enrico Becker for sixth spot.

Slovenian driver Janez Remse and his passenger Jamie Biggs, Remse Racing, LCR Yamaha, lost power to their machine, and DNF the race

Full Croatia report, courtesy of Mark 'Wally' Walters - Race Two (18 laps)
Air temperature was 36 degrees and track temperature was 54 degrees, this was not going to stop 19 sidecar teams race for the top spot in the 18 lap race.

As the teams took their place on the grid the lights went out and it was Markus Schlosser and Thomas Hofer, Team Schlosser, LCR Suzuki who were first into turn one, Tim Reeves and Ashley Hawes “The Relocator” LCR, Suzuki right with them, then was Kurt Hock and Enrico Becker, Hock Racing, LCR, Suzuki, a small gap then Josef Moser and Daniel Evenson, Team Tirol, LCR, Suzuki followed by Ben and Tom Birchall, Mitchells of Mansfield, LCR, Yamaha, Pekka Paivarinta and Adolf Hanni, Team Suzuki Finland, LCR, Suzuki, then Michael Grabmuller and Manfred Wechselberger, Delta Racing, LCR Kawasaki.

On lap one Reeves and Hawes got by Schlosser and Hofer and the places were to stay like this till lap three when Hock and Becker were staying with the two in front, and even starting to catch, they had to pull off track with electrical problems, Hock saying it was the best thing to do as he thought to dangerous to continue. This let Moser and Evinson through to third. Meanwhile Jorg Steinhausen and Gregory Cluze, Steinhausen Racing, LCR, BMW started to move up the field passing Grabmuller, the Birchall Brothers who had been passed by Paivarinta, Steinhausen battled with Paivarinta then got the better of him and slotted into fourth, he then started to make good time on Moser who was starting to get tyre problems. Meanwhile the two teams at the front were starting to pull away from the chasing pack, but Reeves was able to keep in front of Schlosser and he would keep a safe gap for the rest of the race till the chequered flag. Steinhausen got by Moser and started to try and close the gap on the two front teams, but they were able to keep a safe cushion between themselves and Steinhausen. Paivarinta and Hanni followed by the Birchall Brothers got by Moser and Evenson who were starting to have big tyre problems, but Paivarinta and the Birchall’s too were starting to have tyre problems. Grabmuller and Wechselberger stayed in seventh place till the flag.

As the flag came out it was Reeves and Hawes with a total time of 29:14.898 second was Schlosser and Hofer who had the fastest lap time of 1:35.854. Third were Steinhausen and Cluze, Fourth was Paivarinta and Hanni, fifth were the Birchall Brothers, sixth Moser and Evenson, seventh were Grabmuller and Wechselberger.

Janez Remse and Jamie Biggs, Remse Racing, LCR, Yamaha once again had electrical problems leaving them with a DNF. “ It has been a bad weekend for us, as this is our home track and we wanted to do well for our supporters” said Janez.

Jean-Louis Hergott and Josse Stephane, France Quest Racing Team F.O.R.T. RSR, BMW were also a DNF

Double Tops for Reeves and Hawes
As the teams took their place on the grid the lights went out and it was Markus Schlosser and Thomas Hofer, Team Schlosser, LCR Suzuki who were first into turn one, Tim Reeves and Ashley Hawes “The Relocator” LCR, Suzuki right with them, then was Kurt Hock and Enrico Becker, Hock Racing, LCR, Suzuki, a small gap then Josef Moser and Daniel Evenson, Team Tirol, LCR, Suzuki followed by Ben and Tom Birchall, Mitchells of Mansfield, LCR, Yamaha, Pekka Paivarinta and Adolf Hanni, Team Suzuki Finland, LCR, Suzuki, then Michael Grabmuller and Manfred Wechselberger, Delta Racing, LCR Kawasaki.

On lap one Reeves and Hawes got by Schlosser and Hofer and the places were to stay like this till lap three when Hock and Becker were staying with the two in front, and even starting to catch, they had to pull off track with electrical problems, Hock saying it was the best thing to do as he thought to dangerous to continue. This let Moser and Evinson through to third. Meanwhile Jorg Steinhausen and Gregory Cluze, Steinhausen Racing, LCR, BMW started to move up the field passing Grabmuller, the Birchall Brothers who had been passed by Paivarinta, Steinhausen battled with Paivarinta then got the better of him and slotted into fourth, he then started to make good time on Moser who was starting to get tyre problems. Meanwhile the two teams at the front were starting to pull away from the chasing pack, but Reeves was able to keep in front of Schlosser and he would keep a safe gap for the rest of the race till the chequered flag. Steinhausen got by Moser and started to try and close the gap on the two front teams, but they were able to keep a safe cushion between themselves and Steinhausen. Paivarinta and Hanni followed by the Birchall Brothers got by Moser and Evenson who were starting to have big tyre problems, but Paivarinta and the Birchall’s too were starting to have tyre problems. Grabmuller and Wechselberger stayed in seventh place till the flag.

As the flag came out it was Reeves and Hawes with a total time of 29:14.898 second was Schlosser and Hofer who had the fastest lap time of 1:35.854. Third were Steinhausen and Cluze, Fourth was Paivarinta and Hanni, fifth were the Birchall Brothers, sixth Moser and Evenson, seventh were Grabmuller and Wechselberger.



Testing Concludes For www.pbmuk.net Teams

The Paul Bird Motorsport Team has concluded their pre-season testing programme and are now looking to the season commencing in both MotoGP and British Superbikes.

Following their recent Spanish tests, both PBMUK Aprilia rider James Ellison in MotoGP and Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki BSB riders Shane Byrne and Stuart Easton have all made good progress aboard their respective machinery.

Ellison, from Kendal, had to overcome some major chatter issues on the CRT-specification Aprilia RSV at Jerez over the weekend where a huge crowd turned out to witness the final MotoGP test. Working with his new team, the Cumbrian reported that good progress had been made and is now looking forward to the season opener in Qatar on April 8.

Meanwhile, double BSB champion Byrne from Sittingbourne, and Hawick rider Easton were in action at the official tests at Brands Hatch and Snetterton last week where they continued progress with the Kawasaki ZX-10Rs which will see them challenging for honours in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.

Both riders were concentrating more on their machine set-ups than actual lap times and further work is planned on the MoTeC ignition system later this week prior to the opening round at Brands Hatch over Easter.

Paul Bird: "I flew out to Jerez to see how James was getting on and to see how things were gelling with the new team. Despite some major chatter problems which nearly knocked his teeth out, the team did well and there were no major issues or crashes which was important as we are still awaiting some parts for the bike from Aprilia. We still have some work to do but now it's all about the first race in Qatar so we will get a better picture of where we are then. The BSB team still has some work to do on the MoTeC systems we are using this year so we may have a run out at Knockhill later this week but both Stuart and Shakey are making solid progress and will be good to go for Brands Hatch."



2012 ACU/FSRA BRITISH F2 SIDECAR CHAMPIONSHIP

ROUND ONE - SNETTERTON 300 - 17-18 MARCH
Tim Reeves and Dipash Chauhan (Hudspeth/Crowe Racing LCR Honda) scored an emphatic double win at the opening round of the 2012 ACU backed British Championship. Taking the lead on the opening lap of both races, they were never challenged and indeed in Sunday’s race, they won by over 20 seconds.

Reeves had qualified in pole followed by Ian and Carl Bell (Ian Bell M/cs LCR Yamaha), Frank Lelias and Mike Aylott (L&W Construction LCR Suzuki) and Conrad Harrison and Lee Patterson (Printing Roller Services Shelbourne Honda). Bell led off the line in Saturday’s opener, held in appalling conditions with the spray from the incessant rain causing huge problems. Reeves soon took the lead with Gary Bryan and Gary Partridge (Drury Engineering Baker Honda) in third followed by Lelias and Harrison with Dougie Wright and Martin Hull (Eddy Wright M/cs LCR Honda) in sixth. Lelias took third from Bryan on the second lap with the rain affecting lap times to the tune of twenty seconds.

The race was red-flagged on lap four when the leading two F2 Cup teams, Pete Alton and Keith Brotherton (OTC Racing Baker Yamaha) and Nick Dukes and William Moralee (Komatsu Forest/Dynocentre BLR Suzuki) had a coming together. All four competitors and both outfits survived to face another day but their racing this weekend was over. A five lap part two saw Bell again lead off the line but a slide at Brundle saw them relegated to fifth behind Reeves, Lelias, Bryan and Harrison. Bell got past Harrison and Bryan on lap two and Lelias a lap later but Reeves was already three seconds clear. Both Wright and Dave Atkinson and Phil Knapton (D.E.O’Reilly LCR Suzuki) retired, unable to see clearly in the worsening conditions. Dave Wallis and Simon Dawson (Team Petpals LCR Honda) were sixth ahead of a superb battle between Roy Hanks and Kevin Perry (Dorwingear Ltd Molyneux Suzuki) and Tony Baker and Fiona Baker-Milligan (Team Cumbria Express Baker Suzuki). Miles Bennett and Shelley Smithies (Mad Cow Racing Shelbourne Honda) were ninth while the leading F2 Cup team, Mark Saunders and Simon Briggs (Keyworth Garage Windle Suzuki) were an impressive tenth.

Reeves took the win, six seconds clear on aggregate from Bell, Lelias, Harrison and Bryan. Wallis was slowing enabling the Hanks-Baker duel to decide sixth. Although Baker got past on the last lap, Hanks took it on aggregate time. Bennett and Wallis were eighth and ninth with a surprised but delighted Saunders and Briggs 10th and taking the Cup honours. Howard Baker and Mike Killingsworth (Conmed UK Shelbourne Honda), Tony Thirkell and Nigel Barlow (TT Motorsport MR Equipe Honda) were next up with Russ and Rod Pearce (Pearce Racing LCR Suzuki), Dave Lillie and Ben Chandler (Ian Bell M/cs Molyneux Yamaha) and Paul Bateman and Neil Gregory (Cestrian Signs Windle Suzuki) completing the points scorers. John Saunders and Shaun Parker (Stapletons Tyres Shelbourne Honda) and Steve Hicks and P.J. McLaverty (Pete Minion Racing MR Equipe Suzuki) were the remaining finishers after Manxmen Darren Hope and Paul Bumfrey (unsponsored LCR Honda) retired on the penultimate lap.

Sunday saw a bitterly cold wind blowing across the open Snetterton track but thankfully no rain. Reeves soon took up where he’d finished on Saturday, establishing a comfortable lead within the first lap. Again, Bell spun on the second lap, Bryan and Lelias getting past. Harrison was fifth, with Hanks, Wright, Bennett, Atkinson and Dean Lindley and Leon Fitzpatrick (Pegasus Externals LCR Suzuki) completing the top ten. Hanks soon joined Lillie and Bateman on the retirements list soon to be followed by Wright and Mark Saunders –passenger Briggs injuring his arm ‘on manoeuvres’! Bell, who had been hounding Lelias to regain third eventually got past starting the sixth lap but Bryan was two seconds clear in second with leader Reeves out of sight. Howard Baker and Thirkell were now in the leading ten following the retirements.

Reeves almost-lonely ride took him to the ‘double’ with a 23.6 second advantage, Bryan clear in second ahead of Bell, Lelias and Harrison. Atkinson and Bennett finished in 6th and 7th but the unfortunate Lindley, the leading Cup driver, retired from 8th on the last lap with a fuel problem, as in ‘total lack of’!. Howard Baker, Thirkell and Tony Baker completed the top ten. With Lindley’s demise, Pearce was the leading Cup driver from fellow Cup competitors John Saunders, Hope and Dean Nicholls and Anne Garnish (QEH Lumley Kawasaki), some consolation for missing the opening race when their outfit developed problems in qualifying.

After the two opening races, Reeves has a maximum 50 points ahead of Bell on 36 and Bryan on 31. In the Cup, Pearce leads with 45 from John Saunders on 27 and Mark Saunders with 25. The next round is at Oulton Park on Saturday 28th April.

Photos from John Mushet and Derek Donsworth – many thanks!

John Newton
FSRA Press Officer



Jon Railton - Successful Start to the Season!



Kawasaki Hope For German Success

The Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team returns to action after a five week summer break when the Nurburgring hosts the tenth round of the World Superbike Championship this forthcoming weekend.

Both Joan Lascorz and Tom Sykes will be hoping for a good performance at Germany's most evocative and famous circuit, located in the Eifel Mountains in the north west of the country, especially after the disappointment of Silverstone last time out.

It was back at the Paul Bird Motorsport team's home round that Yorkshireman Sykes was injured during qualifying and didn't race and Spanish rider Lascorz was forced out of the second race after a clash with another rider so both riders are keen to address the situation for the Penrith based team.

Sykes is returning to action following a chipped bone in his right ankle. He rates himself ready to race at the 5.137km long circuit in Germany, having had a month off from race action while working to get back to full fitness whereas Lascorz took part in a British Superbike Championship round at Brands Hatch after the Silverstone weekend.

So far this season, Lascorz has scored two top five placings in his rookie WSB campaign and Sykes won the Superpole contest at Misano, then only just missed out on a podium finish by one place at the same venue. Currently Lascorz is 11th in the championship standings while Tom is only 15 points from a top ten spot in 14th place.

Third official Kawasaki rider Chris Vermeulen is still working on recovering full strength in his injured left elbow and will miss the German race.

Joan Lascorz: "It was interesting to race at Brands Hatch in the BSB series recently but finding the right bike set-up was a little more difficult compared to some other circuits. It was a very intense circuit and I think it was good preparation for the Nurburgring race which we come to this weekend. It gave me the chance to practice more on the bike and feel good so we will see how things go in Germany as this will be my first time there on a Superbike. But I think if we can have a good practice we can make good results."

Tom Sykes: "My ankle is getting stronger all the time so I will be ready for Germany. The Nurburgring is definitely one of my favourite circuits as it is quite unique in some ways. It goes up and down a lot, it is quite flowing and I like those sections where the corners roll into each other. A lot of the track takes quite a bit of courage in some ways and the circuit in general lends itself to my style of riding a bit more than some. I hope I can pick up where we left off before my injury at Silverstone."

Paul Bird, Team Owner: "Things certainly didn't go our way at Silverstone so I'm really hoping we can get that bit of a break and a little luck this weekend which we have been so desperately short of this season. With Joan's lack of experience around the track and Tom coming back after injury, it's going to be a challenging weekend but hopefully both riders can put on a good show and we can get the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R well up the leaderboard where it rightfully belongs."

Meanwhile, Ulsterman Keith Farmer will make his foreign debut at the German round of the World Superbike Championship when he rides a Paul Bird Motorsport-prepared Kawasaki ZX-10R in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup.

The former Supermoto champion from Clogher raced at Silverstone and came home an impressive 16th on his World Championship debut; beating many established riders in his first ever race on a 1000cc Kawasaki ZX-10R.

Farmer is managed by PBM and has impressed on his debut season in road racing whereby he currently leads the Metzeler National Superstock 600 Championship by a healthy 36 points.

The opening race gets underway on Sunday 4th September at 12.00 CET with race two at 15.30 CET and British viewers can catch the action live on British Eurosport.

For further information on the Kawasaki Racing Team visit www.kawasaki-racingteam.eu



PBM Look To Continue Form at Brno

The Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team heads for the Czech Republic this forthcoming weekend aiming to replicate their strong showing at Aragon last month when round eight of the World Superbike Championship takes place at Brno.

Last time out aboard the Paul Bird Motorsport Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10Rs at the Spanish track, Joan Lascorz celebrated the first race meeting at his home circuit with a seventh and a fifth place, his best combined points score of the season so far, whereas British rider Tom Sykes, who started from fifth place on the grid, took fifth position in race one before sliding off in the second race. Aussie Chris Vermeulen also scored 12th in race one before battling to 14th and more important points in race two.

With all three riders now fit, Yorkshireman Sykes is best placed in 13th in the series, the two races will provide a stern test for the team once again as they go in search of their first podiums of the season. Sykes only managed an 11th place finish at the corresponding World Superbike race last year although Lascorz came within a tenth of a second of winning the World Supersport race the same day.

Paul Bird, Team Owner: "Hopefully we have turned the corner with a solid performance at Aragon and we can now continue this forward for the rest of the season. We showed we had good pace earlier in the season but things didn't work out for us for a few rounds but I feel we have made good progress recently. Both Tom and Joan are now pushing each other and I feel a podium is just around the corner and with another home race at Silverstone coming up after this round, we need to be challenging at the front from now on."



High Fives for Kawasaki at Aragon

The Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team recorded their strongest finish of the season when round seven of the World Superbike Championship took place at Aragon in Spain at the weekend.

Aboard the Paul Bird Motorsport Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10Rs, Joan Lascorz celebrated the first race meeting at his home circuit with a seventh and a fifth place, his best combined points score of the season so far, whereas British rider Tom Sykes, who started from fifth place on the grid, took fifth position in race one before sliding off in the second race.

Aussie Chris Vermeulen also found his first race meeting at the impressive new facility of Motorland Aragon a game of two contrasting halves. He scored 12th in race one despite losing many places in the early laps before battling to 14th and more important points in race two.

In the championship going into the next round at Brno in three weeks' time, Sykes is 13th, Lascorz 14th and only three points behind, with Vermeulen holding 19th.

Tom Sykes: "Again there are some positives in that I have been in the top five all weekend. In race one, I came home fifth and in race two I went down but we were still racing in a good position. We came away with good levels of performance during a dry weekend which is another big positive. We will do the test in Aragon now to be ready for the Brno race and we have a lot to test. Brno is a fantastic circuit that I love and hopefully the new Ninja ZX-10R will work well there as well."

Joan Lascorz: "I was fifth in race two and it was the same position I took at Donington but I was much closer to the top positions here. We had some laps of testing before but not many so this was really a new circuit for me in qualifying, so we did a good job. My crew chief gave me a good setting for the second race, and persuaded me not to go for the softer rear tyre, so I used the same B tyre in each race. It was a good decision in race two. We were only five seconds from the podium in race two, and it was not only me, Tom was also very fast this weekend."

Chris Vermeulen: "In race one, I got quite a good start but then was boxed in on the first lap and I actually went back to last place. But I passed quite a few of them and our pace was quite good in the middle of the race, the same as that of the fifth to seventh place guys. I managed to get up to 12th in the last couple of laps but in race two our set-up and tyre choice was exactly the same and didn't work as well in the hot conditions."

Paul Bird: "That's the second weekend running we have had a couple of decent results so it feels at long last like we are making progress. All of the riders rode well and the team did a great job so it's important we kick on from here and continue this momentum into Brno next month."



Season's Best for Sykes at Misano

Yorkshireman Tom Sykes and the Paul Bird Motorsport Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R took a season best for rider and manufacturer with fourth place in race one at round six of the World Superbike Championship held at Misano in Italy.

As well as Sykes securing his first pole position of the year, the Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team had reason for even more celebration with Spaniard Joan Lascorz taking a ninth place finish and Australia's Chris Vermeulen being placed 14th in his comeback weekend, taking his first points of the year.

In the second race, Lascorz was top Kawasaki finisher in ninth place again with Vermeulen impressing into tenth. Sykes, who had been in line for a second good finish of the day in the first halted race, found the early laps of the restart difficult and he eventually fell, but remounted to finish 14th and take important points.

Tom Sykes: "We have come away from one of our least favourite circuits with a pole position and a fourth place. In race one I was feeling good and in race two, I dropped a couple of positions but I felt I had the pace to get them back easily. Then the race was stopped, I do not know why because as it turned out there was no oil or anything down, certainly nothing to stop the race. In the restart of race two, I got batting with a couple of guys and that put me out of my rhythm. I tried turning just a little bit tighter to go inside Xaus at turn three and unfortunately ran over the white line inside the track and that took the front away but I remounted and got two points. We were a lot stronger in race one for fourth and we have to be happy with the way things went this weekend, with a Superpole win and a good top four finish."

Joan Lascorz: "It was a strange race day but it gave me some points and two top ten placings so there are some positive things to take away from here. I fitted a soft tyre for race two and I had a better feeling and I could push more. Overall we have some positives so we know what is now possible."

Chris Vermeulen: "Obviously it was hard to jump back into the thick of it this weekend and we had three races, not two. I am a little bit sore now but we managed to finish both races in the points and with a little bit of luck, got into the top ten in race two. In race one, we had a little issue with the set-up because I was struggling to get a good feeling from the front of the bike but we were able to improve that in race two. We are still learning but we are improving all the time."

Paul Bird, Team Owner: "This is more like it and to see Tom on pole was very pleasing. Tom rode well to finish fourth and I was pleased with his strategy in passing Eugene Laverty on the last lap and he was unlucky t

Season's Best for Sykes at Misano


SFS support official Kawasaki World Superbike Team

SFS are pleased to announce their continued support of the official Kawasaki World Superbike team. SFS are providing their continued support to Paul Bird Motorsport who run and maintain the World Superbike team for Kawasaki. SFS have provided support to the team since 2006. The race bikes run with SFS hoses and reliability is key for the team in this punishing environment and our hoses are more than up to the job to keep these winning bikes on the track. Stuart Bland the Team Co-ordinator feels the using SFS is invaluable because SFS hoses are far more durable than the oem hoses easier to keep clean and when maintaining the bike are far easier to remove as the oem type tend to bond themselves to the pipes.

Top Six For Sykes At Miller
After a couple of rounds in the doldrums, the Kawasaki Superbike Racing Team bounced back in round five of the World Superbike Championship which took place at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City in the United States.

Yorkshireman Tom Sykes moved from the third row to sixth place in race one on a day when great progress was made by his fellow Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R rider Joan Lascorz.

In race one Sykes continued his strong performance from the first dry qualifying session on Saturday, taking sixth position at the end of the 21 lap race, despite making a less than ideal start. Starting from tenth on the grid, he dropped back initially but was soon battling his way up the order and was rewarded with his best finish of the year so far.

Spaniard Lascorz rode well in race one from a starting position of 17th to claim points in 14th place, despite losing grip from mid-race distance onwards, he hung on to score two points for the Penrith-based Paul Bird Motorsport Team.

In the second race Sykes was unlucky to get boxed in after a much better start and had to battle hard to take tenth place and some more very welcome points. Lascorz was in much better shape in race two and finished 12th meaning Tom is now 13th in the championship with Joan in 15th going into the next round at Misano on June 12th.

Tom Sykes: "Sixth in race one was a positive result and a real improvement on last year's efforts here. We were strong at the end of the race and set my best lap time three laps from the end. In the second race we did not make any real set-up changes and I had a lot better launch in race two but unfortunately I got boxed in on turn one. The whole race was faster than race one but I ended up in a bit of a dice with Jonathan Rea and that allowed Ayrton Badovini to catch and pass me. I am confident we can go away and make more progress and I really want to thank all the team and Kawasaki. We worked together even tighter as a team and that showed through the weekend."

Joan Lascorz: "I think I just need to keep understanding the bike a bit better to make the most of its potential. The second race set-up was better. I used the same rear tyre in each race but different front tyres to make different settings and race two was much better. I think if I had had a better grid position and made good starts we could have been inside the middle of the top ten, maybe."

SFS support official Kawasaki World Superbike Team


 
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