Amidst all of the COVID confusion, motorsport has taken a little bit of a back seat, but it’s back with a bang as competition within the Bennett’s British Superbike championship kicked off in style at Donington Park on 7-9 August.
Following consultation with teams, broadcasters, partners and circuits, the revised calendar headed to the East Midlands for the first of a breakneck season of race events.
Below are some reports from EBC-equipped riders that competed in this race.
Simon Reid is a name that EBC Brakes has been closely associated with for some time. Son of former two-time World Champion and TT winner, Brian Reid, Simon has been involved in bikes from a young age, and with multiple Irish titles under his belt, he is now racing across the UK competing in the Pirelli 600cc Superstock championship. As success breeds success it’s no wonder EBC was keen to be part of such a winning formula.
For the first round of the 2020 Superstock championship, Simon was already feeling like his conditioning would help him in the scorching 30+ degrees heat of practice.
“This made things a lot tougher on the body and my fitness definitely paid off,” he revealed.
Qualifying saw him put in some absolutely fantastic laps, netting third place on the grid for Sunday morning.
“I had ice packs and a cold towel in my leathers and over my head… the heat was a struggle. Feeling slightly cooler, we stuck a new rear tyre on for the last eight minutes and set off ready to put my lap in. With only six or seven clear laps to do this, the pressure is always on, it’s sometimes difficult running into slower riders which ruin your lap, but I strung my best lap of the weekend together and qualified on the front of the grid.”
With pace assured thanks to his exhaustively set-up Yamaha R6, which features uprated EBC X-Series brake discs and HH sintered pads both front and rear, his weekend was already off to a flyer.
This form continued into Sunday, despite a little pre-race anticipation.
“Race day was slightly cooler; still warm but slightly overcast, which was a relief. After not racing since last October, the nerves began to build, but I felt focused and ready for the job,” mused Simon.
With a fantastic start under his belt, the first corner saw him almost pinch the lead.
“I almost nicked the lead but I exited turn one in second position. With a few hard passes with myself and another rider on the first lap, this allowed the leader to pull a small gap and with the times so tight it was hard to make up the deficit.”
Dicing with two other riders and switching between second, third and fourth, Simon eventually settled into a steady rhythm as the lead pack started to gap the field. A safety car incident caused the field to bunch up again and as the go flag signalled a re-start, Simon was setting lap times just 0.3 seconds off the lap record. His steady rhythm saw him cross the line in fifth place – some three seconds off the leader.
“Myself and the team are extremely pleased, a solid start to the season, and I look forward to the next round at Snetterton.” We’ll be there to bring you more soon and keep you posted on Simon’s progress of this closely-fought championship.
Kurt and Matt Wigley (Wigley Racing)
Wigley Brothers, Kurt and Matt, returned to their home circuit of Donington for the Quattro Group British Supersport and GP2 Championships. As the sun absolutely bombarded the track, the brothers prepped for a weekend endurance test as the free practice seasons saw them both improve consistently.
With the heatwave very much in force over the weekend, Friday’s free practice saw the duo pile on the momentum, Kyle finishing in 10th place at the end of FP1 and Matt coming home 12th at the end of free practice two in the GP2 class.
Both were clearly out to progress, despite Kurt still feeling the effects of a broken collar bone left over from his 2019 season. Saturday brought qualifying and the sprint race as the brothers set to improve upon those practice lap times. Qualifying saw Matt come home in 11th in the GP2 class as Kurt pushed hard to end up in 15th place on the grid.
After being wheeled off the grid in race one (as you may have seen on Eurosport) due to a mechanical issue, Kurt was forced to start from the pit lane, which after a few flying laps came to an abrupt end with a journey in the gravel causing and a DNF, however, with a solid eighth place in race two and a short break until Snetterton, things are looking really positive.
Matt, on the other hand, had a progressive race, bringing his lap times down again from qualifying as he builds on his return from a year off the bike and a new relationship with the Sorrymate.com GP2 MWR6 machine. Both the sprint and feature race had him come home in 10th place in the GP2 standings.
Given the lads reliance upon the latest EBC braking tech, we’re expecting good things for the Sorrymate.com Racing Yamaha R6 team return to Snetterton in just a few weeks’ time.
Kurt and Matt both use EBC’s X-Series floating front discs and GPFAX race pads on their motorcycles.