Gearlink Kawasaki News
27 October 2013
It was a hugely emotional weekend for the team at the rain affected final round of the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship. Alastair Seeley rode his heart out despite coming to Brands Hatch with a 19 point deficit. He rode a stunning first race finishing second and went into the final race just four points behind the Championship leader. It was a dramatic last race of the season that was red flagged twice with Alastair awarded third place which meant he was forced to take the runner - up spot in the Championship.
Unfortunately for Ben Wilson he had a huge crash in extremely difficult conditions during qualifying fracturing his lower leg/upper ankle and was declared unfit to take any further part in either race. He was totally devastated at ending the season in the medical centre particularly as this was the first time in almost five years he was unable to compete in a British Supersport round.
The rain fell heavily during qualifying but Alastair managed to achieve sixth place on the grid for the first race. He got a great start and worked his way through the pack to take a solid second place also setting the fastest lap to achieve a well deserved pole position for race two. The final race was red flagged because of rain after the opening lap and the re - run was declared a wet race and shortened. Alastair got another good start but was pushed wide on the back section of the track forcing him back to fourth place. He re-grouped and made his way back to the front. Meanwhile Stuart Easton, the Championship leader, worked his way through the pack and soon he and Alastair were involved in a three way fight for the lead. Unfortunately the race was red flagged and Alastair was placed a close third.
It was a totally different story for the Pirelli National Superstock 600 class as Luke Hedger became the 2013 Superstock Champion in his first season riding a 600 following his 2012 British Motostar Championship crown. Luke was fired up for the weekend and the super talented youngster rode an extremely mature race to bring home the Gearlink Kawasaki in eighth place taking the Championship win by 16 points. His team mate, Mark Wilkinson, struggled in the wet conditions finishing in 21st place but still managed a creditable top ten place in the Championship standings.
Team Manager Michael de Bidaph - " What can i say? I'm massively disappointed not to have won the Supersport Championship again. Alastair could not have done any more this weekend and it was taken away from us with a red flag situation. However, this year has been fantastic and we as a team have constantly been at the front at all the races. Alastair and Ben have been a credit to this team and we have taken so much from it. We will be back next year to try again and one day we will win that Supersport Championship. The Gearlink Kawasaki team would like to wish Ben a speedy recovery.
Luke was superb; he did everything he had to do today to win our second Superstock 600 Championship. He rode a very mature race and did not do anything stupid, we're all really pleased with his Championship title and he took away some of the disappointment from the Supersport result.
Mark made a few mistakes in the opening laps but he has never ridden the bike in a wet race before and up to now has consistently been in the points at every race. He's been an absolute delight to have him in our team; he fitted in really well and rode very hard and was always willing to learn.
I must say a huge thank you to all our very loyal sponsors especially Kawasaki Motors UK, all our product sponsors, our fans and we are just sorry we were unable to repay you with the Supersport Championship but we will keep on trying."
13 October 2013
It was a solid weekend for the team at round 11 of the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship at Silverstone. Alastair Seeley reeled in the points for the Championship title by taking a a win and a third place, he was later dropped to 10th place in the second race due to a penalty for a move on Jason O'Halloran. Ben Wison gained a fifth and a fourth place.
Alastair was back in fine form following his recent injuries and celebrated his 34rd birthday by wearing a stunning new '34' branded Shoei helmet. He had a great opening race taking a fantastic win and narrowed the gap for the Championship lead. In the second race he started from pole position and was locked in a hard scrap in a six lap sprint race following an incident which brought out the safety car. He finished the race in third position but was unfortunately given a ten second penalty when he and Jason O'Halloran came together dropping him to 10th position.
Ben struggled all weekend to get a good set up on his bike but managed to secure fifth on the grid and achieved fifth position in the first race. For race two he started from sixth on the grid and after sitting behind the safety car for a number of laps rode a solid race to finish fifth. He was later promoted to fourth following Alastair's penalty.
It was an unbelievable weekend for Luke Hedger and Mark Wilkinson in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 race. Luke nearly said goodbye to being Championship contender when an engine problem occurred on the opening lap, however, the race was red flagged on that lap and the race rescheduled. The team had one hour to change the engine in Luke's bike and get him back out onto the grid. They did a fantastic job and Luke rewarded them with riding one of the most stunning races this season taking a great win for the team and the Championship lead.
Mark had a mixed weekend and after hitting a wet patch during qualifying was unable to put in a good time then, in the second qualifying session he had a bike problem resulting in just 22nd place on the grid. He rode his heart out in the race securing 14th place and two Champioship points.
Team Manager Michael de Bidaph - "Alastair rode a great first race to take the win and close the gap in the Championship standings, it is good to see him back at the sharp end following his injuries. He also rode a very good second race with the riders clashing paint on most turns, he came together with Jason O'Halloran and later penalised for the move. In my opinion it was a harsh decision and i feel that O'Halloran's strong protest did not help the situation especially as he had caused Alastair to sit up during the race by his aggressive manoeuvres.
Ben was struggling all weekend to find a set up that suited him so it was damage limitaion on a track he has sufferred misfortune in the past. Hopefully he will feel stronger at Brands Hatch and finish the season on a high note.
Luke was the star of the day; he rode his heart out on a bike that had been rebuilt in less than an hour. I must credit my entire Gearlink Kawasaki team for their hard work and dedication in putting Luke out on the track and for him to repay them with a win and the Championship lead was fantastic.
Despite Mark's problems during qualifying he once again pulled it all together in the race and rode fantastically well to secure some more Championship points. He has the right attitude and worked hard for the result and hopefully will have a good result at Brands Hatch."