EVESHAM-based Superstock team JD Racing and rider Ashley Beech made the long trip north at the weekend to the Knockhill racing circuit in Scotland, where there were several positives to enjoy, writes Amy Flynn.
Beech made a steady start and by the half race distance had moved up seven places and for the remaining 12 laps he pushed himself and the bike to the limit to finish in 24th place.
In doing so, not only did Beech set his best lap time of the weekend, he also beat his personal best around Knockhill by over one second.
It was round four of the National Superstock 1,000cc Championship and, at only 1.2 miles long, Knockhill is the shortest circuit on the championship calendar with a unique series of twists, turns, drops and climbs.
Last year Beech had a bad start to the race but fought his way through the field to finish in 16th place and so was confident that with a good start he could do even better.
During practice his Kawasaki ZX-10R race bike was plagued with gearing problems and as a result he was only using gears one to four, which landed him with a disadvantage.
Despite this setback, in practice Beech lapped quicker than his best time in 2013 and finished in 20th place.
Changes were made to his bike and, although the gearing was far better, the rear of the bike was so unstable he felt he would high side out of every corner.
After consulting with the specialist suspension technicians at the circuit, further adjustments were made but the bad luck continued for the team. Just minutes before the final qualifying session, rain started to fall, spoiling any chance of improving lap times.
With no time left to test further changes, the team technicians reverted to the original base settings.
The next round of the championship is at Brands Hatch on July 20 but you can follow the team’s progress at www.jonesdorlingracing.com, on Twitter @JDR_Racing or on Facebook by searching JonesDorlingRacing. If you would like to sponsor Beech then please contact Chris Jones at Chrisjones44@hotmail.co.uk.