Kurt Wigley recovered from a prior crash
Kurt had an impressive top 10 finish in the feature race at Cadwell Park racing on behalf of the SorryMate team. This is despite having suffered with a problematic bike over the past couple of races. Kurt invested plenty of hours into improving the performance of the Yamaha R6 during the fortnight since Round Seven at Thruxton.
A tricky start for Kurt
It was initially a tricky start for Kurt in the first free practice session as he got to grips with the new bike setup. The Louth-based circuit is extremely demanding and is often referred to as the ‘Mini-Nürburgring’. However, Kurt was able to record faster lap-times as the session progressed. He posted a new personal best on his penultimate lap to place him in 12th.
Friday afternoon did not go as planned due to an unexpected downpour just minutes before the start of FP2. This hindered the team as the SorryMate crew were unable to test changes made to the suspension. Despite this, Kurt flourished in the wet conditions as he rose to the top of the timing sheet for the majority of the session. However, ultimately he fell out of the top 10 due to a late surge from many riders who took advantage of a drying track in the final few minutes.
Disaster struck midway through the session
Despite there being little to take from the session and Saturday bringing in more rain, the morning qualifying began positively. Kurt appeared to be finding a smooth rhythm. Unfortunately, disaster struck midway through the session. Following a fresh tyre change, Kurt lost the front and crashed out at Mansfield corner.
The mechanics worked promptly to clear the dirt out of the machine. This included readjusting bars and rear sets back to their previous position. This allowed Kurt to get back on track for the remaining four minutes of the session.
A damaged motorcycle didn’t hold Kurt back
Despite the bent bars and other slight damage to the bike, Kurt managed to improve his lap time. However, it was nowhere near fast enough to keep up with the rest of the pack. As a result, he slipped to the back row on the grid for the afternoon sprint race.
Determined to rectify his earlier mistake, Kurt made progress immediately off the line. He did this by utilising the exit of the pit lane to gain three positions before the first corner. In addition to this, further overtakes proved to be successful. He worked his way through the pack. However, the team were hit with further disappointment after another crash at the exact same corner ended Kurt’s race after just two laps.
SorryMate investigated the issues
Following further investigations later that evening, the SorryMate team established that the front suspension was bottoming out. This caused both crashes. Due to the change in elevation at that specific corner, the problem was enhanced, meaning significant chances had to be made.
Sunday morning’s eight-minute warm-up became a vital element of the weekend. The gearing was altered to maximise top end speed. In addition to this, a change of stiffer fork springs was done in a bid to prevent the forks from hitting the bottom of the stroke.
Kurt improved on his fastest lap
Kurt considerably improved his fastest lap of the weekend. This gave the team confidence heading into the feature race, despite starting from 19th position. Another fast start was needed and Kurt produced the goods as he headed straight to the outside of turn one. He performed a handful of successful manoeuvres.
A side-effect of hardening the front suspension was that the bike was liable to run wide. However, Kurt managed this issue carefully and continued to push forward. He completed a tough weekend in positive fashion with a well-earned 10th place finish.
The team worked exceptionally hard this weekend to take the bike to the next level and the hope is now to have a clean round nine weekend at Silverstone as we aim to close the gap in challenging with the leaders.