A new bike brought about a change of fortune for Ashley Beech in the National Superstock 1000 Championship.
The 29-year-old from Moorside, beset with mechanical troubles in recent races, finished both races in round 10 at Silverstone.
He was riding his new BMW S1000RR race bike that replaced the previous one that had persistent brake problems, twisted front forks and a bent frame caused by a relatively low speed crash earlier in the season.
The problems had frustrated Beech, but with a new bike he arrived at the iconic 3.67 mile circuit in Northamptonshire with confidence high.
The initial practice session was the first opportunity Beech had to set the new bike to suit his riding style.
“The new bike already felt better but with limited time on it before the race on Sunday it was important to use the time to identify any issues before pushing too hard,” he explained.
The afternoon practice session started in cloudy conditions on a damp track and Beech improved his lap time but again heavy rain interrupted the session leaving the team frustrated.
In the qualifying session, Beech improved his lap times again but he could only manage two flying laps before the session was cut short with torrential rain and he finished 19th quickest with a start from row seven on the grid.
“It was hard to describe just how fast and physically challenging a Superstock race bike is, but pulling away and accelerating hard, before I change into second gear I was already doing well over the speed limit if on the road.
“Keep twisting the throttle and the bike surged forward with such ferocity I literally had to hang on.
“When the throttle is fully open it becomes almost impossible to keep my head straight. With almost 200 brake horse power this is quite a handful in such tricky conditions,” he said.
The race started in dry and overcast conditions and after a good start Beech moved up one place to cross the line in 18th place at the end of the first lap.
Beech continued to pick up places battling hard with fellow competitors Sam Coventry and Jonny Blackshaw and the three traded places until Beech eventually finished in 15th place.
“That was a tough race but the new bike has shown real potential in such difficult conditions,” he explained.
There is no time to relax for Beech and the team as they move on to Oulton Park on Sunday.
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