Round 3: Mixed results at home round
Great start to the weekend with Kuba pushing hard and Luke running in the top 8 in free practice. Unfortunately, Kuba’s crash in FP2 all but destroyed the BMW and needed a rebuild from the ground up. As a result of the crash he underwent physio at the circuit, but the lack of testing on the rebuilt bike and his stiffness from the 150 mph crash made it a difficult weekend for the BSB rider.
In the Superstock 1000cc championship, Luke was going well and missed the melee early on in the race, losing track position he had to take up the his fight for points from the back of the field. Pushing hard he forced his way back up the field and finished in P12. If the race was not reduced from 18 to 15 laps, I am confident Luke would have broken into the top 10.
In some of the hottest temperatures we have seen at Oulton Park, Kuba had a solid race 1, finishing P14, just missing out on P13 by several 100’s of a second. A technical issue in race 2 ment Kuba retired in lap 13.
We have a few weeks off as several riders head to the roads and then we are back for Snetterton in June.
Round 2: Breaking into the points
Both riders had a solid weekend breaking into the points in both the Superbike and Superstock rounds. Kuba had a fantastic start to his BSB qualifying with a P5 finish in Q1, however, during a flying lap in Q2 the traffic from Graham Hill Bend through to Surtees slowed him down and prevented a better gird position for the first race. After a slow start to race 1, Kuba climbed into the top 15 by the finish and scored his first championship points of the season with a P14 finish.
As the conditions favoured Kuba for race 2, we were confident of a good finish. Early into the race his visor started to mist up and by the end he was struggling to see two feet in front of the bike, so had poor visibility for a majority of the 30 lapper. Unable to push as hard as he wanted to, he just missed out on the points.
We had lots of positives to take away, and Luke is starting to get to grips with the BMW with a P15 standing in the Superstock championship. We have several test sessions scheduled before the next round, with visits to Cadwell and Oulton Park, so we are looking forward to our home round of Oulton Park during the May bank holiday.
Round 1: Glimpses of what is to come!
After the team’s promising start to the first round of the 2018 BSB season, with both riders running in the top 10 during free practices in their respective championships, our expectations were soon dashed after Kuba became a member of the Craner club during Sunday’s revised qualifying season.
Although the crash at Craner Curves was minor and Kuba was unhurt, the mud and dirt from the inclement weather conditions penetrated the wiring of his BMW. To diagnose and isolate the issue with the electronics took the team longer then we would have liked, so Kuba failed to make the grid for the first race of the year.
With no lap time from the first race, Kuba started from the last spot for race 2. He made a good start, but the gremlins were soon to strike again as the same issue that plagued the team earlier with the electronics saw Kuba retire to the pit lane at the end of lap 7.
Making his debut for the team, Luke was also running well throughout the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 free practice.
In his first round in Lloyd and Jones Bowker Motorrad colours he crossed the finish line in the points in 2 out of the 3 races over the Easter weekend, where he managed a very respectable 10th and 12th, finishing the weekend in a championship position of P13.
We now just a have less than two weeks to get the bikes in order and off to Brands Hatch - Indy for the second round.
Final shakedown before season starts
The team’s final shakedown before the start of the season took place today, at Donington Park, as part of the official British Superbike media launch and pre-season open 1000 test session. Supporting the team’s new livery for 2018, both riders decided not to participate in the morning sessions due to the inclement weather. However, as the sun came out in the afternoon and began to warm up the track, both Kuba and Luke were out in the final 1000cc season and enjoyed a shakedown ahead of the BSB season's opening round in less than two weeks' time.
It was important that both riders had track time ahead of Round 1. Obviously, we would have liked to be out in all our sessions, but we had nothing to gain and everything to lose if the bikes were damaged so close to Round 1.
After this outing and recent testing in Spain, Kuba and Luke are confident in the bikes performance and we are all looking forward to the start of the season.
Announcing Rider Line-up for 2018
Czech contender Jakub Smrz will return to the 2018 British Superbike Championship grid with the PR Racing LLoyd & Jones Bowker Motorrad BMW team, aiming to build on his previous season with the Liverpool-based squad.
Smrz was a consistent point’s scorer last season with the highlight of the year coming at Silverstone when he scored the team a top five finish. The team now have the additional boost of new partner Bowker Motorrad BMW, based in Preston. On resigning for the team, Smrz said: "I’m very happy to be staying with PR Racing for another year so I need to say thank you to John and Julian for the opportunity. Last season we started from zero but improved throughout the season and scored some good results and I felt very happy and comfortable with the team.”
“Last year we had some highs and lows, but we found a lot of areas we can work on and it’s great to stay on the same bike and build on our experiences. We had a very positive test in December so we have already started to develop and improve some of those areas and I can’t wait to get back to Spain and get our 2018 season started."
The team will also have an entry in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship with Luke Hedger joining the team’s 2018 line-up.
Hedger added: “I’m really excited to finally announce my plans for this year. I can’t wait to get the season started with PR Racing on the Bowker Motorrad BMW. I’m thrilled that John has given me this opportunity. I believe with a year of experience under my belt in the Superstock 1000 class, and in a well-established team I can battle for the 2018 championship. “I am excited to get to Spain and get some laps in on the BMW ready for the first round at Donington Park. I would like to say a massive thank you to John from PR Racing, Bowker Motorrad BMW, and all my sponsors for getting me to this point.”
John Jameson concluded by saying. “2018 will be a busy season from the team having three competitive bikes, but we are all excited about the opportunities this will bring to both the BSB and Superstock 1000 Championships. We are off to Spain next week to get the bikes and riders ready for the opening round in just over seven weeks.