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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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.