Determined Beech moves into top ten - The Evesham Observer

Determined Beech moves into top ten

Evesham Editorial 3rd May, 2017   0

ASHLEY BEECH collected three points from a 13th-placed finish at Oulton Park to move into tenth place in the National Superstock 1000 Championship.

Monday’s round three race at the Cheshire venue was a dramatic one for Honeybourne-based Jones Dorling Racing and rider Beech.

With tight corners and climbs and descents, the circuit is regarded by many riders as a technical track and difficult to find that perfect set-up for a race bike.

JDR and rider Beech had made a good start to the season, having scored points in four races to put them 11th in the championship after round two.

The team attended a test day at Oulton Park the previous week to try various settings on their BMW S1000RR race bike but rain in the morning and technical issues in the afternoon spoilt any chance of gaining valuable data.

Starting the weekend in dry and sunny conditions, Beech finished the first of two practice sessions tenth quickest but was troubled with the bike, trying to wheelie out of the corners.

For second practice, the team altered the wheelbase of the bike by adding an additional link in the drive chain but, despite improving his lap times, he was still plagued with the handling issues and he finished ninth fastest.

With just 25 minutes in each practice session, the team decided to revert to the settings used last season, but with softer suspension on the front and stiffer on the rear to give him more feel on the front wheel before qualifying.

The handling did improve and Beech went faster by three tenths of a second to cling on to his ninth place and a start from the third row on the grid.

The weather was very unpredictable on race day and was likely to make set-up decisions difficult, but only minor changes were made to suspension as dry tyres were chosen to start the race with.

Beech was running well in tenth place when on lap seven of the scheduled 18 it started to rain, causing the race to be red-flagged.

Beech returned to the pits and changed to wet tyres before the restart from tenth place on the grid. There was drama as the riders were on their warm-up lap when the rain stopped.

Wet tyres have more grooves, giving the rubber more movement which allows the tyre to cut through water quicker, causing friction which then creates grip, but if the track was to dry then his wet tyres would start to shred very quickly.

As the race restarted for a nine-lap sprint, Beech slipped back to 18th during the early stages but when the rain started again on lap seven and the track became wetter he started to move back up the field.

After several riders who had made the wrong tyre choice crashed ahead of him, he eventually crossed the line in 13th position.

Included as a support race for the British round of the World Superbike Championship, Beech and the team will be back in action at Donington Park on May 28. Follow the team’s progress at

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