Sorrymate rider Kurt Wigley recovered from crashing out of the Sprint Race to register another top 10 finish in the Feature Race at Assen for round 11 of the Dickies British Supersport Championship.
The weekend drew parallels to last month’s event at Silverstone, when Kurt also returned with seven points following a DNF and a ninth-place.
The first practice session of the weekend proved to be a learning curve for Kurt as he had not seen the famous TT Assen circuit for six years, meaning he spent much of the session becoming accustomed to the braking points and racing line.
Despite being at a disadvantage to most of the other riders, who attended the circuit last year, Kurt made huge strides in FP2 after a change of gearing and amendments to the suspension setup.
The Sorrymate team again had the support of Mupo and received their help working with the bike in between sessions and in pit lane in a bid to find the best setup and overcome any problems with the suspension.
Kurt recorded major improvements to his personal best lap time by going over 2.5 seconds faster to lift him into 11th spot heading into qualifying.
Conditions turned damp on Saturday morning and Kurt once again thrived with the wet tyres as he climbed up the timing charts into second position until a dry line began to appear.
This led to Kurt falling down to 10th on the leaderboard, although he was set to improve on his fastest time after producing personal best first two sectors, but the session was then brought to an immediate halt when Kurt exited a fast left turn and hit the damp edge of the circuit, which launched him over the handle bars.
Fortunately, the Sorrymate rider was relatively unscathed after the incident, avoiding any major injuries. However, the bike suffered severe damage having rolled several times on the tarmac, smashing the rear wheel and ripping off the clocks.
The team worked flat out to ensure the bike was fixed for the afternoon race and they succeeded in getting it to the grid despite a short turnaround of just three hours.
They were helped by a delayed start due to a downpour, which played into Kurt’s hands as an emerging specialist in wet conditions.
And he quickly asserted himself in the race by soaring up into sixth position on the opening lap, but it was soon apparent that the earlier crash was taking its toll and Kurt was unable to make further progress before dropping a few places.
He did show great resilience to perform a couple of overtaking manoeuvres to shift up the pack once again, but disaster struck when Kurt pursued another overtake and was pushed off line for a hairpin, resulting in the rear breaking traction and ending the race for the Sorrymate team.
To the relief of the crew, no damage was caused by the accident and there was renewed determination the following day to make sure the team would not leave the Netherlands without some points despite starting 15th on the grid.
Kurt headed straight to the inside of the circuit into the first corner and pushed forward while riders around him bunched up, enabling him to burst through.
As the field began to spread out, Kurt led the middle group and pushed away to bridge the gap to those in front. A position penalty was enforced due to exceeding track limits, but Kurt managed to lift himself up into eighth, meaning he claimed another seven points for his tally with a ninth-place finish.
Kurt has now amassed an impressive tally of 78 points with one more race to go as the Dickies British Supersport Championship concludes at Brands Hatch next weekend.
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.
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.
SorryMaterider Kurt Wigley extended his streak of racing. Gaining points with two 14th-place finishes at Thruxton for the seventh round of the Dickies Supersport championship.
The team were at a significant disadvantage
The team arrived at the fastest circuit on the calendar. However, they were at a significant disadvantage. This was after failing to find enough time to diagnose a repair for the reduced bhp that hampered the top speed of the bike in the previous round.
Kurt experienced further issues with the bike’s handling. He found that it was sliding and bouncing around when exiting the fast sweeping corners. As a result, the SorryMate crew performed a series of suspension changes. The idea was that it would compensate for the high-speed bumpy track in a bid to improve on a 13th place finish in FP1.
The move proved to be successful
The move appeared to have paid dividends when it took Kurt just four laps in FP2 to knock 0.6 seconds off his best lap from the previous session. However, his progress came to an abrupt halt as the problems returned, leading to a lower than expected 15th position.
With qualifying scheduled for Saturday afternoon, it allowed the team more time to understand the faults of the bike. The further inspections revealed a mechanical issue with the rear shock. This meant that the crew were unable to resolve the handling issue by changing any settings/ This was a huge blow to Kurt’s chances of producing any significant improvements in lap times.
Kurt decided to remove and service the shock in preparation for qualifying. He then took another half a second off his time previous best, but due to the disruptive nature of the weekend up to that point, he was forced to settle for 15th on the grid.
Further changes were needed
Further changes were made leading up to the 10-lap sprint race. These changes had the required effect as Kurt showed a much better place. He was involved in a heated battle with five other riders for 11th position. However, his good work shifting through the field was undone on the final lap. This is when Kurt overran the chicane leading onto the home straight and slipped to 14th for the chequered flag.
Kurt was intent on putting that unforced error behind him with a solid performance in the 18-lap feature race. Despite this, it was quickly evident that the lack of straight-line speed would prove to be a problem in his pursuit of a top-10 finish.
The SorryMate rider was overtaken on the back straight each lap. This meant that he had to try to outbreak his opponents. But even more so, he had to do this while also taking care of the tyres on the abrasive Thruxton circuit.
Kurt took home the 14th position
Kurt was unable to find a rhythm. Despite continuing to be aggressive on the brakes, he missed the chicane on several occasions. This led him to another 14th position. However, Kurt left the event with a handful of important championship points despite it being a frustrating weekend.
A plan has now been established to replace the engine ahead of the next round at Cadwell Park.
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.
Reigning British Supersport Champion Tarran Mackenzie endured a difficult introduction to his Moto 2 career as he crashed out in the French GP at Le Mans.
The 21-year-old replaced former Moto 3 winner Danny Kent at Kiefer Racing after he walked away from the team following an extended run of poor results.
It’s been a tremendous rise for Mackenzie, who sealed the 2016 British Supersport crown in his rookie year in the class.
The Scot made the switch to ride the new Yamaha R6 this term and had begun in imperious form, topping the standings in all six sprint and feature races for the opening three rounds at Donington Park, Brands Hatch and Oulton Park.
And his exploits did not go unnoticed as he was given the nod to ride the Suter.
Mackenzie, son of three-time British Superbike Champion Niall, was thrown in at the deep end having never ridden the bike prior to the first practice session, but held his own for much of the weekend, qualifying 29th on the grid before an unfortunate crash with five laps remaining.
His departure is good news for Sorrymate.com’s Kurt Wigley, whose chances of improving on his 10th place finish in round three’s feature race will be boosted with Mackenzie no longer leading the pack.
The new Moto 2 rider will be bidding to stay upright at the start of June for the Italian GP at Mugello before a trip to Catalunya a week later, while back home Wigley and co are back in action midway through the month at Knockhill.
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.