MOORSIDE MOTORCYCLE racer Ashley Beech had his best placing of the season in round nine of the National Superstock 1000 Championship at Cadwell Park.
After a season plagued by technical and mechanical problems, in which he has changed from a Kawasaki to BMW bike, the 28-year-old finished in 10th place.
Cadwell Park is notorious for being a difficult circuit to get the set up right, with long fast straights like Brands Hatch and tight and twisty sections similar to Snetterton so a compromise between the two tracks would be the target to enable Beech to push his BMW S1000RR race bike to its limits.
This was only the fourth time Beech had raced the new machine and handling has been a major problem so far and in particular the stability with the front of the bike.
After the last Round at Brands Hatch, his team completed a successful test at Snetterton.
“We are starting to make good progress now and I feel we have found a solid base setting on the bike” said team owner Chris Jones.
The first of two qualifying sessions was cancelled when a storm brought thunder, lightning and heavy rain and was rescheduled for the following day.
To improve the handling, the team changed the geometry of the bike to put more weight on the front which would give Beech the confidence to push the bike harder.
Beech made steady progress through both qualifying sessions improving his lap times every time he took to the track and he finished 16th quickest.
On race day, Beech made a good start but was pushed back a few places by the end of the first lap, but quickly started to fight his way through the field until a crash brought out the pace car while debris was cleared from the track.
No overtaking is allowed while the pace car is out which means all the riders start to bunch up but, as soon as it pulled in, the race continued at a fierce pace.
The leading group of six riders started to pull away from the rest of the field and Beech was embroiled in a battle behind but he continued to make progress to eventually cross the line in 10th position.
“I am really happy with 10th place today and if I had started a few more places further up the grid I could have been battling with the leading bunch,” said Beech.
The next round of the championship is at Oulton Park on Sunday, September 11. Follow Beech’s progress at www.jonesdorlingracing.com, Twitter @JDR_Racing or Facebook JonesDorlingRacing