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.
It has been another positive weekend for SorryMate rider Kurt Wigley as he amassed nine points from the two races at the famous Brands Hatch circuit.
Kurt got his two best results of the season
Kurt achieved his best two results of the season in the previous round at Snetterton after earning eighth and sixth-placed finishes. He continued that form with another strong showing. Friday Practice highlighted the significant progress being made. Kurt ended the first session relatively disappointed with the 10th spot as he struggled to find confidence in the front grip through the fast sweeping turns.
A plan of improvement was established for FP2. The SorryMate crew produced an improved bike as Kurt went almost half a second quicker. Although he remained in 10th place by the end of the session. However, this only emphasises the competitive nature of the Supersport class.
A dilemma struck the tea,
Further analysis of the data obtained in FP2 provided the team with a dilemma. They had to make a choice. They could make a gearing change in a bid to improve top speed. Alternatively, they could act conservative and stick with the current setup that was causing a 6mph deficiency.
After careful consideration, the team elected to make the changes to the bike. However, they were prepared in pit lane to reverse them during the qualifying session if the new approach proved unsuccessful.
Rain meant the team had less time to prepare
With rain scheduled for the second half of the session, it was important to post quick times early on. On top of this, Kurt had to get used to a new gear setup. However, he performed admirably to make consistent improvements each lap. Kurt lifted himself into a solid ninth position when the heavens opened. It was a very impressive effort after the series of disruptions during practice.
Saturday afternoon’s sprint race was reduced to a 10-lap dash due to the miserable conditions at Brands Hatch and once the race got underway, Kurt’s lack of wet weather preparation was on full display.
Competing in his first ever wet session on the SorryMate Supersport machine, Kurt got trapped on the inside of the circuit on turn two behind another rider on the wrong tyre choice. His frustrations continued following a string of mistakes to push him down the order in 18th after just two laps.
Kurt pushed through the pack
However, the SorryMate rider quickly settled himself and began to push through the pack and into the points. As a result, he managed to salvage an 11th place finish. Having shown good pace in the sprint race and with improved weather conditions, the team approached Sunday’s feature race in high spirits. The Yamaha R6 was in the thick of the action from the first corner.
Plenty of overtaking took place throughout the race during a competitive battle to get into the top 10. Despite this, Kurt’s hard work was undone when he hit a false neutral entering an 80mph corner. As a result, this caused the bike to lock up, almost resulting in a crash.
Kurt had to defend his place
Kurt was then pushed back into the group behind. It seemed to be a hugely difficult task to avoid slipping further down the field. However, yet again he overcame adversity and set a personal best lap time to end the race. This beat his qualifying effort by half a second, to defend his 12th position.
The team are pleased to take nine points from the weekend in spite of the issues with the bike and further investigations will be undertaken to pinpoint the fault and resolve the issue before the next round at Thruxton.
Elsewhere, Sorrymate’s other rider Matt Wigley has undergone an operation to cement his broken vertebrae as he continues his road to recovery and is hoping for a return to the track soon.
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SorryMate‘s rider Kurt Wigley produced a fantastic weekend of racing by collecting 18 points from the two races in the Supersport class at Snetterton.
Kurt took centre stage in his brother’s absence
With brother Matt absent following the vertebrae injury he sustained during the previous round at Knockhill, Kurt took centre stage with a terrific display. Following this, he recorded his best results of the season. Friday’s first practice session kicked off on a positive note. Kurt posted a new personal best lap time and lifted himself comfortably inside the top 10.
Some adjustments to the suspension paid dividends in FP2. This was when the fastest lap time dropped by 0.4 seconds. However, the team could only manage 14th with the bike conceding 9mph in the speed traps to its competitors.
The SorryMate crew took a gamble
Ahead of qualifying, the SorryMate crew took a risk by making significant changes in a bid to improve the speed of the bike. The modifications proved to be a success with Kurt back at the sharp end of the grid. He managed to improve on his FP2 time by 1.4 seconds to put him in a strong 10th position for Saturday’s sprint race.
The 10-lap race began with Kurt being pushed wide into the fast sweeping first corner. As a result, he immediately slid down to 13th. However, the circuit offers many opportunities for overtaking manoeuvres, which the SorryMate rider utilised to significant effect.
Kurt battled for an eighth place
Having made his way up to ninth, Kurt was involved in a back-and-forth battle for eighth place. Eventually, he came out on top as his competitor was unable to handle the pressure. This resulted in him going off the track.
Having secured his best result of the year, Kurt entered the feature race in high spirits. This is despite lap times from the first race landing him in 13th place on the grid. Kurt learned his lesson from Saturday’s race. He decided to stay out of trouble on the opening lap. Only after this did he force his way through the pack and up into seventh.
Kurt claimed sixth place
A leading quintet of riders pulled away from the rest, but Kurt had sixth in his sights after reducing a 4.5-second gap. This is while fending off competitors on his tail. With only two laps remaining, Kurt had erased the deficit. He had taken no hesitation in claiming the sixth spot, which he then successfully defended to the line to seal a stunning weekend. This was following the unexpected event at Knockhill.
Meanwhile, Matt’s ongoing recovery took a bizarre twist. A specialist had found that further examination revealed that one of the broken vertebrae was, in fact, an old break from a previous crash that he had shrugged off as an ache. The injury forced him to miss out on the weekend at Snetterton, although despite suffering from the double break, he hopes to be back on track again soon.
Round four at Knockhill proved to be a tough one for SorryMate riders. Both Matt and Kurt Wigley as both suffered injuries that significantly hampered their progress.
Matt, unfortunately, broke two vertebrae
Matt was unable to race after breaking two vertebrae during qualifying. Furthermore, Kurt battled on with muscular and tissue damage from a crash in FP2. This happened despite scoring three points in a courageous 13th place finish. The team enjoyed a hugely successful 2016 at the circuit. It started with a first and second row start for the pair and a maiden pole position in the series.
This year’s luck seems to have run out
However, this year’s fortunes were in complete contrast to the last. Kurt had an awful high side attempt that forced him off the track and into the gravel. This, unfortunately, happened during the first practice session to set the tone for the weekend.
In addition to this, Matt found the opening session equally as tricky. He saw that the 1000cc bike was much less suited to the tight, twisty and bumpy course, ending in a lowly 30th position.
Kurt struggled to gain stability
Kurt was much improved for FP2. He even posted the second fastest time in the first sector. However, also though a top-five finish was looking like a distinct possibility, he failed to complete his flying lap. This occurred after losing the front on a high speed right turn and crashed out for a second time.
This incident resulted in a red flag as Kurt struggled to gain stability in his legs. This was due to substantial damage to his lower back. Fortunately, further assessments in the ambulance showed that nothing was broken.
Matt began to build confidence
Another red flag cut short FP2 in the Superstock 1000 class. However. Matt started to gain some confidence in the bike during qualifying as he rode among a fast group of riders. As a result, he knocked 2.6 seconds off his practice personal best.
But having worked his way to 22nd on the grid, Matt suffered a horrific crash. He collided with the fence entering the final turn at high speed that provoked yet another red flag. Unlike Kurt, investigations at the local hospital confirmed that Matt had sustained significant damage that would prevent him from taking part in the race.
Kurt placed 14th on the grid
So it was left to Kurt in the Supersport class to salvage the weekend, but it required a great deal of resolve and determination with his FP2 injuries restricting his ability to walk. In a tremendous effort, Kurt placed 14th on the grid and despite a slow start to the race that dropped him down the order, he launched his way back up to a respectable 13th to seal a second consecutive points finish, taking his tally to nine for the season.
SorryMate’s Matt Wigley produced a solid display on a global stage as the British Superstock 1000. He joined the World Superbike schedule at Donington Park last weekend.
Matt made great improvements throughout Friday’s Free practice sessions
Matt’s weekend got off to a great start. He combated sweltering track temperatures in the region of 40 degrees Celsius to record consistent improvements throughout Friday’s Free Practice sessions. However, qualifying the following day took a turn for the worst as his progression was stalled by an unbalanced tyre that crippled lap times.
Matt was unable to overcome these issues as the front end was unstable. This meant he only managed to match the pace set in FP1 to place 31st on the grid.
Race day brought on positivity
Race day brought some positivity. A quick getaway lifted the SorryMate rider up to 23rd after two laps of the 100-mile race. HoweverTyre wear caused a drop of four positions by lap 10 but a red flag provided a significant advantage for Matt as he held the inside line on the track for the restart. This allowed him to gain places yet again heading into the first corner. With fresh rubber, he pushed through the pack and worked his way into the top 20.
In typical fashion for the weekend, Matt made things difficult for himself with an off-track excursion at the Foggy Esses, but once again he showed great composure and resilience to battle back up to a respectable 19th, while knocking 1.9 seconds off his personal best lap time around the circuit.
As a result, it was a positive weekend for the team with another finish in the teens in the Superstock class.
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.