IT WAS all change for Moorside motorcycle racer Ashley Beech in round six of the National Superstock 1000 Championship at Snetterton.
After being plagued by mechanical problems all season, there was a new bike and change of manufacturer for the race at the Norfolk circuit.
But there was an instant reward as Beech finished 15th to pick up a championship point.
Beech had struggled with the handling of his Kawasaki ZX-10R race bike all season so the decision was made to swap manufacturer and change to a BMW S1000RR which is currently regarded as the bike to have this year.
During practise at the last round of the championship, nine of the top 10 riders were on BMW machines.
Once the decision was made, the new bike was ordered on the Monday before race weekend and during the following two days front forks and suspension were changed and the bike was finally delivered directly to the circuit in the early hours of Thursday morning.
During the day the bike was inspected and seat, handle bars and foot pegs altered to suit Beech’s riding position.
The first time Beech rode the bike was during Friday morning practise, not ideal preparation but his objective for the weekend was to familiarise himself with the new machine.
There are similarities between the bikes but where the BMW has the edge is the lighter frame gives better handling and the bike uses clutch auto blip technology which means gear changes from third to sixth, up or down, can be done without using the clutch.
In the first of two qualifying sessions Beech was troubled by a few gremlins including a front brake problem but still managed to post a lap time which put him 22nd quickest.
With help from leading superbike team Tyco BMW, the onboard electronics were checked and enhanced for best performance.
But with heavy rain spoiling any chance of improving lap times in final qualifying, Beech was unable to test the changes and had to settle for a start from row seven on the grid.
As the lights went out at the start of the race, Beech was pushed back several places before moving up to 21st at the end of lap one. Over the next 10 he steadily picked up places and was holding 16th position until being pipped on the line for 17th place.
Soon after the race had finished it was announced that two of the competitors ahead of Beech had been excluded from the result due to a technical infringement and he was promoted to 15th position earning another championship point.
A great start on the new bike considering he had completed less than 20 laps during practise and qualifying prior to the race.
The next round of the championship is at Thruxton on July 24th. Follow Ash and the Teams progress at www.jonesdorlingracing.com, on Twitter @JDR_Racing or on Facebook JonesDorlingRacing