17/09/20107: Both riders score top 15 finishes in difficult weather conditions
Yet again, the unpredictable weather played an important part at the team’s home round for R10 of the BSB Championship at Oulton Park in Cheshire.
After a frustrating first qualifying session that saw Kuba missing out on Q2 for only the second time this season, the Czech knew he had it all to do way back from P19. After a heavy downpour before race 1 that saturated the track, he proved yet again to be a good wet weather rider as he finished the wet race with three points and a P13 finish.
As the late summer sun dried the track for race 2, another good start saw Kuba blast off the line from P15 on thd grid. As the number 96 rider went out on the SC1 tyres for the dry race, he soon started to battle with several other riders in a close group that would last throughout the 18-lap race, finally crossing the finish line with another top 15th finish, and adding three more points to his championship tally.
Speaking to Kuba Sunday evening, he said. “We had different weather conditions this weekend and it wasn't easy to work on the settings. Race 1 was wet and the bike worked very well, it just took me a while to build my confidence on a track where I don't have much experience in those conditions. For the dry race, we had a different setup from qualifying and I was very happy with the changes. It was a great race as I was in a close group and I really enjoyed it. It gave us a lot of information for further progress as we head into Assen, which is one of my favourite circuits, in two weeks.”
“Thanks to PR Racing for their great work and all the sponsors and friends coming to see us during our home round."
Sam commented. “ I was happy with our practice sessions and we found a good setting with the bike. However, during qualifying, I just got unlucky in damp conditions as well as coming across a touring rider on my last flying lap. For race 1, I got a great start and battled my way to 15th and set a great lap time of 1.38.2 which I was happy with. In race 2, I got hampered by the damp part of the track on my first lap and then had two riders crash just in front of me. As the race continued I managed to get my head down and found my rhythm to claim back to P15. A massive thanks to the team and everyone who supports me.”
"In summary, it has been a difficult weekend trying to second guess the changes in the weather, but yet again we have moved forward both technically and as a team. The bikes will now be stripped and made ready for the trip overseas, as we head for the penultimate round at Assen in just under two weeks’ time."
10/09/20107: Kuba secures best ever BSB results
In treacherous weather, R9 of the British Superbike Championship at Silverstone Park hosted the final round before the showdown. The bad weather created some perilous racing conditions however, Kuba proved he was a master in the wet after securing a P8 in Race 1 and a top 5 finish, and his best ever BSB results in Race 3.
When discussing the weekend with Kuba he said. “In terms of results it was a good weekend in very difficult conditions. Having scored two top 10 finishes was great. I was happy with the pace in race 1, but the conditions were challenging due to the track being both wet and dry. We made a sensible choice of riding on full wets and I was happy with a season best finish. In Race 2 I managed to miss the melee in lap one, but struggled with race pace, as I pushed for a point scoring finish.
In Race 3 the spray and greasy track, made it challenging, so I had to take it easy for the first few laps. When I started to push, I saw more and more people falling victim to the slippery conditions, so I backed off again as there was enough of a gap behind. I was happy to see the race stopped in lap 10 and a 5th place finish is my best result in BSB, so I big thank you to the team.
We have a few issues in speed that we need to address before we go to Oulton Park, so we are out testing tomorrow and I am confident we will resolve it.”
Sam Coventry added. “FP 1 was my first proper session in the wet on the BMW, which was a good session, but scary. In qualifying, we were out late and I only managed one flying lap and had to start 21st on the grid, so I knew I had it all to do. At the start of the race I was bullied going into turn one so got my elbows out and pushed forward. I had a few good battles with the riders around me and really enjoyed the race. A P14 finish is a great result and I am looking forward to the next round in seven days.”
“In conclusion, the weather played a major part to the racing this weekend but we are all pleased with the results from both Sam and Kuba. Due to the amount of standing water on the track and the number of riders that had fallen in the final BSB race, stopping it after three-quarters distance was a sensible decision. I would like to thank all the guys in the team for their efforts.”
20/08/20107: Both riders finish in the points at Cadwell
Cadwell Park, one of the BSB calendars most demanding circuits lived up to its name, with both PR Racing riders having to ride hard to secure valuable championship points.
With this only being Kuba third competitive outing here since 2013 and still carrying injuries from Brands Hatch and Thruxton, we knew it would be a challenging weekend. A crash in qualifying for Kuba and rain during Sam’s session leading up to the race ensured both riders had their work cut out come race day, with 20th and 17th place grid slots respectively.
Kuba Smrz commented. “During free practice, we made improvements and things were looking good for the rest of the weekend. Unfortunately, I pushed too hard early in qualifying coming out of the chicane and high sided the BMW, which ended my qualifying session and saw me start race 1 way back on row 7. Sunday was another hard and sore day!”
“In the first race, I had a good start. I lost out in the usual jostling for position early on and was forced to cut the chicane, ended up over the grass, dropped to P20, but managed to climb back up and cross the finish line in 17th. For race 2 I had an even better start but was soon held up and found it hard to pass the rider in front. I managed to find a place to pass safely, but it had taken too long to make an impact in the race. In the final lap, I still managed to do my fastest time of the race, and the whole weekend. Thanks to all the team for a great effort including all the changes between races that helped improve my braking stability and corner entry. Now I have time to recover from all my injuries and the team can analyse the data and work on further developments to the bike. Looking forward to Silverstone as I want to give my team a nice reward for all their hard work!"
Sam Coventry added.” Upon reflection, I had a solid weekend. The team worked hard and continued to make progress with the set-up of the bike, the steps we made on race day improved my feeling with on the BMW. To finish with more points is a nice feeling and I’m looking forward to getting out again at Silverstone.”
06/08/2017: Smrz scores top 10 finish and Coventry builds on experience
In a very difficult weekend on the fastest circuit on the BSB calendar, Kuba Smrz achieved a top 10 finish while Superstock rider Sam Coventry continued to build his track knowledge around the 2.3 mile Hampshire circuit.
After the racing, Kuba said. “It was a tough weekend after carrying injuries from Brands Hatch and one more high-speed crash here on Friday at Church in FP2. After a good qualifying session, I was disappointed to have lost a couple of places in the first few laps of race 1. We had a game plan and a bike set up that worked on tyre longevity as we know the track here is very abrasive. However, after the race was shortened to 18 laps and the situation with the safety car all those plans were laid to waste, as we worked on tyre life all weekend and it was something to benefit from in in second half of the race.”
Finishing 11th in race 2 was a little disappointing as I just needed those two laps, which the race was shortened by to battle for 6 [Kuba was later promoted to 10th due to a race infringement by Glen Irwin]. This weekend our bike was working great even though there are always things to improve. Every race weekend we make steps forward and that is important. Thanks to PR Racing for their great work and already, I can't wait to be at Cadwell.”
Sam had also taken away a lot of positives, as this is his first season on the Superstock his confidence is growing each time he goes out and his lap times continue to improve.”
Round 7 was a very tough weekend with all that has happened on the track especially, the fatal incident that occurred during the Superstock 1000 featured race on Sunday. All at PR Racing would like to pass on our condolences to Mark Fincham’s family and all at True Heroes Racing.
23/07/2017: Injury for Smrz and top 10 finish for Coventry
We had a mixed weekend that saw both Smrz brothers sit out Round six of the BSB Championship due to injury, our new rider and PR rookie, Sam Coventry secured a top ten finish in his maiden outing in the Superstock 1000. Even through the Smrz brother were unable to ride, we still took away many positives ahead of our testing at Cadwell this coming Tuesday.
After making progress on the handling of Kuba’s BMW ahead of qualifying, the BSB rider’s hopes were soon dashed towards the end of FP3, as he was sent skidding to the ground after hitting a false neutral going in to Paddock Hill bend at over 100mph. The impact of the crash was recorded at over 10G resulting in the team’s worst ever crash, splitting the bike in half and catapulting it into the catch fence. Luckily, Kuba only suffered minor injuries to his left side, but as a precaution, after he was declared fit by the medical team, we decided not to race and risk further injury to Kuba around the demanding Brands Hatch GP circuit.
When speaking to Kuba he said. "Brands Hatch weekend started pretty well, we had a good pace on used tires throughout early free practice. We found major improvement in the bike settings and al the team were feeling positive for Saturday and a good qualifying session. However, we had an unluckily end to FP3, I started braking into paddock hill bend and changing down gears, the next I ended up tangled in the barriers while the bike was well and truly secured on the fence. The team managed to build a new bike for qualifying, but I wasn't able to ride due to knee, hip and back injuries. I decided to go out and see how I managed on the bike during try warm up, I still felt very sore. I could manage a few laps but it wasn't good enough to race. It would be very risky and a struggle, so we decided to sit the rest of the weekend out. I'm very sad about that, but it was right decision. Now we will concentrate on testing and focus on the next round. Thanks to all PR Racing for their hard race and effort!!! Better days coming..."
On his first race weekend for the team, Sam commented. “This has been a great weekend. A technical issue meant I missed out on FP1, but two P13 finishes and then a P9 finish in Sunday’s race was a great result. This weekend has already achieved my goal of a top 10 finish. I am really looking forward to testing in the coming week and then off to Thruxton. A big thank you must go to all the people in PR for the effort and support that have given me this weekend.”
17/07/2017: Coventry Signs for PR Racing
PR Racing has signed podium finisher and current Pirelli National Superstock 1000 rider, Sam Coventry heading into Brands Hatch for round 12 of the Superstock Championship. This season the number 59 rider from Hampshire has scored points at both Brands Hatch Indy and Donington Park and is looking forward to making his debut on the BMW this weekend.
On signing for the team he said. “I'm so pleased to have signed for Lloyd and Jones PR Racing for the remainder of 2017. After testing on the BMW early this month, I was impressed with the professionalism and experience shown by the guys and the way the bike handled. Both the team and the bike seem a great package. I'm looking forward to challenging for some great results and achieving my goals of a regular top 10 finish.”
“I'm really grateful to John and Julian at PR Racing for giving me this chance on the BMW S1000RR. I can't wait to get started at Brands! A big thank you must also go to my personal sponsors for making this happen.”
John Jameson. “Developing riders with talent is always important to us as a team. Sam has shown a lot of potential from when he started his career back in Formula 125cc in 2008 to his progression in to Supersport and Superstock. We are really excited to have Sam in the team and are looking forward to seeing what he can do.”
02/07/2017: Back to point scoring ways
It was a solid weekend for the team. Kuba had his first DNF of the season in Race 1 and a P12 finish in Race 2. Leading up to Sunday’s race, team spirits were high after completing our first Superpole of the season around the 3-mile Snetterton circuit. In Race 1, Kuba had a solid start from P9 on the grid, unfortunately, a low side early on in lap 4 saw the Czech hit the dirt sending the bike digging into the dirt and cartwheeling along the grass. However, all disappointment was soon forgotten in Race 2 as he managed to return to point scoring ways with a P12 finish, adding another 4 points to his championship tally.
After speaking to Kuba on his performance from the weekend, he said. "Early in Friday’s session we decided to try a new swing arm spec but after the second session, we agreed there was more development needed and we couldn´t risk using the new set up for qualifying. Going back to "old bike" settings was the right decision as we finished Q2 in 1:47:621, so going into Superpole with my PB was very good for us. Unfortunately, I made two small mistakes during the Superpole lap and finished 9th.”
“In Race 1, I had my first DNF of this season; I made a mistake after pushing too hard which tipped the bike off the track. The P12 finish for Race 2 gave us a few points, but again it was not a perfect result, but a solid performance by all involved. The important thing is we have lots of data to help continue our development on the BMW. The bike has lots of power, so our focus is now on improving the engine brake setting and the balance of the bike and weight distribution to allow me to have more feeling going through the corners."
"I´m a little disappointed with race results, as I placed much higher expectations on myself, however, a big thank you must go to all of the people at PR Racing for their 100% commitment throughout the weekend. We are all looking forward to breaking into the top 10 soon."
Due to his injury sustained at Knockhill, a disappointed Matej was unable to race in the Superstock 1000 race. Both Matej and the medical team are optimistic for his return to Brands in 18 days’ time.
19/06/2017: Top 10 start for Kuba
Knockhill was a very eventful weekend to say the least, broken bikes and damaged riders keeping all the teams and BSB officials busy around the tight and twisty 1.26 mile Scottish circuit.
Throughout Friday and Saturday Kuba showed good pace finishing consistently inside the top 10 in every session. He eventually secured himself, a seasons best of 8th place on the grid for the start of Sunday’s first superbike race. However things didn’t go as smoothly for Matěj in the superstock class, after a huge high side at the chicane during qualifying ended his weekend prematurely. During the crash he took a bang to the head, so had to sit out the rest of the weekend.
Come race day Kuba was looking forward to the racing with his 3rd row start. A bad launch of the line then getting mixed up in the typical melee that is lap 1 saw Kuba end his first lap of 30 in P17, undoing all his hard work from the previous two-days in less than one minute. After regrouping he rode a determined race eventually finishing in 12th.
Lining up in 18th position for race 2 he had his work cut out around the narrow circuit to secure a credible finish. After a solid performance, he crossed the finish line in 16th missing out on points by just 0.04 of a second, ending his 100% success rate of securing points in every race this season.
Speaking to Kuba he said. “I wasn't expecting much from Knockhill, as it's not a track that suits my riding style. However, we started the weekend very well and qualified for the first race on the 3rd row. As the race got underway, I had a bad start. As it is a narrow and tight circuit, the first few corners ruined my race. I only got a few points for 12th because of the many crashes in front of me. I had a better start for race 2, but as I was all the way down on the 6th row, there wasn't much I could do, even though we had a good pace. Of course, I am disappointed but feel positive with the things we have tried on the bike and with pace we had. Now I need to concentrate on Snetterton where I want to battle for top spots! Massive thanks to all at PR Racing for their effort and hard work as we keep improving.”
Matěj’s commented on the weekend. “I’m very disappointed about my crash in qualifying, I was just getting comfortable with the Knockhill circuit and improving my lap times when my weekend ended after my crash at the chicane. I had just set my fastest lap of the weekend and was looking forward to qualifying well and having a good battle on race day. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. I must say a big thank you the Racesafe marshals and BSB medical team for looking after me.”
28/05/2017: Season best for Matej
In what was a great support race to the World Superbikes at Donington, Matěj pulled out all the stops producing his season best finishes in the Superstock 1000. The second instalment of the new split race format saw Matěj finish with a brace of top 10 finishes with P6 in race one and P8 in race two, securing valuable championship points.
After the race Matěj commented. “In the first part of the race I got a good start and felt comfortable on the bike, which was reassuring after my heavy crash in qualifying. It was a nice feeling to battle with the other riders around me and come out on top with my best finish of the season, P6! I got another good start in the second part of the race, but a mistake in the early laps saw me lose 3 places in one corner. I regrouped and pushed on but was only able to fight my way back to 8th place, which is disappointing as I feel I had the pace for more. A big thank you to the team for repairing my bike after my high side in qualifying and a faultless pit stop in-between races. We still have some progress to make, but each time I go out it feels more comfortable and that has shown in today’s results.”
Overall a positive weekend as Matěj continues to improve his feeling with the bike as well as securing his best finishes of the season, now placing him 15th in the championship. As a team we are moving in the right direction, which is a nice feeling. Now the team have a busy few days ahead as we prepare the bikes for two-days of testing, with Matej and Kuba, first to Cadwell and then Snetterton 300 for the official BSB test.
17/04/2017: Building momentum
Round two saw an outstanding performance from both the Smrz brothers as we scored points in all three of Monday’s races. Kuba felt very positive on his BMW, as the team dynamics play to his strengths. The bike continues to improve during each session based on his feedback, as shown in the lap times. However, he admits that he needs more aggression during the first few turns. Overall we are happy with the direction we are going in.
After talking to Matej he said he was again happy with the progress of his bike's set-up, as it continues to develop on each outing. His lap times were good, so the times between himself and the front runners were not so dramatic. He mentioned that he made a few mistakes during both races and we will work with him to iron them out during the official test at Oulton. Overall Matej was very happy with the bike and is looking forward to the round 3.
In summary, the team had a great weekend as we continue to build a solid foundation to our championship. Both the bikes ended the round ‘shinny side up’, so just a few tweaks before the official BSB practice later this week and then we will be preparing for our home round at Outlon Park.
30/03/2017: Build up to the 2017 BSB season
The opening round of the season was an eventful one to say the least with crashes, cancelled sessions and changeable weather conditions. Both the team and riders were left with a lot of hard work to do in order to salvage some credible finishes, but to their credit everyone stepped up to the mark and we leave Donington Park in a positive mood and look forward to Round 2 in little over 10 days.
A spill in FP1 and a cancelled qualifying session for Kuba meant he lacked valuable track time heading into Sunday’s racing. With the grid being decided using the lap times from combined free practice sessions, he started the race from the 7th row. During Sunday mornings warm up session, Kuba also fell fowl of track contamination, causing him to join the infamous Craner Club, which provided the team with a busy few hours to ensure he could take his grid slot for Race 1. Kuba showed his experience, making a good start and rode with his head to secure a 14th place finish and 2 championship points. For the 2nd BSB race of the day Kuba finished a respectable 15th, again securing championship points. He consistently improved his lap times by over 0.5 of a second thanks to some set up changes made by the team in-between races.
A crash in a wet qualifying session for Matěj left the team with an uphill battle to get his bike ready for the new 100 mile race format later in the day. Unfortunately a resulting technical problem on the sighting lap prevented him from making his Superstock debut, placing him in 40th position on the grid for Sundays 16 lap race. An impressive first lap saw Matěj carve his way through the pack and up to 25th position, before a red flag stopped the race, resulting in the shortened restart original grid positions meaning Matěj had it all to do for a second time in the same race. At the end of the 12 lap restart Matěj had worked his way up to 17th place just missing out on a points’ scoring finish by less than 1 second.
The results from the weekend may not seem the best but after the trials and tribulations that occurred over the weekend, I am proud of the effort and hard work put in by all the team members and the maturity shown by both Kuba and Matěj to bring the bikes home in tricky conditions. To end the round with valuable championship points is a good feeling!
02/03/2017: Positive start to the season
As a new format to this season, I will be writing a journal that outlines the team's activities, such as those at Almeria or during a race weekend. I hope you will find it a great addition to our other social media activities, which include our Facebook page and You Tube channel.
As many of you will know we re-signed Matej Smrz for 2017 and he will be contenting in the superstock 1000 class, a class we last raced in 2 years ago! A new addition to the team is his brother Kuba, who will race in the BSB class. We are excited about having both Smrzs in the team and after a great pre-season testing schedule; both riders are confident going in to the first round.
Our pre-season test was very good, as we finished are last test session as top BMW, so thanks to the team for all their efforts. Talking of the team, we have several new members this year. A familiar face around the paddock is Kevin Tompkin who is our new crew chief, other new team members for this season include Neal Hough and Harry Stokell, so welcome guys and good luck. Our growing team will certainly take the pressure of Joe and myself. We still have many of the old faces going into the 2017 season, Julian, Brian, Wayne and myself.
This year we are increasing our activities around social media with the help of Jo Preston, who will be posting updates as and when they happen, as well as streaming live footage from inside the garage, so you can all feel part of the team and see the action as it happens!
Here is to a great season and feel free to like our posts or ask the team questions through our Facebook or Twitter pages.
PR Racing signs Smrz brothers for 2017 BSB season
Former World Superbike rider Jakub ‘Kuba’ Smrz joins PR Racing to contend the British Superbike Championship, while younger brother, Matej will spearhead the team’s return to the National Superstock 1000cc class.
Jakub Smrz said. “I am really pleased to be joining Matej at PR Racing. Having spent a season learning the BMW, I am looking forward to sharing that knowledge with PR and growing with the team, in what will be a very competitive format. We have already met as a group last week to plan everything and PR Racing have started preparing the BMWs so we can start testing as soon as possible. I feel very good about 2017. Can't wait to get on the bike soon and go racing!"
On returning to the team, Matej said “I’m feeling confident even after my difficult start last year. Luckily in my first year in BSB I joined a great team. John with his partners have given me another opportunity to continue in 2017 and I would like to show everyone it wasn't a poor decision” He added. “Having my brother in the team after more than fifteen years is like a dream and he will be a great asset. I can gain from his experience of the BMW, as well as the circuits. We work well together and I am looking forward to the possibilities this partnership will bring.”
On signing the Czech bothers, John Jameson, Team Principal said. “Kuba is a top rider with many years’ experience at all levels. His attitude and commitment to racing is second to none and this fits PR Racing’s work ethic. It‘s a massive plus for the team to be able to work with a rider of his calibre, as we move forward and take the next step in the championship.”
“We are pleased to confirm Matej has fully recovered from injuries he sustained early last season and is back in full training. Matej like his older brother, is fully committed to racing. Bringing his race craft to the national superstock will give him a very real chance to compete at the top of what is a very demanding series.”
“PR Racing and all our partners are looking forward to 2017 with the Smrz brothers, with the promise of returning to the success we have enjoyed in the past. With the right package we know we can compete with the best BSB has to offer.”