Armoy road racing
Armoy road racing
Thruxton BSB: Iddon calls for SLOWER BSB Superbikes and lap times
It has long been accepted that the improvement in lap times owes a great deal to tyre development, but Iddon declared that faster corner speed has increased the risk to riders, especially on certain British tracks, without adding anything to the entertainment value and questions whether something should/could be done about it.
“Myself, Birdy and Debra at VisionTrack believe we should all go back to radial tyre technology and/or limit the power output to less than 150bhp in the superbike category, as Slow bikes are proven to be safer bikes and the racing will be just as exciting”
“I am no tree-hugger, but on the wastage factor alone – few people know it takes 14 trees to make just one Pirelli Corsa Rosso, which is thrown away after a couple of laps during qualifying – and is hardly a good example to this cancel-culture woketard movement that is engulfing common sense and could consume the entire BSB championship with their next leftie advertiser-shaming tweet very soon”
“If BSB is to survive in its current format, it needs to evolve and sometimes this means that ‘in order to go forward – we need to go backwards’, ie. return to tyres which have less grip and are much, much slower, and possibly bio-based or manufactured from compostable fibers derived from a compound of hemp and soybeans which are quite sustainable and can be used for garden mulch following a weekends racing, as the current progression and procession of 180mph speeds is just complete madness ”
“Stuart had suggested we look into invoking a pilot scheme of race meetings during the off season winter months in more inclement conditions and/or start a gofundme to install water sprinklers trackside to bring the pace right down, so certainly hasn’t ruled out the concept and ‘values our feedback’, however this doesn’t address the Elephant suddenly found homeless in certain regions of Myanmar and Laos following heavy landslides and floods as a result of mass de-forestation by evil SC0 compound manufacturers such as Michelin, Pirelli and Bridgestone.”
“Would it damage motorcycle racing as a spectacle ? Well, if you asked the average spectator at Donington Park the difference between a 1’27s lap and a 2’34s he/she/it wouldn’t know the difference. Not in a million years, in fact most of them wouldn’t even know when they’d enough eaten, so it matters little overall and the actual TV footage itself could be sped up for the benefit of stopwatch-clicking pixel squinting anoraks at home,.. actually could you redact that last bit please before going to press – Birdy said to drum up some media controversy but not get b****y or go OTT ”
Times and results from Friday’s Superbike, Supersport, Superstock, Sidecars and BTC free practice sessions at Thruxton
Bennetts British Superbike combined Friday times
1 14 Lee JACKSON GBR Kawasaki – FS-3 Racing Kawasaki 1:17.213 17 0
2 21 Christian IDDON GBR Ducati – VisionTrack Ducati 1:17.743 12 1:27.394 4 0.530 0.530
3 22 Jason O’HALLORAN AUS Yamaha – McAMS Yamaha 1:17.776 9 1 0.563 0.033
4 77 Kyle RYDE GBR BMW – RICH Energy OMG Racing BMW 1:17.801 10 1:27.544 5 0.588 0.025
5 46 Tommy BRIDEWELL GBR Ducati – Oxford Products Racing Ducati 1:17.831 4 3 0.618 0.030
6 18 Andrew IRWIN GBR BMW – SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad 1:17.935 9 1:26.181 5 0.722 0.104
7 69 Rory SKINNER GBR Kawasaki – FS-3 Racing Kawasaki 1:17.953 12 0 0.740 0.018
8 52 Danny KENT GBR Suzuki – Buildbase Suzuki 1:18.037 12 1:24.645 9 0.824 0.084
9 28 Bradley RAY GBR BMW – RICH Energy OMG Racing BMW 1:18.071 8 0 0.858 0.034
10 60 Peter HICKMAN GBR BMW – FHO Racing BMW 1:18.120 9 1:24.246 8 0.907 0.049
11 83 Danny BUCHAN GBR BMW – SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad 1:18.210 7 0 0.997 0.090
12 4 Dan LINFOOT GBR Honda – TAG Racing Honda 1:18.390 12 1:23.447 10 1.177 0.180
13 44 Gino REA GBR Suzuki – Buildbase Suzuki 1:18.601 15 1:25.059 9 1.388 0.211
14 95 Tarran MACKENZIE GBR Yamaha – McAMS Yamaha 1:18.779 10 1 1.566 0.178
15 12 Xavi FORÉS ESP BMW – FHO Racing BMW 1:18.986 10 1:33.164 3 1.773 0.207
16 7 Ryan VICKERS GBR Kawasaki – RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki 1:19.199 7 1:25.469 5 1.986 0.213
17 27 Bjorn ESTMENT RSA Suzuki – Powerslide / Catfoss Racing Suzuki 1:20.143 8 1:25.782 9 2.930 0.944
18 40 Joe FRANCIS GBR BMW – iForce Lloyd & Jones BMW 1:20.171 7 1:27.053 9 2.958 0.028
19 1 Josh BROOKES AUS Ducati – VisionTrack Ducati 1:20.587 17 1:24.633 11 3.374 0.416
20 5 Dean HARRISON GBR Kawasaki – Silicone Engineering Racing Kawasaki 1:21.120 13 1:27.167 5 3.907 0.533
21 13 Takumi TAKAHASHI JPN Honda – Honda Racing 1:21.273 9 1:30.469 11 4.060 0.153
22 88 Ryo MIZUNO JPN Honda – Honda Racing 1:22.191 13 1:27.916 6 4.978 0.918
23 2 Glenn IRWIN GBR Honda – Honda Racing 1:23.595 11 1:23.496 3 6.283 1.305
24 11 Brian McCORMACK IRL BMW – Roadhouse Macau By FHO Racing BMW 1:24.070 12 1:30.145 8 6.857 0.574
QUALIFYING LAPTIME (107.5% of 1:17.213) = 1:23.003
25 79 Storm STACEY GBR Kawasaki – Team LKQ Euro Parts Kawasaki 0 1:28.510 11 11.297 4.440
26 16 Luke HOPKINS GBR Honda – Black Qnyx Security Honda 5 1:31.415 9 14.202 2.905
1st August track day.
TT Dates 2022 – Provisional……
R.I.P. Fausto Gresini
The Roger Bannister moment in MotoGP™
With McPhee shining in Moto3™, former MotoGP™ commentator Nick Harris delves into the history of Scottish Grand Prix riders.
It may not be a country built for World Championship motorcycle racing, but John McPhee is striving to change all that in the Moto3™ World Championship.
The Scotsman won in Misano and is third in the Championship riding the Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda. John’s home in Oban on the West Coast is how most people picture Scotland. Majestic mountains, Caribbean blue sea when the sun shines, beautiful Islands, Atlantic winter storms and midges come to mind rather than Grand Prix motorcycle racing.
While Scotland has produced plenty of motorsport World Champions two wheels have not been so productive but those who have tasted success at the highest level are very special. Three, Bob McIntyre, Jimmy Guthrie and Jock Taylor have worn the kilt with pride.
It was June 7, 1957 when McIntyre produced the magic Roger Bannister moment of Grand Prix motorcycle racing in the Isle of Man. Who will forget that moment in my home City of Oxford three years earlier when the athletic track announcer read out Bannister’s time for the one-mile race he had just won. Three minutes and the rest was drowned out by the cheers of the crowd. The very first man to run a mile in under four minutes and that announcement was soon relayed round the World.
Three years on and The Isle of Man was buzzing in anticipation at the start of the eight lap Senior TT race round the 60.721 kms TT Mountain circuit on the Island that had staged that very first World Championship race eight years earlier. Fourteen thousand extra fans arrived by ferry that very morning on the already packed Island to witness the Scotsman riding the four-cylinder Gilera in action. They knew history was about to be made. Nobody had lapped the most demanding and dangerous racetrack in the World at over 100 mph (160.934 kph). It was the Golden Jubilee of the TT races and McIntyre celebrated in true style.
At the end of the second lap the announcement boomed out round the circuit.’ Bob McIntyre leads the Senior TT after a second lap at an average of 101… The rest was drowned out by the cheers. The first rider to lap the Mountain circuit at over 100 mph in a time of 22m23.2s.
Typically, he completed three more 100 mph laps to win the race in three hours 2.57s. The modest Scotsman had already won the 350cc TT race that week and won the 350cc race for Gilera at Monza later in the year. He finished runner-up to team-mate Libero Liberati in the 500cc World Championship. McIntyre went on to win two more Grands Prix bringing Honda 250cc success in the 1961 Ulster and a year later at Spa Francorchamps. Tragically he was killed that same year in a crash at Oulton Park in England.
Twelve years before the World Championship started on August 8, 1937, 40-year-old Jimmy Guthrie was leading the German Grand Prix on the Sachsenring road circuit.
The Norton rider was chasing his third successive victory in Germany, where the rumble of war was looming fast. He had already won 19 Grands Prix, but he crashed in the woods on that fateful last lap and died in hospital. Four years after the Second World War ended in 1949 the locals built a memorial to Guthrie where he had crashed. They had never forgotten that Scottish gentleman and a fresh bunch of flowers have been placed on the memorial every week for the last 71 years. Back in the Isle of Man a kiln of stones on the mountain climb out of Ramsey on the TT course is lovingly preserved in memorial of the 19 times Grand Prix and six times TT winner.
Scotland’s only Grand Prix World Championship came on three wheels. My dear friend Jock Taylor with Swedish passenger Benga Johannson captured the 1980 Sidecar World Championship at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. On a truly awful August day in 1982 Jock lost his life in the pouring rain racing over the railway lines at Imatra in Finland when he crashed striving to win back the t**le that meant so much to him and his country.
Other Scotsman have come close to Grand Prix wins. The nearest was Niall Mackenzie with seven third places and a pole position in the 500cc Championship. His partner in the Silverstone/Armstrong team Donnie McLeod was a top class 250 and 350cc rider while Steve Hislop was a superb Superbike and TT rider.
Can John McPhee go one better than any of them and win a World t**le on two wheels? It is a mighty big ask but they would certainly approve of his efforts on behalf of their proud and patriotic country.
TOUGH WEEKEND AT DONNY AS BAD LUCK HALTS HICKY CHARGE
It was a weather affected weekend at Donington Park for the penultimate Bennetts British Superbike Championship encounter, as bad luck plagued the world’s fastest road racer, Peter Hickman during the record-breaking three Superbike races on Sunday.
After making improvements at the previous round, Hicky and the Global Robots BMW Team by Smiths Racing squad were looking to replicate that when the series returned to Donington Park. However it was a tough opening day of practice, with FP1 seeing the Superbike star tumble out before setting a fast lap whilst the wet second session saw the team go the wrong way with a wet weather setting.
Despite hoping to make amends on Saturday, Storm Alex had different ideas. With heavy rain and strong winds battering the circuit, racing for the day was abandoned, seeing three races scheduled for Sunday, the first time in Bennetts British Superbike Championship history.
With confidence high following a fourth in damp morning warm up, the world’s fastest road racer started the opening race from 15th on the grid (with times having been taken from opening practice). Starting on a damp but quickly drying track, Hicky, like much of the field, opted for full wets and was able to get a great start, immediately jumping up to 11th. Entering a race long battle with Mossey, Farmer and O’Halloran, Hicky eventually took the flag in 12th.
Race 2 saw the BMW rider enjoy a much better starting position in 10th. Unfortunately despite a strong start an incident coming out of the Melbourne Loop on the opening lap saw Hicky tumble out of contention. This left him starting 16th for the third and final race of the day. Seeing his customary good start, Hicky was able to immediately pick off a few riders, climbing up to 11th by the end of the race.
“Obviously it wasn’t a great weekend and it didn’t help me falling off Friday. We’ve been struggling for grip and it caught me out but really hindered our progress as there was no qualifying so we had a poor grid position.
The first race was wet but drying and I made the wrong tyre choice, not the team. Somehow I managed to get a decent lap to give me a good grid position for race two.
I made a good start and was feeling comfortable but then I got taken out by another rider coming out the Melbourne loop and I didn’t even set a lap time for race three! So all in all we’ve been on the back foot all weekend!”
Tricky weather at Donington provides thrilling racing – Kershaw/Charlwood extend lead
Tricky weather at Donington Park provides thrilling racing, as Kershaw/Charlwood extend lead
The weather felt wintry at this late stage in the season, with Steve Kershaw and Ryan Charlwood (Santander Salt Quattro Group Yamaha) needing to keep out of trouble and score solid points. There were three F2 outfits also joining in the fun, and these were to add huge colour and flavour to the proceedings.
The timed session late on Friday afternoon proved to be extremely interesting, everyone sensing there were big opportunities to be had with a good grid slot.
Ben and Tom Birchall after recording just a couple of free laps earlier, hit problems and did not make it out, so it was an early bath for them. The championship leaders were somewhat eclipsed to fifth fastest, with pole position going to the F2 Suzuki of Lee Crawford and Scott Hardie. This crew are in a rich vein of form currently, having had two good finishes at Knockhill, and four victories at the recent Oliver’s Mount meeting. Second fastest and delighted to be on the front row were Ben Holland and Tom Christie. Row two comprised an impressive Tommy Philp and Tom Bryant, alongside another short F2 of Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley.
From the lights, the pole men made no mistake, taking Tommy Philp with them into Redgate. Track conditions were slippery, and Crawford/Hardie revelled in them. The bellowing Suzuki was both fast and nimble, with the long outfits unable to make best use of their superior cornering ability.
Tommy Philp and Tom Bryant never let the leaders out of their sights and were in touch throughout, making several attempts to get past. It was truly thrilling at the front as the pair scrapped it out. Championship leaders Kershaw/Charlwood were in the mix further back, seemingly unable to make ground in the way they would like.
A rejuvenated Ben Holland, now with Tom Christie alongside, was having a brilliant ride fighting his own battle with the very experienced Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley. The Kawasaki of Holland was to eventually claim the final step on the podium, proclaiming to the rest of the field that Ben Holland is back.
Kershaw and Phill Bell/Jimmy Connell were also having their own scrap, with Kershaw doing enough to keep a respectable score in the absence of rivals Todd Ellis and Charlie Richardson. The latter pair were in Germany chasing Superprix honours but will be returning for the Brands finale.
Sam and Adam Christie were also mid-pack and fighting through, but track conditions were not easy, so caution was the watchword for everyone. Everyone that is except Crawford and Philp who were at it hammer and tongs up front.
Into the final couple of turns and Philp took the lead at the Melbourne hairpin, only for Lee Crawford to grab victory on the sprint to the line. This was a great example of long bike versus short bike with very impressive results.
1 – Lee Crawford/Scott Hardie (ARC Suzuki)
2 – Tommy Philp/Tom Bryant (Roberts Construction/Tops Autos Yamaha)
3 – Ben Holland/Tom Christie (Massingberd Mundy Kawasaki)
4 – Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley (Team Founds LCR)
5 – Steve Kershaw/Ryan Charlwood (Quattro/Santander Salt Yamaha)
6 – Phil Bell/Jimmy Connell (Marin Motorsports Yamaha)
7 – Sam/Adam Christie (Christie Engineering Services Yamaha)
8 – Simon Gilbert /Paul Thomas (Draper Racing Adolf RS1 Yamaha)
9 – Andy Peach/Ken Edwards (Life Safety Yamaha)
10 – Brian Gray/Kenny Cole (Yamaha).
Late in the afternoon the track was dry, and the sun was out. This would be different scenario, and with the top ten reversed on the grid, veteran Brian Gray sat on pole and made the best of it. The High Wycombe motorcycle dealer had recently celebrated his seventieth birthday, but he was to show he had lost absolutely none of his commitment and ability. He was born on the same date as Barry Sheene, hence the number seven he carried most of his career. Alongside him were Andy Peach/Ken Edwards, so these were two vastly experienced crews who would be hard to pass.
Kershaw/Charlwood flew through from row three and once past Brian Gray, never looked back. Behind them though, the entire pack had one of the most frantic and spectacular battles witnessed in modern times. No fewer than ten outfits were dicing for the same bit of tarmac lap after lap, and the picture changed every few yards.
Slowly but surely teams fought through, with Brian Gray stubbornly holding his own and refusing to give ground easily. Up front with them was the F2 outfit of Founds/Walmsley, giving a good account of themselves in fast company on long bikes.
One by one the fast men made it through, with the Christie Brothers breaking clear into second place. Lewis Blackstock and Paddy Rosney took the Silicone Barnes Yamaha into third, making up for a race one retirement.
Tommy Philp’s progress was hampered this time around, and after locking horns with Phil Bell for several laps he broke free into fourth with Blackstock still in sight. After running very strongly all race in third and fourth place, swapping and fighting all the time, Pete Founds/Jevan Walmsley were to retire on the final lap. Theirs had been a performance to equal that of Crawford in race one, and it was heart-breaking to see them go out. Rob Biggs and Jeroen Schmitz had a fine ride chasing down Phil Bell at the end, with Crawford/Hardie following them home in seventh.
1 – Kershaw/Charlwood
2 – Christie/Christie
3 – Blackstock/Rosney
4 – Philp/Bryant
5 – Bell/Connell
6 – Biggs/Schmitz
7 – Crawford/Hardie
8 – Martin Kirk/Shelley Smithies (MK Racing Yamaha)
9 – Holland/Christie
10 – Gilbert/Thomas.
The final round comes from Brands Hatch 16th-18th October.