Sheffield-based GR Motosport kicked of the 2017 season in style. Both Team WD-40 Superbike and the STAUFF Connect Academy scored points in every race.
GR have put together a completely new program for the 2017 BSB championship with new riders, crew and bikes in 3 different classes making for a busy weekend at the season opener at Donington Park. Entering Tommy Bridewell #TB46 in Superbike, Mason Law ~20 in Superstock 1000 and Liam Delves #34 in Moto3 with high hopes for each.
The MCE British Superbike Championship: Team WD-40’s Tommy Bridewell and the new Kawasaki ZX10RR on paper are a formidable package. His crew lead by Geoff Crust like others in the class suffered some teething problems with the setup of the Motec control ecu package but over the weekend started to move things forward. The mixed weather conditions made it quite difficult to get a good run in practice and then the terrible situation leading to the cancellation of qualifying left us with work to do in both races starting from 22nd on the grid. We know that Tommy is a great rider and he used these skill to pull back to 11th and 12th respectively splitting the factory Honda’s in the second race and left Donington Park sitting 11th overall in the championship.
Tommy Bridewell: “Tuff weekend for us at Donny, It was a big effort from my Team WD-40 crew making progress all weekend, we grabbed some points and will regroup and be ready for Brands!
Saturday’s weather conditions made for a tyre choice lottery with the first race starting in wet drying conditions, we went with dry set-up which made the early laps difficult Mason dropped back then started to push forward taking 8th at the flag… Then It was down to his crew Danny, Mark and Ash to fit new tyres and fuel in the tight time scale allowed before the start of the second race which they did perfectly being the first to complete their work. Again, we went for a dry setup giving Mason the best chance of another good result in only his second race on the big 1000. Mason did a fantastic job taking 6th at the flag and a good grid slot for Sundays feature race. Mason made a good start for the 16 laps then made a mistake forcing him to drop back but still finishing in the top ten and securing 8th over all in the championship standings.
Mason Law: “This was the first weekend back at school and I’m very happy with our progress at Donington Park. I gained over two seconds on our free practice one time after making a lot of set-up changes with my crew: Geoff Crust, Danny, Ash and Mark
“I must say I’m very happy how things are going with my new team and Kawasaki’s ZX-10RR has been great fun to ride all weekend. It was a new experience for me this weekend and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. The Stock 1000 class is very physical, but the class to be in and I learned a lot.
“Saturday’s race in the drizzly conditions on dry tyres was very tricky, then it dried out towards the end. So not ideal conditions for my first race on a Stock 1000, but we kept it upright and secured some points; then in race two I finished sixth with the sixth fastest time, so that made me pretty happy.
“On Sunday I didn’t quite get the result we wanted. Unfortunately, we had a few hiccups and I started to lose my brake. I adjusted it, but by the look of it, I adjusted it the wrong way and I think I hit a switch and turned the traction off, so for the first half of the race I had no traction control, which is certainly a disadvantage when everyone around you is using theirs.
“I managed to get it switched back on, on the lowest setting, which is what we normally run and it made the job a lot easier from then on. I went on to set my fastest time of the weekend on the final lap, so I’m very happy with that, but a little disappointed in the result. Although for the first weekend on the bike we will take that. We are in the championship for the long haul and I’ll keep learning and improving and we are already looking forward to Brands Hatch.”
Liam and his crew lead by Mark Hanna only had his first laps on the DR Moto a week before Donington. In mixed weather conditions Liam put together a great qualifying placing 6th on the grid for the Saturday sprint race – unfortunately with his lack of experience on the bike Liam made a terrible start dropping right back, but he regains composure and fought back into the points at the flag. Another terrible in Sundays feature race left him work to do but digging deep again fought his way back into the points to match Tommy’s results of 11th and 12th
Liam Delves: I really enjoyed the weekend, it was very different being part of a big Team with a lot to think about and be involved in other than just riding the bike. I have started working with my very own crew in Mark and Phil and even had Dean Reynolds working on my bike. The DR Moto is very different from anything else I have ridden so I have a lot to learn but the Team are showing me the best way to work with the bike and my PR duties. Really looking forward to Brands next week and see if I can learn to make the perfect starts…..
Brent Gladwin – GR Motosport Managing Director: “ What a weekend, we had our issues and worked through most of them. We have a great bunch in the Team and riders with awesome bikes and strong results – It’s been a while but It’s a great pleasure to say – 7 races, 7 points scoring finished and no purchase order for new fairings brilliant ! Now we are looking forward to Brands and see what that brings