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Solid Sunflower meeting for KMR Kawasaki
After a long absence away from the track, KMR Kawasaki were back out in force at Bishopscourt last weekend for the Sunflower Trophy Races with David Haire and Darren James successfully contesting the two Supertwin races.
With good conditions on both Friday and Saturday at the County Down track near Downpatrick, combined qualifying times put David in fifth place overall on the SGS International/KMR Kawasaki and Darren in tenth, the Canadian having his first outing at the 1.8-mile venue.
Both races were keenly fought on Saturday with former Irish Supersport champion Haire running in the top five in both races. The first, held over eight laps, saw him secure fifth place at the chequered flag, just over a second adrift of fourth, whilst it was a similar outcome in the second which on this occasion was held over the shorter distance of six laps.
James, meanwhile, acquitted himself extremely well on his debut finishing eighth in the first encounter and then backing this up with ninth in the second. He lapped over a second quicker in the first race than what he had done in qualifying to make it a more than worthwhile trip across the Atlantic.
Speaking afterwards, team owner Ryan Farquhar commented; It was nice to have the SGS International/KMR Kawasaki bikes back out on track after a long time away and although I was obviously unable to ride myself, both Davy and Darren did a great job for the team. There was a wee electrical problem with Davy¹s bike which, although it didn¹t show up on the dyno, was causing a misfire under race conditions and it held him back slightly but both lads scored some good results.
It's highly unlikely that I¹ll be fit enough to race in 2017 but I definitely have the intention to run a team in some shape or form next year. I haven¹t decided yet who, where or when but we¹ll definitely be out in the Supertwin class, and possibly the Superbike class too, at selected meetings during the course of the season. This year has obviously been very difficult after my crash at the North West 200 and I'd like to publicly thank all the sponsors of the team for their continued support.
EHA Aprilia promo video
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Shimmy TV Review
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Bennetts Bike Social
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Lintin and Mercer line up for RC Express Racing in 2017
RC Express Racing have today (Sunday) announced that double Isle of Man TT winner Ivan Lintin will again spearhead their assault on the International road races in 2017 where he’ll be joined by new team-mate Steve Mercer. The team, owned by Ben and Roy Constable, will again campaign Kawasaki machinery in all classes.
Having won the Lightweight TT race for the past two seasons, Lincolnshire’s Lintin will attempt to take an unprecedented treble of victories in the class around the Mountain Course whilst again attempting a clean sweep of Supertwin victories across the three main international road races – the TT, North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix. This will be the Bardney-based riders’ third year with the team as the talented thirty-two year old seeks to build upon his previous, and considerable, success.
With a successful 2016 TT campaign under his belt, Lintin not only successfully defended his crown in the Lightweight category, he also secured an excellent tenth place finish in the blue ribbon Senior Superbike race, with a new personal best lap of 127.948mph. His dominance in the Lightweight class throughout the season however, was exemplary, with double wins at both the North West 200 and Southern 100 road races. The hat-trick was only prevented due to an operation on an injured finger that saw him side lined at the Ulster Grand Prix.
Kent’s Mercer, meanwhile, joins the Bristol-based team having deputised for the injured Lintin at the 2016 Ulster Grand Prix as he recovered from injuries sustained in an incident at Oliver’s Mount. The Kent based racer immediately demonstrated his adaptability on Kawasaki machinery securing eighth and ninth in the two Superbike races as well as setting his best ever lap around the high speed 7.4 mile Dundrod Circuit at a superb 131.423mph. Inclement weather conditions at the event resulted in very limited bike time, which made Mercer’s RC Express Racing debut even more impressive.
Following a hugely successful 2016 Isle of Man TT with the Jackson Racing Honda team, Mercer displayed great consistency and significantly improved form across the classes with eighth and 11th place finishes in the two Supersport races, where he produced a new personal best lap in the class at 124.392mph. He opened his account for the week with a solid twelfth place finish in the Superbike race, where the 34-year old recorded his best ever lap of the 37.73-mile course at 129.323mph, whilst he took a fine tenth place in the Superstock race with a best lap of 127.590mph.
Ivan Lintin: “The confidence that I have in the RC Express Supertwin and the overall performance of the bike and team, has shown with our dominance this season. Defending the title at the TT this year did carry some pressure, but having achieved that win which was so important for everyone, I feel confident that next season will actually be somewhat easier. I am continually improving with the bike, strengthening my performance as a rider and I can only see us building upon our success in 2017 and more specifically dominating on the Supertwin.”
“It was disappointing that I couldn’t go for the treble at the Ulster Grand Prix but unfortunately the recovery to my injured finger was just not complete. We’ll certainly be aiming to put that one right next year. I’m continuing to improve on the Kawasaki ZX-10R Superbike and with a new personal best lap around the Mountain Course in 2016, I feel even more confident of moving towards a 130mph lap and becoming a regular top ten finisher in races like the Senior. This will be my third year with the team and that consistency will be a major benefit. We’re certainly growing as a collective unit and there are some significant plans for the future so it’s certainly a great time to be part of RC Express Racing.”
Steve Mercer: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining the RC Express Racing team for 2017. Having stood in at the last minute for Ivan at this year’s Ulster Grand Prix, it was great working with Ben and Roy and, more significantly, having someone with the experience of Danny (Horne) alongside me during the event. There was an immediate connection with the entire team and with so much energy surrounding the operation, it made me feel very relaxed riding the bike, which showed with my results and lap times, including a personal best lap around Dundrod.”
“We struck up a conversation at the recent Macau Grand Prix and soon agreed a deal and it’s a great opportunity for 2017 to build myself as a rider with an aspirational, successful and growing team. Ben and Roy have some big plans for the future and now have a new Sporting Chairman, Ian Ayre, involved with the team, which is exciting. I was fortunate enough to meet Ian and spend some time with him at the Ulster GP and if I can be part of this future growth and some of the plans that have been proposed, it makes this one of the most appealing periods of my racing career.”
Roy Constable, Team Co-owner: “Ivan has been instrumental for the team and established himself as the leading Supertwin rider. We have set some ambitious targets for the new season and I believe that Ivan will continue to dominate his position in the class as well as build more competitively on the larger capacity machines. It will be our third year together and I firmly believe it will be our strongest yet. Our key target will be a triple of wins across the three main International races. RC Express and Ivan have grown together and I’m sure that 2017 will be another successful chapter for both rider and team.”
“Steve was an 11th hour announcement at the 2016 Ulster Grand Prix and there was an immediate connection between him and the entire team. He was outstanding at the event considering the very limited time that he had on the bike prior to the race setting a personal best at Dundrod on the Superbike. We immediately felt that he could be part of our future plans and engaged discussions with him at the recent Macau Grand Prix. Steve had an outstanding 2016 Isle of Man TT and I feel that with the support RC Express Racing can offer, he will build and develop further as a rider. We would expect Steve to increase his lap times at events like the TT and break into the 130mph club. With our infrastructure, professionalism and support, I see no reason why Steve cannot secure some podiums along the way.”
Success in the Ayre for RC Express Racing
In an unprecedented and potentially ground breaking move, RC Express Racing have announced today at the NEC Motorcycle Show that Liverpool Football Club Chief Executive, Ian Ayre, will be joining the team in a non-executive role.
Road racing fan Ayre, will act as ‘Sporting Chairman’ for the Bristol based team, helping to raise the profile of the operation and the sport of motorcycle road racing. With his extensive commercial experience working across major sporting global brands, it is considered that Ayre will offer significant guidance for the team.
The ‘Liverpudlian’ was recently honoured by his peers, taking the accolade of ‘Chief Executive of the Year’ in recognition for his achievements within football and most notably with the Anfield based team. In his time at Liverpool Football Club, Ayre has been instrumental in raising the global profile of the club, particularly within the emerging powerhouse economies of Asia, as well as attracting investment and securing one of the most lucrative shirt sponsorship deals in football with Standard Chartered Bank.
A passionate and lifelong supporter of Liverpool Football Club, away from the terraces, Ayre is equally comfortable on the grass banks and hedge rows of events such as the Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix. “I have always shared my love for football with that of two wheels” commented the newly appointed Sporting Chairman. “Road racing is an extremely special and unique sport. It is something that I have followed for many years, regularly heading to the Isle of Man TT with friends on our bikes.”
Talking further on his association with RC Express, Ayre explained how the appointment to the team became apparent. “I’ve been involved in road racing as a fan for many years so when Ben and Roy explained their vision and after seeing their operation up close I offered to help in a non-executive role. The team have experienced immense success in a short period of time and I feel that they could go on to become the leading team in the road racing paddock. Working with them in a non executive capacity will enable me to help and advise them where appropriate. It is certainly exciting for me personally and something that I am extremely passionate about. There is a tremendous future ahead for RC Express Racing and I’m thrilled to be part of the project, working with Ben, Roy and the rest of the team.”
Speaking on the announcements for the team, Ben Constable confirmed that RC Express were now beginning a new chapter in the teams’ history. “This is certainly a very exciting time for everyone involved in the team”, commented the joint owner. “Attracting someone with Ian’s experience in sport to our Bristol based racing team, is something we could never have envisaged. Dad and I knew that Ian was an avid road racing fan, keen biker and highly successful businessman. Our aim was to simply engage in some dialogue, enable Ian to join the team at a race and perhaps seek some advice on how we build and progress for the future. We are excited that Ian is joining us in a non executive role and he will be a huge boost for the team.”
“His success speaks for itself and Ian has developed Liverpool Football Club into a global commercial entity that rivals teams such as Manchester United and Barcelona. This experience, coupled with his significant knowledge of working with leading international brands can only assist RC Express Racing in our future goals and ambitions. Football and motorcycle racing are two very different sports. From our discussions with Ian, it was very clear that the financial scales between each discipline are significant, but fundamentally the principals remain the same. With increased global awareness for events such as the TT, rider profiles now gaining wider public awareness outside the sport and the appeal for brand association from leading businesses, there has never been a greater time to experience growth.”
“Both sports do face similar challenges in terms of attracting investment, ensuring rider and player value is fully maximised, as well as targeting wider communities for fans through direct engagement. Ian has experience in this area and if he can bring even a small element of his knowledge to the sport of motorcycle racing, it can only be of benefit to everyone involved. The entire team is really looking forward to working with Ian and we would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his interest in our race team,” stated Constable.
Lintin and Devitt RC Express Racing out of luck at Macau
Ivan Lintin and the Devitt RC Express Racing team were out of luck in Saturday’s 50th Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix with the Lincolnshire rider cruelly forced to retire with just two laps to go whilst running in a strong 13th place.
The Bardney-based rider was making just his second appearance at the Far East venue but was getting more and more to grips with the 3.8-mile Guia circuit with his lap times considerably quicker than 2015 and improving throughout practice and qualifying.
Thursday saw the 32-year old slot into 16th place during the morning’s free practice session but he improved his lap time by two and a half seconds in the first qualifying session later in the afternoon. He went quicker again during Friday’s second and final qualifying session and a time of 2m31.033s was a personal best and it placed him 19th on the grid for Saturday’s 12-lap race.
Rain in the morning meant that the warm-up session was held in slightly damp conditions but by the time the riders came to the line just before 4pm in the afternoon, conditions were good all around the course and a superb start saw Ivan and the Kawasaki ZX-10R leap up the order to 13th by the completion of the first lap.
It turned out to be a rather uneventful race for Ivan as he maintained station in 13th throughout not quite close enough to the group of riders ahead of him but comfortably clear of those behind. Despite circulating on his own, his lap times were very strong and with a new personal best, 2m30.346s, coming on the sixth lap, it was clear Ivan was more than comfortable with how his race was unfolding.
However, as expected, the latter half of the race saw a number of riders start to see tyre performance drop off and Ivan was one of them so much so that he had to pull in to retire at the end of lap ten with just two laps of the race remaining. It was an unlucky end to his and the team’s year although it’s been another superb season for Ivan and the Bristol-based team.
Ivan Lintin: “Practice and qualifying went really well and I was more than happy with how the bike was performing and how I was riding. It’s only my second year at Macau and it’s not the easiest of circuits to learn but each time I went out I lowered my lap times considerably. The race was quite a lonely old affair but, with a good start, I was happy with how I was going and with the lap times I did. As the race went on though, the tyre went off and it would have been dangerous to continue so safety prevailed and I pulled in. It would have been nice to have ended the season with a solid result but we will be going home happy with the progress we’ve made.”
Ben Constable, Team Co-Owner: “Unfortunately, Ivan’s tyre went off towards the end of the race which meant he lost a lot of grip and with Macau being quite a dangerous circuit, it’s not the place for taking any unnecessary risks. Apart from that, we were really happy with how the week had gone. Ivan set his fastest ever laps in the race and was riding extremely well so we’ve had a strong event. 12th or 13th would have been a great result to end the year with but whilst it’s disappointing to retire, the team has had a mega week.”Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix (12 laps)
1 Peter Hickman (BMW)
2 Michael Rutter (BMW)
3 Martin Jessopp (BMW)
4 Conor Cummins (Honda)
5 Horst Saiger (Kawasaki)
6 Stuart Easton (Racing BMW)
DNF Ivan Lintin (Devitt RC Express Racing Kawasaki)
ADAM Jenkinson made it a hat-trick of Anglesey Grand wins as the curtain fell on the Wirral 100 club’s 2016 season.
The National Superstock 1000 front-runner proved to be unstoppable once again as he stormed to two wins with ease. Jenkinson was out on his NEI Motorsport BMW and looking for his third crown having taken the Grand title in 2014 and 2015.
After qualifying more than two seconds ahead of nearest rival Chris Barnes on the AP Broome BMW, he took the win by more than 25 seconds ahead of Barnes. Mike Booth, another Superstock 1000 runner finished third on his Active Copier Systems Kawasaki.
Fourth across the line was Bobby Varey, making him the first 600 home.
The second race ended early for Booth as he got caught up in a coming-together on the warm-up lap, sidelining him from the race, which was reduced to 11 laps after a delay.
Jenkinson and Barnes disappeared off at the front, and once again Jenkinson emerged victorious, this time by 20 seconds ahead of Barnes.
David Jones was third and Jamie Harris was fourth and first 600.
On aggregate at the end of the day, Jenkinson was Anglesey Grand winner for the third year in a row with Barnes second and David Jones third. Varey won the award for the best 600 after Race Two winner Harris suffered a DNF in the first race, ruled him out of the running.
Reeves goes unbeaten at Scarborough and Assen
A busy week of racing saw Kent’s Tim Reeves win no less than five races out of five, firstly taking a hat-trick at the International Gold Cup road races at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough and then taking a resounding double in the penultimate round of the British Sidecar Championship at Assen, Holland.
The Gold Cup kicked off proceedings for Tim where he was reunited with Patrick Farrance and the Team Klaffi/F13K Cancer Formula Two Honda and the duo took pole position for the three races around the undulating 2.4-mile woodland circuit. Saturday’s action saw just a single race for the F2 outfits and Tim and Patrick opened their account with a 3.9s win over Steve and Matty Ramsden.
Sunday’s two six-lap races saw the duo again pull away from the rest of the field and even though the first race started on a damp, but drying, track, it was still the same outcome as Tim and Patrick led from start to finish, again winning by over three seconds. The final race of the weekend saw the Ramsdens grab the lead on the opening lap but Tim nipped up the inside at Mountside to eventually win by 3.2s.It was then on to Assen for the penultimate round of the Hyundai Heavy
Industries British Sidecar Championship and, despite only managing six laps during the two qualifying sessions, Tim and regular F1 passenger Gregory Cluze took pole position on the Team E-Aide Motorsport/Remse Racing LCR Yamaha.
Showing their enjoyment for the Dutch venue, the Anglo-French duo romped to victory in the first race, opening up a four second lead on the first lap when the circuit was still damp. Their eventual winning margin over Ricky Stevens/Ryan Charlwood was a commanding nine seconds and they duly took control of the second race the minute the lights went green.
Their second race winning margin was 10.3s and although their hopes of winning the title remain slim, their tenth win of the season meant they closed the deficit to Stevens to 47 points with just one round and two races remaining. However, double points – a total of 100 – are available at Brands Hatch and anything can still happen.
Tim Reeves: “What can I say, it’s been a brilliant two weekend’s of racing and with five wins from five starts, I couldn’t have asked for much more. Scarborough’s a great circuit and it was really enjoyable being back and although Patrick and I took the three wins, Steve and Matty never gave up and pushed us hard each time. The lap times were very impressive and it was good to end the year on the F2 outfit with a hat-trick.”
“It was then on to Assen and although we took pole, qualifying didn’t quite go to plan as a damaged oil pipe meant we only got a handful of laps in prior to the first race. Once we went racing though, everything was perfect and with the holeshot in both races, we were able to control things from the front. Winning the title may be out of reach but we’ll go to the final round intent on claiming another double. We’re relying on Ricky to have a DNF and everything go to plan for ourselves but we’ll simply do our best and see what happens.”
More Scarborough success for Lintin and Devitt RC Express Racing
The Devitt RC Express Racing team wrapped up their domestic season in fine style at the weekend with Ivan Lintin taking three wins and a haul of podiums at the International Gold Cup Trophy meeting at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough.
The Lincolnshire rider’s wins came in the two Supertwins races where he romped home on both occasions ahead of James Cowton, his winning margin in Saturday’s race being an impressive twenty seconds. Sunday’s encounter was slightly closer but he still came home over six seconds clear to retain the Lee Pullan Trophy.
He took his third win of what was a busy weekend in Saturday’s Supersport race and with third place in the same race on Sunday, which was held in the damp, he duly won the prestigious David Jefferies Cup.
The 32-year old was also in action in no less than four races on the team’s Kawasaki ZX-10R although he found regular sparring partner Dean Harrison in sparkling form and had to settle for second place on three of the four occasions. Saturday saw him take the runners-up spot in both the Open and Senior races before he scored an identical result in the feature Gold Cup Trophy thus matching his result of twelve months ago.
Sixth was the outcome in the Open race on Sunday after a slight coming together with another rider off the line left him deep in the pack. With the day again seeing good conditions around the 2.4-mile woodland circuit, it wrapped up another successful season on the UK roads for the Bardney rider.
Ivan Lintin: “It’s been a good weekend and I can’t complain at all with the results from the two days. I was a little bit apprehensive coming into the meeting after my crash here back in July but everything went to plan and to win the two trophies was very pleasing. We had some new electronics on the Superstock ZX-10R which were another step forward and although Dean proved that little bit hard to run with, the lap times were good and we’ve ended the season on a positive note.”
Ben Constable: “It was a really successful weekend for Ivan and with it being his first fully competitive outing since his finger injury sustained at Scarborough in July, I don’t think he realised just how well he’d go! We’d made quite a number of improvements to the 2016 ZX-10R which were a further step forward and Ivan had a better feel both in the wet and dry particularly when starting. The wet qualifying session for the Gold Cup was tricky and we were back in seventh and the third row but Ivan out in a great ride to claim second. He was the overall winner in both the Supersport and Supertwin categories too so it was the best Scarborough meeting for us in 2016 without doubt. We’re now looking forward to our return to the Macau Grand Prix in November whilst also planning ahead for 2017.”
Dan Hegerty to Pilot New Honda Firblade with Topgun in 2017
2016 TT Privateer champion Dan Hegarty has joined forces with Top Gun Racing for the 2017 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy. Dan will be piloting the new Honda Fireblade SP2 and CBR 600 at the TT as well as the North West 200, Southern 100, Ulster Grand Prix and Olivers Mount. The team will have support from Honda Racing and will be working with Maxton suspension.
Dan’s 2016 campaign saw him firmly make his mark at the TT as the leading privateer, with four top 20 finishes including 11th place in both the RL360 Quantum Superstock and PokerStars Senior TT Races, which are his highest placed finishes to date at the TT. He has a fastest lap of 128.431mph, which he achieved in the RST Superbike Race in 2016, that makes him the 25th fastest rider of all time around the Mountain Course. He was also fastest newcomer at both the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix, achieved a podium in the Southern 100 and scored a win in the Bob Smith Spring Cup at the Oliver’s Mount Circuit at Scarborough and pole position at the International Gold Cup.
A former frontrunner in the British Superstock and Virgin Mobile R6 Cup Championships, Dan made his TT Mountain Course debut in 2011 with his best results being the two 11th place finishes achieved in last year’s Superstock and Senior races. In 2013, he rode as part of the factory Norton team and now has six silver and 11 bronze replicas to his name. The team will begin testing in February with their first outing planned for the Spring Cup at Oliver’s Mount at the end of April.
Adrian ‘Wurz’ Cox, Top Gun Team Owner, said:
“Dan was our number one choice for 2017 as his ability and his desire to win are unquestionable. We believe that in Dan and the new Honda Fireblade we have a winning combination.”
Dan Hegarty commented:
“I am so happy to be riding with Wurz and the Top Gun team in 2017. Wurz is not a salesman – he’s a hands on team manager and a very genuine guy. Already he has underpromised and over delivered in many ways – my kind of guy! How he has grown the Top Gun team over the last few years is a great story and it will be a real team effort to achieve good results.”