ASHLEY Beech suffered a disastrous start to his National Superstock 1000 Championship campaign.
In the opening round at Silverstone, the 30-year-old motorbike rider from Moorside broke two bones in his right arm following a crash.
And the bad news is that Beech will be ruled out of at least the next two rounds of the championship.
It was a dampener for Beech who had been looking forward to the new season with great optimism after his 2018 campaign had been dogged by mechanical issues that forced a change of bike mid-season.
Beech has teamed up with highly respected engine tuner Neil Pearson in a privateer team riding a BMW S1000RR race bike.
“I have known Neil for many years and after three days testing in Spain during March and more recently at Silverstone, it was clear that the bike he built will be competitive,” he said.
Using the shorter national circuit at just 1.64 mile in length, the fast corners and long straights make it one of the most gruelling and technical tracks on the calendar but straightaway in the first practice session Beech went over half a second quicker than his best time last year.
Beech improved his lap times in every session and qualified 13th quickest and started from the fourth row on the grid.
On Saturday there was a two-part race consisting of 24 laps each with a 10-minute gap between to allow riders and teams to change tyres and refuel ready for race two.
Beech made a good start but slipped down a couple of places at the end of the first lap. In the midst of the pack down the long straight into Maggots corner on lap two, Beech was braking hard into the bumpy entrance to Becketts when fellow competitor Tim Neave made a lunge up the inside which he misjudged and crashed into the side of Beech causing him to fall heavily and slide down the track.
Beech knew immediately he was hurt and was taken to the medical centre for assessment and he was found to have broken both bones in his right forearm.