ASHLEY BEECH endured a frustrating third round of the Pirelli National Superstock Championship when the series made the first of three visits this season to Brands Hatch.
Having just missed out on a top-ten place in qualifying, the rider for Evesham-based Team Jones Dorling Racing struggled with the bike’s performance in the race and had to settle for 17th place, just out of the points.
Development work on the Honeybourne team’s brand new Kawasaki ZX-10R is ongoing but progress is continuing at each round and using a new suspension this year the team are basically starting from scratch as if this was the first ever visit to Brands Hatch.
This year’s bike has much more power than last season but as power increases the effect on braking and suspension is more noticeable.
Practice went well and despite not pushing the bike to its limit Beech was setting good lap times. A few changes to the suspension and Beech improved his times during the first qualifying session. Again minor changes were made and again lap times improved and he moved from 18th quickest up to 11th, less than one second behind the pole position.
After just a few laps in the race, Beech felt that the bike was not pulling properly and despite fighting hard for 30 laps the bike was not performing as expected and he crossed the line in 17th place narrowly missing out on a point scoring finish.
After the race the team’s technicians ran diagnostics on the bike and found that only half the amount of fuel was being used on each lap although Beech reported no noticeable drop in power.
The team is back in action at Donington Park this weekend to compete in a support race of the British round of the World Superbike Championship.
Follow Ashley and the team’s progress at www.jonesdorlingracing.com, on Twitter @JDR_Racing or on Facebook JonesDorlingRacing