Finally my 2015 BSB season has kicked off! We are unfortunately 3 rounds behind the other teams so it was hard going from the get go. My self and the PR racing team have tested and moved forward with the development of our superbike in the mean time. We ran into a lot of poor weather on the lead up to round 4 of the BSB Championship which was held In Snetterton, so our first session on Friday was once again a learning experience.
Friday’s objective was simple, develop the engine brake map through the electronics, as we had recently adjusted how it operates manually on the bike. The new manual set up gives us much more adjustability to help fine tune how the bike reacts on deceleration. We finished Fridays practice sessions with more knowledge but disappointed with the lap time which placed me in 29th position.
On Saturday morning we were able to make a step forward with our engine brake map. It did however highlight the chassis issues we were having as they were masked previously. We now had a clear direction and the bike started to actually react to the changes. Due to the afternoon sessions being qualifying the pressure was on to put some faster laps in. The bike did improve a little but I was unable to get the most out of the new rear tyres which reflected really poorly on the timing screens. My confidence was starting to build during the session but to see that we were 29th on the grid was massively deflating.
The PR racing team and I evaluated our recent findings which gave us direction for the Sunday mornings warm up session. We were able to finally make the bike hook back to the second apex of the turns when on the edge of the tyre. This gave me the ability to consistently run the same lines without the risk of accelerating with lean angle creating huge wheel spin. My lap times were slightly faster than the previous day and much more consistent.
Finally the first race of the season for our Liverpool based team was here! It has been a crazy journey and not at all easy. We went into the race with a differently balanced motorbike in search of more answers to our issues. I got off to a good start but quickly realised that starting in 29th position at a BSB race meeting is serious business! I managed to avoid any carnage on lap one but witnessed three crashes and bucket load of guys getting run wide. The new set up reacted well on the new rubber but come half race distance I was again struggling with a lack of confidence in the front tyre on tip in and mid corner. After a handful of near crash moments I decided to just bring the bike back in once piece since there was minimal chance of scoring any points at that moment.
For Race two we decided to make some small changes to the springs and compression valving in the front forks to get some feel back in the front tyre. I got off the line well this time and started to build confidence in how our changes had affected the front forks in the opening laps. We were then meet by a safety car situation which is unique to the BSB championship, it gives the riders a chance to all bunch up and continue with a rolling start after the track has been cleared and is safe again. Now that I had, had a handful of laps and sight of the tail of the pack again I managed to hold on to the main pack improving my previous best lap time by 1.3 seconds consistently. I finish a total of 20 seconds closer to the front of the pack by the end of the race which was a positive step for the team.
Its hard times at the moment with the results as they are so I would like to thank all my supporters and sponsors massively for being behind me! We are moving forward although it may be slow! Round 5 at Knockhill, Scotland is in two weeks’ time so stay tuned. I will also be bringing out some new MERCHANDISE for sale in a month or so keep your eye on www.jedmetcherracing.com!