104 Season Review 1

Can you believe that it's already May, with the TT just around the corner.  The team have been uploading race reports into the news section as the season progresses but we thought we'd finally take a minute, to combine it in here, as a mid-season review.  We don't seem to have much time right now between races and as we are just putting the finishing touches to Daisy Blu's presents for her 1st birthday tomorrow, we thought we'd sit back, and re-review the season so far....

Thank you to everyone as always, for their continued support.  

Photo By: Carl Starbuck

North West 200

Race report to follow. 

 

Oulton Park BSB 

Round 3 of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 - race review attached....photo credit Martyn Wilson

A brand new circuit to an optimistic team after great results at Oliver's Mount the weekend prior, Daley's confidence was showing. Unfortunately, the first two practice sessions on Saturday, were lost to learning the track and building a set up however, the second of our bank holiday weekends was to prove a huge success.

Daley took to the track on Sunday, for his only session (qualifying) and was still getting to terms with the track. However he comfortably qualified for the race, 36th on the grid which left him optimistic for the race itself with the other bikes around him, lapping similar times in the dry conditions.

Morning warm up on Sunday, saw a drenched track as the rain through the night had left its mark on the circuit. It did show signs of drying but it wasn't going to happen, before the session had begun. The team made a few adjustments to the bike to make it more compliant in the damp conditions and Daley settled into a comfortable rhythm, 22nd fastest.

As the race lingered early that day, it was always going to be a hard tyre choice for the team and they all finally agreed on dry tyres to start the race. This proved to be the right decision, as the track was dry until lap 8 where spots had started to fall on the circuit and the organisers made a decision to stop the race, to allow riders to change tyres if they felt necessary. Daley decided to chanhe to wet tyres, as it seemed to be the trend with the other teams however, after the sighing lap for the restart Daley had doubts with his decision as the track looked to be drying once more.

The light went out and the racing began on a relatively dry track. Daley slowly picked off riders ahead of him one by one, tyre wear was running through everyone's mined but luckily after 3 laps, the heavens opened and the rain started once more. Daley's confidence grew as the tyres started to come into their own. Gradually picking off riders 2/3 positions per lap. Finally Daley crossed the line, in an impressive 12th position, a career best in BSB .

The team were ecstatic with this solid result and Daley is now looking forward to the North West 200.

Qualified 36th
Warm up 22nd
Race to red flag 27th
Race to chequered flag 12th

 

Brands Hatch BSB and Oliver's Mount

The team have just returned from two highly competitive and successful, back-to-back race weekends at Brands and Oliver's Mount. And are now packing to hit the road, for Oulton Park....photo credit: protecimages

Full race reports below for Brands and Oliver's Mount (lots of text, sorry!)....

Brands Hatch Round 2 British Superbikes.

The long weekend was set to be superb with glorious sunshine blessing the circuit just outside the capital city.

Another new circuit for Daley to learn, although only the shorter Indy circuit - the Eddie Stobart Superstock bike was ready to hit the track in our first session on Friday afternoon(free practice 1). First impressions of the track were fantastic; the TV really doesn't do the terrain justice as lap times quickly tumbled, as Daley got to grips with the circuit.

Another glorious day, with sunshine blazing through the trees, saw Saturday’s free practice 2 and qualifying looming, Daley quickly started setting personal best times and with a few suspension changes, the 1000cc BMW was consistently lapping a mere 1.3s slower than pole position. In most races, this would have been good enough for a front row start but British Superstock is one of the most competitive championships in the world, resulting in 32nd place on the grid as all 40 qualified riders, were separated by just under 2 seconds.

Sunday’s race day was slightly overcast but thankfully, the forecast began to brighten up. Daley had suspension issues on the morning warm up, after changes made overnight had unfortunately, gone in the wrong direction but additional changes, were made for the 50mile race. The race started well for Daley however, suspension issues still plagued with a lack of grip causing excessive tyre wear; luckily the race was cut short due to a few spots of rain around the track, resulting in Daley finishing 32nd, in his original qualifying position.

Overnight, the team worked hard on setup and data to try to dial out issues for Monday’s morningwarmup and made inroads to settings and were heading in the right direction – with things back to qualifying times. Just before the race, Daley decided to make a big change and go harder on the rear spring, which could have gone either way. The lights went out, Daley instantly started putting in personal bests, lapping consistently and a fantastic 5 bike battle, turned into a fantastic race to which Daley got the better of and finally finished 30th.

The team saw this as a huge success, learning both on and off the track. The team headed home and hardly had time to unload, before they were packed and ready for the first road race of the year……

The Bob Smith Spring Cup at Oliver’s Mount

Friday 21st April saw the sun shining in the glorious seaside town of Scarborough, for the first road race of the season, at Oliver’s Mount for the famous, Bob Smith Spring Cup. Having only just returned from Brands, the season was well and truly, underway!

Having attended Oliver’s Mount for over 10 years, this is a firm favourite as well as the unofficial, “home” track for Daley and the excitement was certainly building, to see the brand new Eddie Stobart Racing BMW Superbike, make her Scarborough debut.

Saturday morning, the team woke to unannounced rain which made for a greasy track and some adjustments to the machinery, allowing for the weather implications. Practices went down well and qualification saw some great times and grid positions secured, just missing out on pole by mere 0.1 seconds. The afternoon saw the sun shining again and the track drying out. More changes were made to revert to original bike settings before it was lights out and go go go, as the bikes raced for the first time in the opening Junior race.

Saturday’s Junior saw an impressive 2nd place battle between Hegerty and Daley, as Harrison went in the distance. Whilst the Senior that day, saw the Eddie Stobart Racing Superbike achieve her first race finish in a fine podium 3rd position – not bad for a first attempt. Due to an unfortunate technical in the Open qualifying, Daley started at the back of the grid however, this wouldn’t deter the determined Daley who pushed his way through the crowd of machinery in the race to secure an impressive, 5th place finish.

Sunday saw the most glorious of days for a Scarborough race weekend. The fans cheered as the bikes roared around the circuit. The sounds and smells are unbelievable as you’re so close to the track, you can literally touch out to the riders. A closely fought race, which some regulars (some of which have attended for over 50 years), compared it to the epic Barry Sheene Days, saw dual between Daley and Dean Harrison. Daley pushed his 600 with all of his might, as she gripped and turned with passion and grace. Fighting off Harrison at each turn. Daley was tucked in tight, using his knowledge of the track to continue to lead the race, lap after lap. Harrison edged out in front before Daley grabbed 1stposition back. Unfortunately, it was Harrison that somehow found extra power on the last corner, pushing past and only just securing 1st place with Daley tightly behind, for 2nd. Not much rest between races and Daley was out again. Sunday’s Senior race saw more epic battles, this time for 3rd place with Lee Johnston – Daley battled on to reach another podium finish with huge cheers from the fans.

The main race of the weekend, The Bob Smith Spring Cup Race, saw the crowds gathering on the banks - the fans all in awe, of the grid that lay before them. As the ITV 4 TV cameras began to roll, the media cameras clicked and the fans cheered, this was certainly building to be, an epic race. As there was no official timed qualifying for this race, the grid was a result of combined qualifying times from the previous day – meaning Daley sat on the 2nd row. The hairs on the back of your neck began to stand. The race, as had been the situation all weekend, was certainly competitive and tight. With the top 5 all pushing for that 1stplace spot. The competitiveness is so exhilarating to say the least around the tight corners of Oliver’s Mount but again, it proved to be Harrison’s weekend with Daley just missing out on a podium finish.

The final race of the day was Sunday’s Open and having battled yet again with the top riders, Daley settled with 5th after battling for 2nd, having slipped into neutral and dropping back 2 places.

As another highly successful weekend came to a close, the team went home happy with what was achieved, having also smashed both personal best times on a 600 and Superbike around the circuit: leaving with a handful of podium finishes and most importantly, giving the fans the competitive racing and entertainment that they know and love.

 

Donington Park BSB and Darley Moor

Race report to be added. 

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