Gearlink Kawasaki News

28 May 2018

Double Podium at Oulton Park

It was another strong weekend for the team at the third round of the Dickies British Supersport Championship held at Oulton Park. Ben Currie secured two second places and James Westmoreland found his form finishing in fourth and fifth places.

Ben was consistently second quickest all weekend qualifying in second place on the grid for the first race. Despite Ben getting the hole-shot Jack Kennedy made an early move on him in the first lap with the pair soon breaking away from the chasing pack and despite Ben's every effort the positions remained unchanged at the finish.

For race two Ben again started from second place and got a fantastic start leading Jack into turn one. For several laps they swapped positions for the lead but Ben just could not quite match Jack and had to settle for another second place. 

James showed his form this weekend and set some strong lap times throughout the weekend qualifying in third place on the grid alongside his team mate. However, he struggled off the start and dropped back to seventh place after lap one but fought back to finish in fifth.

He started again from third place for race two and was locked in a battle for fourth place which is where he finished to secure his best finish so far this season.

In the Bennetts British Superbike Championship Carl Phillips had a tough weekend. After continuously improving his lap times throughout every session he qualified in 27th place for race one and was making good progress but lost the front end to crash out on lap four. Unfortunately he was forced to retire in race two having started from 26th.

Team Manager Michael de Bidaph - "Both Supersport riders rode really well all weekend with both Ben and Westy up at the sharp end in each session. James sufferred a bad start in raceo one but made progress through the field to finish fifth. Ben got a fantastic start but we knew it would be tough to stay with Jack but i can't praise Ben enough for the way he has ridden.

In the main race we knew the heat would slow the pace down and we thought this might give us a better opportunity to match Jack. Ben rode incredibly well and never gave up but had to settle for second. Jack and Ben were setting some very fast lap times and were pushing each other all the way to the finish. Westy rode another solid race and secured his best result of the season and we know he will be pushing for a podium very soon.

Carl made a lot of progress this weekend and the results do not do him any justice as he worked hard and kept chipping away. He is stilll learning the bike and Oulton is known to be as one of the most physical circuits on a Superbike. At the forthcoming Snetterton test we will ensure that he is race ready."

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posted by The Team at 14:17

29 April 2018

Double Podium at Brands Hatch

Round two of the Dickies British Supersport Championship took place at the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit. Ben Currie secured a fantastic second and third place with his team-mate James Westmoreland coming home in 11th and seventh places

Ben was once again towards the top of the time sheets in every sesssion continuing his fine form from Donington Park. He qualified in second place for the first race and again it was he and Jack Kennedy swapping places for the lead in a thrilling race. Jack had the lead going into the final lap but Ben had incredible drive coming out of the final turn as they both fought to take the win with Ben just losing out on the line by just 0.006 sec.

For race two Ben started from pole position got the holeshot and was fighting strongly at the front when the race was red flagged due to rain. With an unknown track ahead for the re-start Ben was second after the first lap and was pushed back to third. Despite several challanges in the tricky conditions he had to settle for third place securing more valuable points in the Championship.

James "Westy" struggled through the practice and qualifying sessions but was just 0.8sec off pole position for the first race but ended up in 14th position on the grid. He got a good start finishing in 11th. 

For the second race he started from 13th position on the grid moving up several places. On the re-start he again made good progress through the field eventually finishing in seventh.

In the Bennetts British Superbike class Carl Phillips is still getting used to riding the Kawasaki ZX-10R Superbike but is continuing to improve his times with every session. He took two seconds off his practice times to qualify in 24th place for race one. Before the race he sufferred a big crash in warm-up but despite feeling very second hand managed to start the race and finish in 21st place.

He started race two in 23rd place and was sticking with the pack when rain started to fall and the race was red flagged. The team did a fantastic job in changing the bike to a complete wet set-up within the limited time available. On the re-start Carl got a strong start and was soon making incredible progress through the pack to finish in a fantastic 10th place.

Team Manager Michael de Bidaph - "Ben was once again at the sharp end during the Supersport sessions and Westy is continuing to adapt his riding style to suit the 600 again, making good progress throughout the weekend.

Both riders rode two very sensible races, it was great to have Ben on the podium in both races and continuing the strong form that he showed at Donington Park. Westy is improving all the time and i am very sure it will not be long before he is also fighting for podiums. The second race was tough in difficult conditions and they both bought the bikes back in one piece. It is a long season and points can be crucial towards the end of the year.

I'm really impressed with Carl this weekend, he is still learning to ride the Superbike and continues to improve with each session. The conditions played in our favour for the second race with the wet conditions but Carl really did an amazing job. I did not expect this early in the season that we would achieve a top ten finish so am pleased with the progress made and the result he gained. 

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posted by The Team at 11:34

8 April 2018

An emotional double win at Donington Park

The first round of the Dickies British Supersport season was always going to be an emotional rollercoaster for the team following the sad passing of team-owner Norma de Bidaph with the team dedicating the season to her. In the opening race Ben Currie took a stunning win and backed that up in race two with his second win of the weekend. His team- mate James Westmoreland, despite limited track time on the bike, took solid points finishing fifth place in race one and sixth in race two.

Ben was consistently at the top of the time sheets throughout the practice sessions and qualified in second place on the grid for race one with James next to him in third.

Ben gained a fantastic start and led the pack for several laps before being passed mid-race. He rode a very confident race and was happy to sit in second place before making the pass that secured him the win by 0.2 sec. James was fourth after the opening lap and despite taking a bit of a gamble with tyres in tricky conditions worked hard to to secure a solid fifth place.

For race two Ben started from pole with James behind him in fourth place.The track conditions were drying but in the cold conditions Ben opted for full wets knowing he would need a good start in case the track dried out a lot. He got a fantastic start and was soon 5.5 seconds in the lead after lap one. He just continued to extend his lead, eventually taking his second win of the weekend by a massive 24.3 seconds. James had a strong start in fourth place but lost a couple of places to finish in a solid sixth place.

For Ben it was fitting that with the pre and post race tributes to Norma he was able to dedicate the first win of the season to her and then back that up with the double. 

Carl Phillips is new to the Bennets British Superbike Championship and the team have worked hard throughout the difficult weather conditions to help him push further forwards. He qualified for race one in 24th place and finished in 24th. For race two he started from 26th place on the grid working his way up to 20th place before retiring due to tyre choice. 

Team Manager - Michael de Bidaph - "This weekend has been ten times harder than i imagined it would be . Especially as it is the first time that i have been to a race meeting without my darling Norma. The decision to carry on was a hard one to make but i know that it is exactly what Norma would have wanted me to do and i know that she will always be with me.

All the riders have done an excellent job all weekend in terrible conditions. For Ben to secure the double race win is the perfect tribute to Norma. He has been consistent and fast in every session and when he crossed the line in race one i just broke down in tears full of mixed emotions, happiness and sadness.

I think Ben surprised everyone in the second race, even himself, no one could touch him and he was in a league of his own. I am so grateful to him for the two wins this weekend, they were very special.

Westy has not had much time on the bike and he is still adjusting to riding the 600 machine after his time on the Superbike. The conditions were far from ideal to get more laps in; he stayed in one piece and secured two solid results. I know, and he knows, there is more to come and I'm very sure the results he wants are not far away.

I am impressed with Carl and how well he has settled into the team and onto the Superbike. He has not had many rides on the bike and we used this weekend to collect as much data as possible to help him move forwards for the rest of the season. We knew it would be tough but we will keep chipping away at it.

Finally i must say a really huge thank you to the BSB Paddock for their support, kind words and encouragement this weekend. I must also thank Eurosport for their beautiful tribute to Norma, which is very special for me." 

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posted by The Team at 11:43

24 October 2017

A win and podiums at season finale at Brands Hatch

It was a tense and exciting end to the season for the team in front of a massive crowd at the final round of the Dickies British Supersport Championship at Brands Hatch. Andrew Irwin had another fantastic weekend with his first Supersport win and then followed it up in the final race with a third place. Ben Currie continued his run of good form with great second and fourth places. The pair ended the season on a high note with Andrew in second place in the overall Championship standings and Ben third. It was a superb result for the team and a first to see both our riders on the overall Championship Podium.

Andrew and Ben were on form all weekend throughout the practice and qualifying sessions. Andrew qualified in third place for the first race with Ben fifth. They both got great starts with Andrew going to the front followed by Ben in second. They rode an exceptional race keeping the rest of the field at bay ensuring that Andrew secured his first win of the season with Ben in second place to secure another fantastic 1-2 for the team.

Everything was to play for for the second race as Andrew was now just 18 points behind the Championship leader having been at one stage in the season over 100 points behind. Andrew started from fifth place on the grid with Ben eighth. Both had great starts and were in third and fourth when the safety car came out. They were both locked in battles when the race resumed finishing the race with Andrew third and Ben fourth.

James Westmoreland qualified in 22nd place for race one in the MCE British Superbike Championship and finished in the points in 14th. He was placed on the grid in 16th for the second race, finishing 18th. For the third and final race of the year he started from 22nd position, finishing in 21st. 

Team Manager Michael de Bidaph - "This year has been fantastic, Andrew and Ben have really excelled in the Supersport class and to finish second and third in the Championship standings is something we have never done and is a very special feeling.

After the Championship leader crashed out in race one we knew that the Championship once again was all to play for. Andrew finally took that long overdue win that he deserved after so many second places and i cannot praise Ben enough for the role that he played, it just shows what a close knit team we are.

Andrew had a small chance of winning the Championship and he rode hard in race two to finish just 13 points behind the Championship winner, Keith Farmer. Congratulations to him and his team, each race has provided some great racing and Andrew and Ben played a huge part in that.

With James in the Superbike class we have continued to make progress all year and have scored more Championship points than we have ever done in this class.

I have been privileged this year to work with three exceptional riders, James, Andrew and Ben. It has made the job an absolute pleasure and we go into the off season feeling very happy aand relaxed with racing. It has been very enjoyable and we were lucky to have three great people in the team.

I must say a huge thank you to every member of the team for their hard work and dedication. Also a thank you to Rock Oil, KMUK and all our loyal team sponsors for their continued support."

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posted by The Team at 17:12

6 October 2017

A win and Podiums at Assen

It was looking set to be another amazing weekend for the team at round 11 of the Dickies British Supersport Championship at Assen. Ben Currie secured his third fantastic win on the trot and was battling for another race win in race two when he had a coming together with another rider which saw him crash out. Andrew Irwin continued his great run of form to secure another double podium with two second places.

The pair had a great qualifying session, Ben secured his first qualifying pole position for the first race with Andrew lining up on the front row with him, in third place.

The weather conditions throughout the weekend were mixed and just before the first race the rain came down and after a slight delay the race was reduced to 10 laps. Ben once again showed his form in the wet conditions and took off from the start leading every lap until the flag taking his third win in succession. Andrew was locked in a fierce battle in the opening laps for the second podium slot but managed to break away to take another impressive 1-2 for the team.

It was dry conditions for the second race and with Ben once again sitting on pole and Andrew in second. Ben got a flying start and was leading the race with Andrew in second. A thrilling battle was then to take place over the remaing 14 laps with four different leaders throughout the race.

Ben led into the final lap and was looking strong to take his fourth win when Keith Farmer made a strong move on him which forced Ben to crash. The incident was investigated and Keith was docked time and positions for the move. With Ben out it was left to Andrew to fight it out as best he could on the final lap to take yet another impressive second place. 

James Westmoreland qualified in a great 10th position in the wet qualifying sessions in the MCE British Superbike Championship. In the dry conditions for the first race he struggled to find the pace he needed and finished in 20th place and a technical problem forced him out in race two.

Team Manager Michael de Bidaph -" I'm once again delighted with Ben and Andrew's performances this weekend. To secure another 1-2 in the opening race was fantastic and great to see them both up there and having such good pace..

It was looking set that it might happen again in race two in the dry conditions. They were both on the front row and looking comfortable in the race. I really feel for Ben with the crash but the organisers dealt with the situation well and therefore it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.

Ben and Andrew have really upped their game in the latter half of the season which I am delighted to see. They have shown great pace in every session and have been rewarded with the results. We are looking forward to ending the season on a high with both of them at Brands Hatch.

It was another difficult weekend in the Superbike class for James and we hope that we can makes some suitable changes to help him get some decent results to end the season at Brands."

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posted by The Team at 11:50

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