ASHLEY Beech secured a sixth placed finish to earn ten valuable points and move up to 11th place in the National Superstock 1,000cc Championship during round five at Snetterton on Sunday.
Beech and his Honeybourne-based team headed to the Norfolk venue determined to enjoy a change of fortunes and put the disappointment of the last round at Donington Park behind them when the team were plagued with technical problems on their Kawasaki ZX-10R race bike.
Immediately after the race the team took the bike to tuning specialist MSS Colchester Kawasaki for diagnostics. With faulty components either fixed or replaced, the team and rider Beech headed for Snetterton to attend a two-day test to establish a base setting ahead of round five.
During practice Beech suffered some handling problems, particularly when entering right-hand corners which meant his lap times were slower than expected but, after fitting a new set of tyres and making some adjustments to the suspension, he completed first qualifying tenth quickest.
This was a huge improvement, although he was still running wide on some of the tighter corners.
A few more adjustments were made and Beech returned to the track for final qualifying and put in a blistering lap to finish fifth quickest and secure a start from the second row on the grid.
“This is the best the bike has felt all season and if I can get a good start I am confident I can run at the front,” stated Beech before the race.
He started well and held his position on the first lap but then dropped to tenth when the bike started to hit the rev limiter along the fast straight.
With a strong tailwind and being in the slipstream of two other riders, his bike struggled with top speed when the bike would not rev any higher but, with skill and determination, he fought his way back up the field to cross the line in sixth place.
“This is where we need to be and are capable of being and I am confident there is better to come,” said team manager Chris Jones.
The next round of the championship is at Knockhill in Scotland on July 5. Follow Beech and the team’s progress at www.jonesdorlingracing.com, on Twitter @JDR_Racing or on Facebook by visiting JonesDorlingRacing.