MOORSIDE’S ASHLEY Beech finished as the leading Brit in the final round of the Spanish Superbike Championships at Valencia.
The 28-year-old finished in 11th place as he continued his fine end-of-season form.
The National Superstock 1,000 Championship may have finished in October, but Beech extended his season.
A number of changes were required to his BMW S1000RR race bike to bring it up to full Superbike specification, the most radical being remapping the on-board electronic system to use Michelin tyres as opposed to Pirelli as used in the British series.
One may think a tyre is a tyre and all are the same, but they have very different characteristics in varying temperatures and for example each compound affects the lean angle a rider can use before risking loss of grip.
Beech attended a track day at Mallory Park a few days before jetting off to the sun, but heavy rain spoiled any chance to test upgrades to suspension and brakes so the first time he would ride the bike was during practise and qualifying at the 2.5mile circuit on the eastern coast of the Iberian peninsula.
Beech set some promising lap times during Friday practise, despite suffering Chatter on
the front wheel. With 200 brake horse power a race bike may suffer ‘Chatter’ on the front when heavy breaking into a corner causing loss of control and traction which then reduces the exit speed.
Alterations to suspension and front forks can improve the handling but with limited time on track Beech did not want to risk crashing and had to start qualifying with a set up that was not ideal.
Despite the handling problems, Beech improved his lap times in every session and finished 13th quickest and started from the fifth row on the grid.
He began well and was made to battle hard before crossing the line after 18 gruelling laps in 11th place.
“A tough race and I had a few scary moments and at least once I almost lost the front and high sided, but this was the first time on a Superbike with slick tyres and I was up against some of the best National Superstock and Superbike riders from across Europe so to
finish the top Brit I am very happy,” he said.