SorryMate’s rider Kurt Wigley, using his new Mupo suspension system, showed great pace across the weekend but suffered a DNF in the Feature Race after a ninth-place finish in Race One.
Unpredictable weather forecast made preparations difficult
An unpredictable weather forecast means that preparations were difficult for Kurt Wigley. This is down to the uncertainty of how the motorcycle will be set-up. In addition to this, the team became the first in the Supersport class to test the new Mupo suspension, with the assistance of Mupo’s experts trackside with us to aid the development.
The first practice session
The first practice session was used to understand how the bike functioned differently to the existing set-up. This meant regular pit stops were made to make the required changes. Kurt was able to get more laps under his belt and push the bike harder in FP2. He displayed a large increase in speed as he hit P1 midway through the session in the wet.
The Sorrymate bike, equipped with the new suspension, continued to impress in the rain and Kurt completed the session in a terrific fourth place. However, a lack of information in dry conditions reduced the team’s confidence heading into Saturday morning’s qualifying.
Kurt pushed the bike from the start
Kurt pushed hard from the start. However, the change in conditions was evident as adjustments were required with the handling of the front entering corners.
Despite qualifying in 14th, odd track conditions enabled the team to feel positive about the chance to move through the pack as six of the turns on the far side of the circuit were wet with standing water, while the rest remained dry. This meant there was a wide range of tyre combinations used by everyone on the grid, with a selection of full wets, intermediates and dry tyres.
SorryMate Crew decided to gamble on the dry option
The Sorrymate crew elected to gamble on the dry option in the hope that a dry line would appear in the wet areas. Therefore, it would be the most beneficial choice in the latter stages of the race. This proved a success as Kurt battled his way up to ninth and recorded the sixth fastest lap on his final trip round to earn a second row start for Sunday’s Feature Race.
Conditions were again difficult to anticipate and drizzle began to fall just moments before pit lane opened to form on the grid.The Sorrymate crew quickly changed to wets and this was the consensus with the rest of the competitors as the rain got heavier and showed no signs of stopping.
The race began
Kurt began the race excellently. He gained a place entering the first corner before establishing himself in a pack of five riders. He contending an exciting battle for five laps with continuous overtaking each lap. Kurt finally broke away from the group and settled into a rhythm as he chased the leaders. Despite this, he, unfortunately, lost rear-traction and his race came to an abrupt end.
He was launched into the air over the front of the bike but refused to accept defeat. He tried his all to remain upright by gripping onto the bars at the bike skipped from side-to-side with the rear wheel off the floor. However, the rear spun around just as Kurt landed back on the bike, meaning he sadly crashed out to miss out on potentially a top-five finish, although he did produce a spectacular replay on Eurosport’s live footage.
In spite of the low points tally for the weekend, it has been a fantastic learning curve for the team. We are getting closer to where we want to be. Kurt will attempt to build on this in a week’s time for Round 10 at Oulton Park.