VALE motorcycle race team Jones Dorling Racing travelled to Brands Hatch for the 2nd round of the British Superbike Championship.
This was the 2nd outing for the team newcomers, Cameron Fraser and Worcester’s Ewan Potter alongside established Ashley Beech on the Superstock 1000 BMW.
The team had worked hard all week to ensure Beech’s bike was ready for racing, following his crash at Donington Park at the first round.
Beech was consistently fast on on old tyres maintaining the pace for the top 10, but the Kent Indy circuit, which is only just over a mile long, means the racing is fast and very competitive, thus proving difficult to get some clear track for faster lap times.
Fraser and Potter on the R6 Yamaha’s also had a good day, but a few faults on Frasers bike, meant the crew were working hard with some support from McCams Yamaha to ensure he was ready to fight for a top 10 place in qualifying.
Potter made good progress and some changes to settings improved his lap times.
The Superstock 600 qualifying saw Fraser manage a 49.5 lap time, but unfortunately as the track temperature plummeted during the session this placed him 20th on the grid for Sundays race.
Potter improved his lap times resulting a personal best of 50.9 and a starting position of 25th, which the 18 year old is working hard to improve on during each track session.
Beech’s qualifying session was hampered by the bike feeling unsettled in a few places on track, however some good consistent lap times, meant he was starting race 1 later that day in 20th position on row 7.
The crew worked hard to improve the bike before the race, changing some settings to give him the best chance possible of getting into a points position.
Beech had a great start to the 24 lap race, but with riders battling for places there was a lot of bumping and he dropped 2 places on the opening lap.
He continued to improve his lap times and by lap 12 had moved up to 17th in the field and in the closing laps had a great battle with both Ben Godfrey and Dan Kneen, crossing the line in 16th.
However, a rider was later disqualified after failing scrutineering, which moved Beech into 15th position and gave him a championship point.
This would mean a starting position for Sunday’s race of 15th on the grid.
All the team’s riders had race action on Sunday with Beech having a strong warm up session, with some further alterations to the bike set up after Saturdays race.
Beech said the bike felt good and was happy with the changes.
A strong start meant me maintained his position and began to push forward.
A few errors meant he lost some places, but he fought back hard with a best lap time of 46.9 with less than a second splitting the top 15 riders.
He was happy with his pace and to cross the line in 14th, meaning another point in the bag!
Fraser’s start in P16 to the Superstock 600 race didn’t go as planned, as he lost places off the line, with a lot of chasing to do over the 22 laps.
However, he was determined to fight and chase down the other riders moving up 5 places to catch the the mid field group that were fighting for 14th place.
He had an exciting and long race battle with Aaron Wright, swapping places repeatedly throughout the race.
Fraser crossed the line in 16th just narrowly missing out on the points by 0.2seconds.
Potter had a flying start to the race from his 25th grid place, passing teammate Fraser off the line.
His lap times were consistent and he caught the group passing a few riders, but as he began to hunt down the next pack the groups lap times edged ahead and he crossed the line in 19th after a well fought race.
All the riders put in good solid performances and Beech was happy with his 2 point start in the championship.
There is still work to be done to improve both his and Fraser’s bike ahead of round 3 at Oulton Park May Bank Holiday weekend, to ensure they are top 10 contenders.
The team will also be attending the Oulton Park official BSB test day this month.