MOORSIDE MOTORCYCLE racer Ashley Beech enjoyed his best result of the season in the National Superstock 1000 Championship.
The 27-year-old, starting from row five of the grid, worked his way through the field to finish eighth in round five at Knockhill, Scotland.
The Jones Dorling Racing team’s new Kawasaki ZX-10R race bike is proving a tough challenge and the increased power output is making the bike a real handful when braking into corners.
More development work is needed but just one period of free practise and two 30 minute qualifying sessions at each round of the championship is making the process extremely difficult with such limited track time.
At only 1.2 miles long, Knockhill is the shortest circuit on the championship calendar and with each lap taking less then a minute to complete, close racing is always guaranteed.
There are not many passing opportunities on the circuit and while it is important to protect your line, it’s also vital to take advantage if an opportunity arises, a task made even more difficult with a race bike that is struggling under heavy braking.
Working with suspension specialists Maxton, the team made some radical changes to the set up and slight improvements meant Beech achieved improved lap times.
In the first of two qualifying sessions, he was riding to the limit but, with just a few minutes of the session left, heavy rain spoiled any chance of further improvements and he finished 14th quickest.
It was very much a case of deja vu in final qualifying with rain spoiling any chance of flying laps near the end of the session and he finished 15th fastest and started from row five on the grid.
Beech made a lightening start and had moved up four places by the end of the first lap which he held on to for the next four until he settled into his rhythm
and began to move through the field until crossing the line in a hard fought eighth place.
“After a frustrating weekend, this was a good result, but there is still a long way to go with set up,” said Beech.
Follow Beech’s progress at www.jonesdorlingracing.com, on Twitter @JDR_Racing or on Facebook JonesDorlingRacing