THERE was injury despair for Ashley Beech in round two of the National Superstock Championship at Brands Hatch on Sunday.
Beech, 26, riding for Honeybourne-based team Jones Dorling Racing, was hoping to continue his great start to the season after a fifth place at Donington Park a fortnight earlier.
However, on lap ten of the race Beech high-sided at Clearways, which threw him over the handlebars and he landed heavily into the gravel.
He was immediately taken to the Medical Centre for assessment and x-rays showed he had broken a bone in his hand and suffered a suspected fracture in his foot, which will almost certainly see him miss the next round of the championship at Oulton Park a week on Sunday.
Beech has had mixed fortunes at Brands Hatch in the past with a pole position and a fourth place in previous visits but also a serious crash just a year ago.
The first qualifying session identified some handling issues and in particular the rear of his Kawasaki ZX-10R race bike was unstable when exiting Paddock Hill Bend, which then affected his entry speed into Druids.
Even so, Beech recorded the fifth fastest lap and, after adjustments to the suspension, he was ready for final qualifying.
Beech was putting in a string of fast laps and, with just a few minutes left, he increased his pace and was coming into the last corner when another competitor moved to the right in front of him as if he was going to enter the pit lane and then unexpectedly drifted to the left which pushed Beech wide, spoiling his chance of improving his lap time and he had to settle for the seventh quickest lap and a start from row three on the grid.
Still unhappy with the handling of the bike, the team decided to lower the suspension on the rear which should increase grip and enable faster corner speed. This was a gamble but one worth taking to improve his chances of a good finish.
As the flag dropped Beech was boxed in at the first corner and dropped to 12th place at the end of the first lap but slowly started to fight his was way back through the field until on lap ten the trouble arrived.
Further scans this week were set to confirm the severity of his injuries. You can follow Beech and the team’s progress at www.jonesdorlingracing.com, on Twitter @JDR_Racing or on Facebook by searching JonesDorlingRacing.