SorryMate once again invested in twins Kurt and Matt Wigley in 2017 as the racing duo continue to progress through the BSB ranks.
Kurt enjoyed a promising season after stepping up to the Dickies British Supersport class. In contrast, Matt only managed five outings in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000. This was before suffering a broken vertebra at Knockhill in June.
Matt recovered well and numerous manoeuvres
Despite his limited action, Matt showcased his overtaking prowess with numerous manoeuvres, in particular during his first race on the 1000cc Kawasaki at Donington Park as he recovered from starting last of 46 competitors on the grid to finish 16th, although he did not register a championship point prior to his season-ending injury.
Kurt managed to avoid any serious damage
Kurt avoided any serious damage. He was able to build on an early-season promise by claiming his first points in the feature race of round three at Oulton Park. His 10th position proved to be the first of eight top 10 finishes. He started a run of earning points in 14 of the remaining 19 races.
With Matt sidelined, Kurt took centre stage with a spectacular performance during the fifth round at Snetterton, producing his best result of the season by coming sixth and eighth in the two races to add 18 points to his tally.
Kurt was the first supersport to test Mupo suspension
Kurt then became the first rider in the Supersport class to test the new Mupo suspension in September, which provided immediate results in the sprint race at Silverstone by crossing the line in ninth spot, recording the sixth fastest lap time in the process to secure a second row start for the feature race. However, he, unfortunately, missed out on a potential top-five finish by crashing in the wet conditions.
The 22-year-old then came seventh twice and ninth once across the next four races at Oulton Park and Assen to increase his points tally further and the Sorrymate rider completed the campaign on a high with five more at Brands Hatch to conclude the year in 15th position overall in the Championship with 83 points.
The Wigley brothers are eager to further establish themselves in their respective classes in 2018.
SorryMate rider Kurt Wigley completed his rookie season in the Dickies British Supersport class with another finish in the points in the final race at Brands Hatch.
The result means he concludes the year in 15th position overall in the Championship with a tally of 83 points, including eight top 10 finishes, producing his best result of sixth at Snetterton back in July.
The weekend began well as Kurt carefully negotiated the early phases of FP1 with the track in a damp condition before posting the fourth quickest lap time after a dry line appeared.
However, it seemed the team had peaked too early as FP2 was riddled with problems due to an incorrect gearing change that caused difficulty finding power on the exit of turns.
The issues continued into qualifying as Kurt almost lost the front on numerous occasions when entering the first and final turn. In addition, the team were struggling to find a solution to the bike running excessively wide on the exit of fast corners.
This meant Kurt was at a disadvantage to the rest of the field with a lack of speed and stability, meaning he was forced to settle for 15th on the grid for Saturday afternoon’s sprint race.
Several changes were made to the bike by the crew in a bid to improve performance and they appeared to have paid off when Kurt stormed out of the blocks and made a number of positions.
But it wasn’t long before the bad luck struck once again, with the bike suffering progressive brake fade. And the race came to an abrupt end for the Sorrymate team when Kurt failed to slow down enough on the entrance to turn four and crashed out having lost the front.
Despite avoiding serious damage to bike and rider, Saturday’s DNF led to a lowly 19th place grid position for the feature race, so the team elected to make a further gearing change along with alterations to the front suspension and engine braking.
Kurt took a more careful approach to ensure he completed the race and maintained a smooth line throughout as he rose up to 11th to continue his streak of finishing in the points at every circuit since the third round at Oulton Park.
This signals positive progress for the team in their first season in the Supersport class as they battled early DNFs and technical issues to achieve some tremendous results along the way, which bodes well for further success in 2018.
Kurt Wigley has a successful weekend
SorryMate rider Kurt Wigley enjoyed a fantastic weekend on the second visit of the season to Oulton Park. He registered two seventh-places for Round 10 of the Dickies British Supersport Championship.
The weekend almost began with disaster during a very wet FP1. This is when the steering damper bracket snapped. As a result, it nearly caused Kurt to lose control of the Yamaha on a straight exceeding 100mph. Despite this setback, Kurt managed to get the bike safely back to the pit lane. From here, the crew worked frantically to create a quick fix. Unfortunately, the SorryMate bike only re-emerged to complete two laps out of a possible 15 for the session.
SorryMate had some strong laps
FP2 produced more positivity for the team as Kurt recorded some strong lap times on a drying track. He worked his way into the top 10. However, once again issues struck as the bike lost all power and cut out when exiting turn one. Further investigations identified a blown fuse. This was a relief to the team as they were able to rectify the damage. Even though this was resolved, the disruptions in both sessions meant Kurt had lost vital testing time.
To add to the team’s problems, the Oulton Park circuit is in stark contrast to the previous round at Silverstone. It has a lot of bumps, cambers and twisty sectors. This meant that they had minimal information to carry over for the new Mupo suspension. However, Kurt was in impressive form nonetheless. He defied the limitations of the bike and set a time good enough for the fourth row in 11th on the grid.
Kurt was ready to fight for the best finish
The SorryMate rider enjoyed a fast start to race one as he broke away with the top 10 in the opening few laps. He appeared to be ready to fight for the best finish in the Dickies Supersport class. Unfortunately, this soon vanished when the brakes began to fade quickly. The team had never previously suffered this type of issue. To make things worse, they had to watch on as Kurt struggled to stay upright. He came closer to running off track and colliding with other riders when entering corners.
Luck was on Kurt’s side
Fortune was on the team’s side as the race was red flagged due to a rain shower. This allowed the crew to change the pads and bleed the brake fluid through the system. In addition to this change of wheels to wets in a desperate attempt to make the restart. The changes proved to be a success, with Kurt making early inroads after another quick getaway. As a result, this allowed him to lift himself in the to seventh position, recording the sixth fastest lap of the race in the process.
Kurt managed to successfully guide the bike to the chequered flag in seventh. This is a major achievement considering the problems prior to the red flag. Expectations grew higher for the feature race due to the quick lap time putting him on the second row of the grid. Conditions for the second race looked set to be ideal for the SorryMate bike. It thrives on a slightly damp track, but a heavy downpour just moments before the start caused a much damper circuit.
Kurt left with 18 points from the weekend’s racing
Kurt struggled to control the bike when finding the limit. He fell back into the middle of the pack in the opening couple of laps, dropping as far as 13th place. However, Kurt showed his growing maturity to consolidate his position and ease into a rhythm in a bid to reduce the mistakes after crashing out of race two at Silverstone in similar conditions last time out.
Having finally found his groove and benefitting from a drying track, Kurt began to produce some rapid lap times and was able to pull off a number of impressive overtaking manoeuvres. And his fantastic second half of the race resulted in another seventh place finish for the Sorrymate rider, meaning the team left Oulton Park with a haul of 18 points from the weekend’s racing.
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