The new British Superbikes season is three rounds in and Sorrymate riders Kurt and Matt Wigley have already been making significant improvements in their respective classes.
Kurt produced a top 10 finish in his third race weekend in the Supersport Championship at Oulton Park, while Matt broke into the teens in the Superstock 1000 at the same event.
The 2017 campaign kicked off at Donington Park and both twins were forced to overcome adversity, with Matt carrying a shoulder injury and Kurt failing to record a lap in the first practice session due to a severe mechanical issue.
This problem led to a change to a standard Superstock engine, but the wet conditions levelled out the field, enabling Kurt to record an impressive 15th position in qualifying.
Matt’s luck was less positive after initially climbing to 17th out of 46 competitors as he lost the front under braking at the Melbourne Loop which forced him out of the remainder of the session.
This proved to be costly as a dry line appeared, meaning he dropped to 30th for Saturday afternoon’s first 100 mile race of the season for the Superstock 1000 class, which consisted of two 50-mile stints separated by a short pit stop for tyre changes and refuelling.
A mechanical issue then pushed Matt to last on the grid for the start of the race, but his speed was on full display as he made his way through the field, eventually just missing out on points in his maiden race on the new 1000cc Kawasaki, bringing home a 16th place finish. However, part two of the race proved less fruitful as technical faults caused a DNF.
Sunday was Kurt’s turn to take centre stage and he notably over-performed with the weaker engine by taking an aggressive approach on the brakes, crossing the line in 16th despite giving up 10mph in top speeds on the long straights in comparison to his other competitors.
Following a promising first weekend, the Sorrymate Racing team headed to Brands Hatch for three Supersport and two Superstock races.
Kurt completed his first ever session on the Supersport bike in fine form in 13th position, but Matt’s preparations were hampered by technical difficulties after a software update on the ZX10R.
And this time it was Kurt’s turn to crash out of qualifying after he lost the front while attempting a later braking marker in a bid to climb into the top 10.
Kurt struggled in the first sprint race as he finished 21st following a slow start off the line due to issues with the clutch that pushed him down the order, but he soon showed his class in the second race on the Indy track, battling his way through the pack to secure an improved 16th position.
Meanwhile, Matt also displayed his ability to overtake as he climbed from 35th on the grid to 27th, tackling treacherous conditions that eventually caused the race to be red flagged.
Both riders were again in action on the Bank Holiday Monday. Kurt made a spectacular start to reach 13th by the end of the first lap, but a restart was required following a red flag.
Unfortunately, clutch issues again cost Kurt time and he was then forced off-line at the hairpin, but he showed great determination to recover back to a respectable 18th.
Matt had a similarly disappointing getaway, but likewise managed to claw back positions before fighting with a considerable loss of rubber on the tyres late on to gain a second 27th place finish of the weekend.
The third round of the season saw the Sorrymate team visit Oulton Park and both riders were in positive mood.
Kurt was in particularly good form, recording 13th and 11th placed finishes in his two practice sessions as he eyed the top 10 spot that he’d been craving.
Matt also made great strides in practice on the awkward ZX10, cutting a second off his lap time in the second session.
However, Kurt’s sprint race ended early as he charged towards a pack of five riders, losing the front in the middle of the first chicane and crashing out.
Matt fared much better as he worked his way through the field from 33rd on the grid to 20th inside four laps, but after a red flag, he was forced to begin the restart from the back following a mechanical issue in pit lane.
Despite this, he took the setback in his stride and went on a rampage on the slippery surface, eventually launching his way back up to a terrific 19th.
The Sorrymate team’s morale boost didn’t end there as Kurt recovered from an early error in his feature race and rose up the pack into 10th.
He was in hot pursuit of ninth but took the chequered flag around half a second behind, although the top 10 finish is a stunning achievement so early into the season.