EVESHAM-based Jones Dorling Racing travelled to Oulton Park over the Bank Holiday weekend for the second round of the National Superstock 1,000cc Championship at a venue where rider Ashley Beech made his debut for the team last season, but misfortune struck again.
Just two weeks earlier Beech suffered a huge accident at Brands Hatch when a fellow competitor tried unsuccessfully to overtake several riders entering the very fast Paddock Hill Bend and the unfortunate JD Racing man was hit at over 100mph, sending him and the bike sliding into the gravel.
However, apart from a bruised hand, Beech escaped unhurt but the bike was badly damaged when it dug in and started to tumble end over end.
When the Kawasaki ZX-10R race bike was returned to the paddock the team inspected the damage and found the frame, front forks and all of the bodywork had been destroyed beyond repair so the race was on for the team to rebuild the bike in time for the second round at the tight and twisty 2.7-mile circuit in the heart of Cheshire.
The weekend started with a 25-minute qualifying session and after just two laps Beech returned to the pits for a quick cautionary visual check by the team to spot any problems with the bike such as leaks, which is possible after such a major rebuild.
Satisfied it was safe to continue, Beech returned to the track, but he felt the bike lacked power which was confirmed when the bike was later Dyno tested.
A Dyno is a rolling road diagnostic system which tests the brake horse power of an engine and instead of the expected 190 BHP the reading was just 170 – the same as a standard road version of the bike.
A broken fuel pump was the likely cause of the problem and, after borrowing a spare from another team, the bike was again Dyno tested and this time the reading was 186bhp – a vast improvement – but still not sufficient for Beech to better his lap times by more than 0.8 of a second.
A further one second would have moved him a staggering 20 places further up the grid, an indication of just how competitive this championship has become.
The team managed to source a brand new fuel pump which was fitted by the team technicians but when Beech went out for the warm-up session on race day morning there was little change to the power output, so it was back to the Dyno for further diagnostics.
Final adjustments were made to the fuel injection system but it would be a nail-biting wait until the start of the race before Beech would know if these changes had been effective.
By the end of the first lap it was obvious there was still a problem with a lack of power and with just two laps of racing remaining Beech decided to retire to the pits.
The next round of the championship is at Snetterton on June 15 but you can follow Beech and the team’s progress at www.jonesdorlingracing.com, on Twitter @JDR_Racing or on Facebook by searching JonesDorlingRacing.