May 29, 2019
SHEFFIELD BASED GR MOTOSPORT’S RIDERS HAD MIXED PERFORMANCES AT THE THIRD ROUND OF THE 2019 BENNETTS BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIPS AT DONINGTON PARK.
Following the results at Oulton where Claudio had struggled with injury and Storm had crashed out of another strong place, GR were focused on getting things back on track at the historic Leicestershire venue. Claudio was back in the Superbike points and both Eemeli and Storm had great races!
BENNETTS BRITISH SUPERBIKE – Team WD-40 Superbike, CLAUDIO ‘SHORTS’ CORTI, ITALY #71
The BSB triple header gave Claudio the opportunity to get back into the Superbike weekend. The ultra-closely competitive championship had lap times so close a simple mistake cost in grid positions. Claudio had the pace but was unable to get his ideal lap together finishing 22nd on the grid just O.6 off Pole position with his ideal time much higher.
RACE ONE: – From the start SHORTS settled in and made progress through the field into a battle with James Ellison. Shorts edged ahead by 0.1 to cross the line in 14th place and more points.
RACE TWO: – SHORTS settled in for a repeat of race one but in the thick of some great racing a little mistake by another cost us and we were out of the points in 18th place
RACE THREE: – Was a different story with 5 great riders including some of this year’s podium guy’s in a super fight for 10th place. After 26 laps it was the charge to the finish line and just 0.6 splitting the group with Claudio taking more hard-earned points for 13th place.
CLAUDIO ‘SHORTS’ CORTI: – “What to say, I really enjoyed race 3 but in race 2 we had some issues with a bike setting so for race 3 we went back to the old settling which let me have a great fight with the group. Now what to say, I feel I am heading back to 100% fit again and I am looking forward to learning a little of Snetterton and then to race at Brands Hatch. We have not seen our full potential yet but I am excited to look forward”.
BRENT, EEMELI AND GEOFF celebrate 4th
PIRELLI NATIONAL SUPERSTOCK 1000 – STAUFF Quick Connect, EEMELI ‘EME’ LAHTI, FINLAND #22
As Eme confidence grows he is really starting to gel with his Kawasaki ZX10rr Superstock 1000, there is still some way to go but his consistent growth in results is certainly turning heads. At Donington he was right on the ball through out free practice and looking good going into Qualifying. Sadly in his own words Eme had a stupid crash which cost him dearly in grid position landing 17th for the start of the first race but also it left him with a determination to get the results.
RACE ONE: – Eme told his crew that he would make a great start in the first of Saturdays 2 races and push to the front from where he was. His precision start and first lap performance brought him round for the first of the 22 laps in 7th place. Setting off after the leading in the important to finish first leg of the two 50 mile races Eme closed to within a few seconds of the leader to take a fantastic 4th place earning 4th on the grid for race 2!
RACE TWO: – Another fantastic start for the second 22 laps and Eme was to briefly lead showing the possible things to come. All Eme’s hard work did have its toll when he started to suffer a little with some physical problems but another fantastic hard-fought last lap, last corner manoeuvre and it was 4th again 😊
RACE THREE: – Things changed a little on Sunday at the weather threw its usual UK curve raining before the main feature race. Eme does not have much experience on the big Kawasaki yet so his crew had to make an informed guess at the settings for him. He made a good start but you could see his discomfort with the situation but rode a tactical race to a solid 8th place.
EEMELI ‘Eme’ LAHTI: – Yeah, the weekend started off quite well in free practice one and two. I learned the track and I had good pace without taking any risks.Going into qualifying I started to push more and i felt like I hit a wall with the lap time and couldn’t do any better. I got frustrated with the new tire with other riders when I tried to make good qualifying lap time. I ended up having one of the most stupid crashes I’ve had in a long time, leaving me P17 on the grid was a disaster.After qualifying we did big change for the bike which I knew paid off immediately when I did the sightseeing lap for the race 1. I told my mechanic I’ll come in top10 when we will first time cross the finish line, and I did. I took off from the start really well and The Bike felt really good and I managed to climb all the way to p4 to cross the finish line.
Second race I started from 4th and first part of the race went well. Then I suffered arm pump and I lost the rhythm with backmarkers making the race really difficult. A bit of luck and creativity I managed to cross the finish line again 4th.
For Sundays race I had the plan ready and I was ready to ride and fight for the podium. Then it started to rain. The Lack of experience with the big bike showed and I was struggling in the beginning. First time on real wet circumstances on the superstock 1000 machine wasn’t easy, but we learned a lot. P8 was ok result and now I’m heading home smiling!
Huge thanks to the team and my mechanics they did amazing job again. Also, I want to thank sponsors and fans for believing me. It’s not going to take long until we are winning races!
STORM on a CHARGE
PIRELLI NATIONAL SUPERSTOCK 600 – STAUFF Quick Connect Academy, STORM STACEY, UK #79
Storm Stacey now just 16 came to Donington Park to continue his progress of learning the 600 class on the Kawasaki 636. Having crashed out of the last race at Oulton Park, Storm was determined to get back into the grove. Working closely with his crew and Geoff, his weekend was planned to learn and get more vital Championship points. His work load of more understanding of what is needed to get the most out of himself and the Kawasaki was well perceived grabbing a strong 11th on the grid for Sundays feature race.
Storm got away with the top 10 and soon settled into a really strong rhythm of racing with the guys around him and closing on the next group to secure another great result of 7th place aboard Derek !
STORM ‘The Predator’ STACEY: – “Very happy with where Derek and I ended the weekend at Donington at the start of the weekend we were having a hard time perfecting the set up to make the bike better to suit me. But come the end of the weekend it was all down to the race so I started p11 and with a long battle ended in p7 and catching p6.
Again, I can’t ask for anything more from the team they do such an amazing job and putting up with me 😉.
BRENT GLADWIN MANAGING DIRECTOR GR MOTOSPORT LTD: – “Donington was one of those weekends which you really enjoy but then leave thinking what could actually have been.
Claudio’s ideal time in qualifying would have giving him a better chance of fighting for top ten places.
Eemeli had podiums at his finger tips and Storm is closing in too. Apart from Eme’s qualifying crash everything went well.
We even had some lighter times when everyone had their hands in the setting up of my own classic Yamaha LC350 which now runs like clockwork.
We are going to try to get the guy’s out at Snetterton for a few laps soon because its too much of an ask to learn the place in a BSB weekend and be competitive.
We are looking forward to Brand Hatch for more results and where we hope to unveil our Kawasaki Ninja 400 Team WD-40 Replica.