MOORSIDE MOTORCYCLE racer Ashley Beech picked up further points in round two of the National Superstock 1000 Championship at Brands Hatch.
The 28-year-old, who will pay three visits to Brands Hatch this year, had mixed results in the opening round at Donington Park with two points scoring finishes, but tyres problems in the third race preventing a clean sweep.
In dry and bright conditions at Donington Park, Beech completed both practice sessions well, improving his lap times in each.
Beech made good progress in qualifying, again improving his lap time to finish ninth quickest.
The series organisers have added an additional race this season, the first being on Sunday
consisting of 38 laps (a race distance of 50 miles) of the 1.2 mile Indy circuit and with each lap taking less than 50 seconds to complete the fans expected some fast and furious racing.
Just half a second separated the top 15 riders and little more than a second the difference
between the top 30 which indicates just how competitive this series has become with former British Superbike stars, Isle of Man TT winners and international stars from Australia, USA and Europe all fighting for podium finishes.
A light drizzle started as the bikes went out on the warm up lap so when they lined up on the grid the race was delayed five minutes until it was clear that it was not going to rain and the race got under way.
Beech got off the line well but, with a lot of bumping and barging into the first few corners, he dropped two places at the end of the first lap, but once he had settled into his rhythm he moved back up to ninth where he finished after the red flag brought an early end to the race on lap 28 due to rain.
Because over two thirds distance had been completed a result was declared and Beech was accredited ninth place earning seven valuable points and moving him up to 11th place in the championship.
The grid positions for the feature race on Monday were determined by the lap times in this race meaning Beech started from 11th place.
As the feature race got underway it gets frantic as over 40 bikes entered the first corner at Paddock Hill and then dropped down the dip before climbing up to the slowest corner on the track at Druids, one of the few passing points.
Riders then dropped down Graham Hill Bend, the one of only two left-hand corners and with cold tyres this section of the circuit can catch out many riders.
Safely around the first lap, Beech crossed the line in 12th place and battled hard for 24 laps eventually finishing ninth and importantly scoring further championship points.
Beech said: “The bike is pretty close to how I need it, but we are still missing that extra tenth of a second.
“My race pace is good and my lap times are consistent but, with that tiny bit more, I can get on the front row of the grid and I’m confident I could battle for the win.”
The next round of the championship is at Oulton Park on May 1. 2017. You can follow Beech and the team’s progress online at www.jonesdorlingracing.co.uk, on Twitter @JDR_Racing or on Facebook JonesDorlingRacing