Gearlink Kawasaki News

23 April 2017

Double Podium at Brands Hatch

It was a busy weekend for the team at round two of the Dickies British Supersport Championship at Brands Hatch. Following the cancellation of race one at Donington Park the team prepared for three races. Andrew Irwin gained a great second place in race one, did not start in race two and finished a creditable sixth in race three. Ben Currie had a good weekend with two fourth places and a third.

Andrew looked strong all weekend setting consistently fast times qualifying in third place for race one. He got a fantastic start and moved into second place and quickly moved away from the chasing pack with the leader. He was unable to find a good passing place but secured his second consecutive podium with a strong second place, also securing the fastest lap.

For race two he started from pole position and was keen to push hard. He got the hole-shot but rain started to fall and he crashed out and was soon followed by three more riders and the race was red flagged. Despite the valiant efforts of the the team the bike was too badly damaged to make the re-start.

For the third and feature race he was forced to start from 29th on the grid. He got a fantastic start and made up about ten places before a crash on the opening lap caused the red flag to come out. On the re-start he gained another superb start working his way through the field, riding exceptionally well, to finish in a great sixth place. 

Ben was also riding well all weekend and setting some fast lap times. He started race one from seventh place on the grid being just 0.5 seconds for the pole sitter. He got a strong start and was locked in a battle for the third podium slot just missing out to finish fourth.

For race two he started from sixth and was fortunate to just avoid the crash that caused the red flag to come out. On the re-start he was again locked in a tightly fought battle for a podium place again just missing out to finish in another fourth place just 0.6 second from the podium.

For race three he started from seventh place and gained another good start rising to fifth after the first lap. Again he was setting some consistently fast times managing to finally get on the podium in a fantastic third place and now lies third in the Championship standings.

In the MCE British Superbike Championship James Westmoreland worked really hard all weekend and he and the team made some good progress with the Superbike with good times being achieved during the practice sessions. Despite a technical problem that hindered progress in qualifying, Westy was 17th in race one and was in a point scoring position of 15th in race two before crashing out.

Team Manager Michael de Bidaph - "It was a mixed weekend for the team with both Superport riders riding strongly setting fast lap times. Andrew rode a fantastic first race being able to stay with the leader at the front. It was unfortunate the rain coming down so early in the second race, whilst he was leading, just catching him out and we were unable to get the bike ready in time. He crashed in the warm-up for race three due to a technical problem and after two crashes had to start from the back of the grid. To finish in sixth place was very impressive.

Ben was quitely going about his business and got progressively faster throughout the weekend achieving three cosistently good results. This now sees him sitting in third place in the Championship. His confidence with the bike and the team is growing each time he goes out on track and his consistency is fantastic and was rewarded with his second podium so far this season. 

I am happy with the progress we are making with he Superbike and are moving forwards in the right direction. James is a real team player and has really dug deep this weekend. We were plagued with an electrical problem the day before race day and that hindered his progress. He struggled in race one but found some good pace in race two which we are sure will continue to improve as the season goes on" 

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posted by The Team at 11:32

9 April 2017

Double Podium at Donington Park

It was an extremely successful weekend for the team in the Dickies British Supersport Championship at the opening round of the series at Donington Park. Race one was cancelled and the qualifying positions were rolled over to the second race. Andrew Irwin secured second place with team mate Ben Currie in third to claim a fantastic double podium for the team.

Throughout the weekend in free practice and qualifying both riders set some strong times and despite being wet and cold during the qualification session Andrew was on the front row in third with Ben on the second row in fifth.

Due to a tragic incident earlier in the day the first race was cancelled and the qualifying positions were held for the second race. Andrew made an incredible start to take the lead with Ben tucked in behind in second place. It was another epic Supersport race with six riders in contention including Alastair Seeley on the Spirit Moto2 machine (the M2 is a development bike and ineligible to score points in the Championship). The closely fought battle raged throughout the race with Andrew and Ben taking the lead at various stages. Finally Andrew finished a fantastic second with Alastair third and Ben fourth. With Alastair excluded from the results Ben was promoted to a great third place to achieve a superb double podium in the opening race of the season. For Andrew it was also his debut podium in the Championship.

The cancelled first race has been rescheduled for the next round at Brands Hatch.

James Westmoreland only secured the deal to ride for the team in the MCE British Superbike Championship last month so was short on dry testing. "Westy"used as much time as he could to do as many laps as possible during the free practice wet session to finish ninth fastest. With qualifying cancelled the organisers took the combined times from the free practice sessions enabling him to start the first race from 16th on the grid. Unfortunately a technical issue just before the first race ruled him out which meant he was dropped back to starting the second race from 24th place. He managed to finish just outside of the points.

Team Manager Michael de Bidaph - "I'm really pleased with how the Supersport race went. Andrew and Ben both performed well every time they went out despite changing weather conditions during qualifying with both riders upping their game to qualify on the front two rows.

It was great to see both our riders up at the front throughout the race and it feels like a long time coming. Andrew and Ben have a great attitude and i know that if we keep pushing forward we can challenge for further podiums. It is great working with them and i am looking forward to the rest of the season.

With James in the Superbike class we did make some strong progress. Due to a couple of circumstance we lost some valuable track time over the weekend to set the bike up for "Westy" but will go to Brands and keep chipping away to help him develop the bike to suit what he needs. I am confident that we can start to achieve some points as the season progresses. 

As a team we would like to express our condolences to the friends and family of Mick Whalley"

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posted by The Team at 11:52

Ben Wilson re-joins the team

We are delighted to announce that Ben Wilson has re-joined the team for the 2017 season. After sustaining horrific injuries at the NorthWest 200 last year, Ben will join the team in an advisory capacity to their BSB rider - James Westmoreland and their BSS riders - Benjamin Currie and Andrew Irvine.

Ben has made huge progress with his recovery after multiple operations and surgery to fix his heavily damaged femur. He has now had the external fixator removed and is up on his feet on crutches. He still has a long road to recovery and whilst on the mend, Michael and Norma de Bidaph have welcomed him back to the team with open arms. 

Ben will help all three riders throughout the season with data set-up and also passing on his extensive knowledge after riding both the Supersport and Superbike for the team in the past.

Ben Wilson - "It is really good to be back in the paddock but it wasn't in the way that i was hoping! Michael and Norma helped me so much last year from the moment i was injured all the way through until now. I wanted to give something back to show how grateful i am for their continued support.

It is great to be back working with the team and help Michael push the riders forward to achieve some strong results. I know i have a lot of knowledge of the bikes and the team to move things to the next level and hope we will have a very successful season."

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posted by The Team at 11:28 by E2E Solutions