Poster boy, Joe Francis, more than triples his 2019 points tally, with the support class riders exceeding all expectation on their debut seasons.
This time last week the dust was settling over Brands Hatch, drawing the curtains on a season like no other for the Lloyd and Jones Bowker Motorrad BMW backed team in the Bennetts British Superbikes championship.
The 2020 season was always set to be unique, with the team entering three different riders in three different classes, something that has never been done before. This was before the threat of COVID-19 that saw the season cut in half, extreme measure put in place and most importantly, no fans in attendance.
This was branded ‘The developing season’ by those involved with the Liverpool-based superbike team. BSB rider, Francis epitomised this by smashing his 2019 tally in every area possible, finishing amongst the points 9 times, totalling 24 points.
Securing two top ten finishes on the penultimate weekend of the championship also meant the #40 rider had achieved his start of season target. However, Francis is only set on building on this season’s positive momentum.
“I feel I have developed more as a big bike rider and took a big step on corner exit and knowing what to do at the right time.“Next year my goals will be to reach the top 10 more consistently and try to move as high up as we can. I plan on achieving these by improving our package as a team and me improving more as a rider and making myself better over the winter period.” Said Francis.
None of the riders are resting on their laurels as GP2 rider, Dan Jones is also gearing up to take on next season.
Jones brought home two pieces of silverware for the team finishing in P3 on two occasions. Not only did he add to the trophy cabinet, the Welshman showed great consistency all season long notching up 116 points across 11 finishes amongst the points.
The #44 will be disappointed the season was cut short after saying: “We had our strongest race in one of the last races. We improved all year and had two podiums along the way.”
Jones’ eyes are firmly on the future as he aims to spend his break preparing for the season ahead.
“The goal is top three in most races. I’ve proved I can be on the podium, wet or dry. It’s just finding that consistency in both the bike and myself.
“I am hoping we can go to Spain and do a few weeks of riding, but it all depends on COVID-19. Apart from that I will be in the gym, doing my cycling and running, making sure im prepared for next season.”
Sullivan Mounsey was another rider who made his debut for PR Racing. He showed bags of potential as he took on the Honda British Talent Cup.
After laying the foundations, Mounsey aims to build on the great start he has made to his riding career. Not only does the #4 rider want to improve this year’s performance in the UK but across Europe.
“Next year my goal is to get a top three finish, top five in the championship would be a miracle but I need to be at it every round, at the top of my game.
“The best [European] rounds to do would be the key ones, Moto GP, World Superbikes and BSB. My overall aim is to get to Moto GP.”
These ambitious targets are no doubt a reflection of PR Racing and everything they hope to achieve in the future.
Enjoy the winter and keep your eyes peeled for 2021.
The COVID clouded season has almost come to an end. Every other year PR Racing along with the rest of the Bennetts British Superbike teams would be gearing up for the second half of the season. However, todays free practice Friday at Brands Hatch will be the last.
The Liverpool based superbike team’s season was set to be a transitioning one with two of the three riders taking on new challenges. It has been Dan Jones’ first year on a GP2 bike. As well as, 13-year-old Sullivan Mounsey taking on many of the tracks for the first time whilst making his debut in the Honda British Talent Cup.
Of course, Joe Francis was still riding in the BSB championship and will aim to finish the season positively. Achieving his best finishes of the season last round with back to back P10’s will put the #40 rider in good stead to finish the season on a high and really challenge next season.
Francis showed good pace today in his FP1 posting a 1:27.6 whilst finishing in P15. This positive momentum will no doubt fill the Englishman with confidence going into the last two days of the season.
Jones is another who is coming off the back of a successful weekend last time out at the Donington Park Circuit. The #44 rider claimed his second podium finish of the season which even he admitted he “didn’t think was achievable” with this season supposedly all about learning.
The Welshman already has one eye on next season as he aims to hit the ground running. He said: “Today’s free practices went well. We had fun and tried some new things in preparation for next season.”
Youngster, Mounsey has shown real character and determination in his first year in the Honda British Talent Cup. Making his return last round after spending a month out with a broken thumb, the #4 rider performed brilliantly.
He will hope to continue this season excellent form this round with the overall goal being to build on this season.
Good luck to the team!
There was no raining on the team’s parade as all three riders faced the track and together and added points to the seasons tally for the first time since rounds 4/5/6.
Cohesion buzzed around the team in the build-up to the weekends action at the Donington Park Circuit, where the season began. Dan Jones once again showed how far he has come since then, finishing on the podium in race one sitting respectfully in P3.
Being within touching distance of P1 in the first race filled the Welshman with optimism to really push harder in race two. Unfortunately, through no fault of his own he was not able to compete at the front due to a mechanical issue with the bike. Jones will no doubt be ecstatic leaving Leicestershire with his second trophy of the season but more importantly, a good point haul for the team.
Joe Francis’ weekend got off to a difficult start with the weather negatively impacting Friday and Saturday’s action leaving the #40 rider with a busy Sunday, racing three times. The last day of the weekend got off to a brilliant start. Francis flew from P16 to P6 leaving the first corner of the race but suffered technical issues with the bike that saw him finish the race in P17.
When asked about the external issues he faced in race one, he said: “It was not good. I was gutted because I had done all the hard work, but we went straight back.”
The Bennetts British Superbike rider was not disheartened and was able to put a considerable amount of bad luck behind him, finishing in P10 in races two and three respectively. His highest finish of the season was even more impressive considering Francis started race two in P22, climbing a gargantuan twelve places.
After the action on Sunday, he said: “I am honestly really happy. The bike felt great in the last race and onwards to Brands Hatch now where we can hopefully keep this momentum going.”
We finally had Sullivan Mounsey back out and racing again after a long spell out. The 13-year-old broke his thumb going into rounds 7/8/9 and was unable to race in rounds 10/11/12 due to the whole Honda British Talent cup class being out of action.
Despite it being over a month since riding the track competitively and the conditions testing even the most experienced riders, Mounsey took it well within his stride. The #4 rider finished P13 and P10 respectively in the free practices on Friday and was able to replicate this form on Saturday in race one finishing in P13 again.
Mounsey was forced into retirement in race two and described Sunday as a “disaster” as a technical issue hindered his progress. A very positive weekend overall, not only for himself being back on the track but for the team.
Next stop, Brands Hatch for the last weekend of the season.
Rounds 10/11/12 were difficult for Bennett’s British Superbike rider, Joe Francis, after crashing out of qualifying. A mistake from the #44 rider left him no choice but to lie the bike down. However, Francis still managed to earn an a respectful P17 qualifying start going into race one.
With the bike fixed up and looking as good as new thanks to the hard work of one of our partners, APM Customs, Francis was ready for race one. The race started positively for the local lad as he set his fastest lap time of the weekend posting a 1:36.6. But disappointment struck again as Francis was forced out of race one for a second week in a row, this time due to an electrical failure.
Race two followed the same suit as the BSB rider was again forced to retire after starting the race from the pit lane, as the same electrical problem struck a second time on Sunday. With nothing to lose in race three, Francis did manage to end the weekend on a positive note, climbing from P22 to P16 and posting a new personal best of 1:35.9 for the weekend.
After the action on Sunday, Francis reflected on the weekend. He said: “We have to rectify these problems. Obviously, we wanted points at our home round, but after the weekend we have had, just to have a solid race like that fighting for the points was what we needed.”
Dan Jones was active in the GP2 though he also endured a challenging round and said: “A difficult but fun weekend here at Oulton Park. It was my first time on anything above a 250 single cylinder so as you can imagine it was quite physical with a lot to learn.”
This was evident as the number #44 rider grew into the weekend with his best performances coming in race two on Sunday. P8 in the GP2 and a personal best of 1:40.3 helped the Welshman end the weekend on a high.
Even after coming off the back of another frustrating weekend, the unity and ambition of the team shines through. This was clear when Jones said: “The team stuck together and worked hard, so I thank them for that. Hopefully, next year when we come back, we will be a lot stronger with the knowledge we have gained.”
The whole of the Honda British Talent cup class was out of action this time out at Oulton Park, meaning Sullivan Mounsey missed out on racing for a second consecutive week.
All eyes now turn to Donington Park where we started this interesting season without the fans who were greatly missed this weekend in Cheshire.
The team will look to leave their mark as they prepare for rounds 10/11/12 at their home track of Oulton Park.
Despite facing mechanical issues at the last round, Joe Francis will be itching to get back out on the track. The BSB rider was forced out of race one on Saturday but with the bike’s problems taken care of overnight, Francis raced impressively on Sunday.
The #40 rider finished the weekend very strong and hopes to continue this positive momentum this weekend at his local circuit in Cheshire, as he said: “We were right there at the end; our pace was good enough for the top 10, but unfortunately starting 18th in the race 3 ruined it.”
“I was happier with 16th in that race than I have been with any other race and points this year.”
GP2 rider, Dan Jones impressed in his first race last time out, finishing P5. Having already set a new personal best in race two, 1.7 seconds quicker than race one and working his way up the positions. Jones was forced to retire. The number #44 rider is never shy of optimism and when asked how he felt going into this race weekend, he replied: “Im looking forward to Oulton Park, it’s the local one for me. It is also one of my favourite tracks so im excited to get going.”
“I will be looking to bouncing back after the issues at Silverstone, so let’s see how we go!”
Normally at our home track we would be looking forward to seeing our fans out in their numbers and everyone at PR Racing is devastated we can’t share this weekend with you. We can still feel your support and will do everything have a successful weekend as possible.
Good luck to the team and stay safe everyone.
The weekend got off to a disappointing start as Honda British Talent Cup rider, Sullivan Mounsey, was deemed unfit to race on Friday. This was a result of a thumb injury sustained in training earlier in the week.
The 13-year-old said: “It is a shame I can’t ride at my favourite track. But I will be back for the next one, stronger, fighting harder, better and I just can’t wait. Hopefully you guys (the fans) can come to one of the rounds soon.”
Rounds 7/8/9 were not as straight forward for teammate Joe Francis either. The Bennetts British Superbike rider’s qualifier was red flagged, just before the start of his hot lap, leaving him in P14 on the grid for the first race. Francis raced well but was forced to retire with five laps, which left him sitting in P14 for race 2.
Joe fought hard right until the end in a dramatic last race of the weekend but just missed out on a place in the points by 0.348. Finishing that close to the points and missing out is antagonising and would leave many disappointed but Francis said afterwards: “It was one of those weekends where you put a lot in and didn’t really get a lot out, but honestly, I was happier with sixteenth in that race than I have been with any other points this year, as the bike performed well and we have made big strides forward on the way the bike handles.”
Dan Jones continued his fine form in race one finishing P5 in the GP2 class. After the race he admitted: “I’ve been inside the top five all weekend and had the pace of the podium, but it just never happened, through little mistakes of myself.”
Jones was optimistic for his last race of the weekend, but the mechanical plague struck. The #44 rider was hitting his best pace of the day, posting a 54.7, a personal, but was forced to retire due to a mechanical issue.
Certainly not the weekend everybody at the team would have wished for but plenty of positives going into the next round and their home track of Oulton Park in Cheshire.
We approach the halfway point of the season as the team travel to Silverstone for rounds 7/8/9 this weekend.
The previous two weeks have been largely positive for the team, with all three riders achieving a brace of points and Dan Jones gaining the first podium of the season in the previous rounds, at the Snetterton 300 circuit.
The current form on the track is filling the whole team with confidence as the riders set their targets on a hattrick of points at Silverstone.
After sustaining a thumb injury. Mounsey the #4 rider is eager to ride and continue putting in impressive performances on the track as he said: “A Top ten would be nice but my main target is top fifteen and to stay finishing consistently in the points.”
Despite the doubt surrounding Mounsey, Bennetts British Superbike rider, Joe Francis emphasised the team’s positive momentum. He said: “The season is going very good. Me and the team are moving forward and working hard to keep on going in the right direction.”
Francis will not only hope to bring his excellent form with him this weekend but use his past experiences riding the Silverstone track. In 2013 the #40 rider won the Motostar British Championship and will hope for another successful weekend of racing.
After his place on the podium and taking home a trophy last week at the Snetterton 300 circuit, Dan jones will have his eyes on another piece of silverware to add to the teams newly dusted trophy cabinet.
The Welshman had previously claimed that this season was all about learning and improving in his new GP2 class, but his impressive performances are telling us something different and have resulted in Jones sitting fourth overall. The #44 rider will again look to push himself and his GP2 bike to the limit as he prepares for another weekend of racing in Northamptonshire.
Best of luck to all three riders and the rest of the team!
It was a very successful round 4/5/6 at the Snetterton 300 circuit as all three riders gained points and the team earned their first podium finish of the season.
Using Friday’s practice sessions to get used to his new BMW Motarrad Motorsport race engine in his BMW 1000RR, Joe Francis grew into the weekend and continued his good form finishing amongst the points in all three races.
The Bennetts British Superbike rider finished P15 in race one on Saturday but saved his best performances for the closing day of the weekend. Sunday’s action saw him finish P14 in races two and three respectively, he also posted a new personal best for the weekend of 1:49.0 in race two.
Speaking on his first weekend with his new BMW Motarrad Motorsport race engine, he said: “I only need a little bit now and we are going to be there, knocking on the door to the top ten. I was pleased with it; I learnt a lot about the bike, and I am actually quite confident.”
Sullivan Mounsey will be ecstatic leaving the Snetterton 300 circuit. After a disappointing Friday, crashing out of FP1, which put him out of action for the day due to damages on the bike. Unable to practice or qualify on a track that he has never raced on before left Mounsey a mountain to climb starting at the back of the grid.
A brilliant race from the 13-year-old saw him climb a gargantuan eight places, finishing amongst the points in P15 after starting in P23. After claiming yesterday: “I’m just hoping to get a finish.” The #4 rider not only finished but finished in style with his best ever performance on a racetrack. His best time of the weekend did come in race two – posting a 2:08.6. Unfortunately, this time was only good enough to secure a P16 finish on the last day but nonetheless a fantastic weekend for the Honda British Talent Cup rider.
Dan jones had another progressive weekend shaving a whopping 4.6 seconds from his FP1 time by the end of race one. Where he initially finished P5, Jones was pleased with the results. He said: “I crossed the line in fifth which I’m over the moon with, no one crashed out, so I’ve earned this one.”
Despite nobody crashing out, two overnight disqualifications bumped the Welshman up to P3, gaining his and the team’s first podium finish of the weekend and hopefully the start of things to come.
Everyone at PR Racing will be delighted with all three riders gaining points for a second consecutive race weekend as well as a trophy to add to the cabinet. All attention now turns to Silverstone for rounds 7/8/9 which kicks off on the 4th September.
A week that saw us fit our new BMW Motarrad Motorsport race engine into the BMW 1000RR for Joe Francis, it also marks the start of rounds 4/5/6 as the team travel to the Snetterton 300 Circuit.
Bennetts British Superbike rider, Joe Francis, is very familiar with the track at Snetterton, riding the track on several occasions. Last year he found himself posting a 1:49.6 personal best for the weekend. Francis will hope to use his experiences at Snetterton this weekend where he aims to build on the positive momentum gained in rounds 1/2/3 on the Donington Park National Circuit.
It is unknown territory for Sullivan Mounsey, as he takes on another track that he has not yet had the opportunity to ride on. This did not stop the #4 Honda Talent Cup rider from producing a very impressive weekend in round one with best finish of P10 and personal best of 1:18.8. The 13-year-old also managed to finish amongst the points when it mattered with a P14 and P11 finish respectively in races one and two.
When asked what he hoped to achieve in rounds 3/4, Mounsey said: “To have fun and learn as much as I can. It would be awesome to finish in the top ten and have a few battles on the track.”
It has been four years since Dan Jones has rode at Snetterton but that is unlikely to faze the man in form. He admitted he was desperate to be back on a bike as we edged closer to the season start.
Jones finished fifth and sixth in the GP2 class in rounds 1/2 and will hope to carry this confidence with him into rounds 3/4.
Speaking on this weekend’s targets, Jones said: “I’m hoping for more of the same. As long as we are getting faster, I am happy. I’m also looking forward to getting back on the FTR Moto2 bike.”
Good luck to the team and hopefully the huge efforts in preparation will result in a successful weekend on the track in Norfolk.
The long wait to the start of the season was worth it in an action-packed weekend, at a very warm Donington Park.
It was a solid start from the team as a whole. However, BSB rider Joe Francis did not have an ideal opening weekend. He started very positively on the Friday posting a 1:06.6 effortlessly blowing off the cobwebs after the season’s postponement. He then bettered that time by 0.01 of a second in the Saturday’s qualifying session.
Francis had a positive start to the first of the season’s races sitting in P8, but crashed out early on in race one after losing the front-end, which found the number #40 rider hitting the tarmac and sliding out of the race. He then struggled to regain his momentum on the Sunday, finishing just outside of the points in P16 in both races. However, in race three a rider disqualification found Francis bumped up to P15.
Francis had an optimistic outlook on the weekends action. He said: “We can definitely ride up there, it’s just about putting it together now for the races.”
There were more positives to take from the support classes as Dan Jones excelled on his first-round racing on a GP2 bike. Jones seemed to struggle through the free practices, qualifier and warm-ups but when it was time to deliver, the Welshman delivered. His two best performances of the weekend came in race one, finishing in P5 and race two finishing in P6 with a best lap time of 1:09.8 for the weekend and a new personal best.
At the start of the weekend Jones was asked whether he enjoyed a break from riding, he exclaimed: “No I haven’t, after such a positive test in Spain, it was driving me towards a return. I just kept working and focusing to the time I could be back on a bike.”
This mentality was brought with him on round one and hopefully, the rest of the season.
Also, in the support classes was Sullivan Mounsey. His first weekend on the track at Donington was certainly a successful one. Unsurprisingly, in all of the Friday’s free practice sessions the thirteen-year-old was gauging a feel for the track, but just like his team mate, Mounsey saved his best performances for when it mattered.
Saturday saw Mounsey finishing in an impressive P10 in the warm-up and P14 in race one. He continued this momentum on the Sunday with a P11 finish and a new personal best, posting a lap time of 1:18.
He said: “I feel amazing; it was a personal best on the first weekend of the championship. That’s all I can ask for.”
It was a great first weekend back in action for the Lloyd and Jones Bowker Motorrad BMW team and it is this momentum that the team can build on going into round two, and the rest of the season.
The wait is nearly over. Tomorrow marks the start of the 2020 season with the COVID-19 postponement making it an even more anticipated spectacle.
The virus has had a huge impact on everyone’s lives, especially people’s jobs. How has this had an effect on professional athletes and their preparations for the season? Dan Jones and Sullivan Mounsey helped to give us an insight on the positives and negatives that came with the unexpected break.
We all know the saying, if you fail to prepare you prepare to fail. This is particularly relevant in professional sports where the fine margins make all the difference.
British Talent Cup rider, Mounsey has found it a little more difficult to prepare for this season. The thirteen-year-old said: “It’s been difficult to prepare for the race season as the start date, seemed like the longest time and now it’s here, it’s exciting. It has also been hard not seeing everyone and dialling into the team energy.”
The energy and adrenaline you feel when racing on the track is almost impossible to match. This presented its own problem for Mounsey’s teammate, Jones. When asked what the hardest part of the postponement was, he admitted: “Not being able to ride at all. With racetracks across the UK closed, it was impossible to get that thrill. It’s something that us bike racers miss the moment we don’t have it.”
However, Jones did not find it hard to stay motivated for the inevitable return to the track. The British Supersport and GP2 Cup rider said: “After such a positive test in Spain last time out, it was driving me towards returning. Although it was uncertain, I just kept on working and focusing.”
The impact COVID-19 has had on the fans and especially the participants has been huge. Although, the PR Racing teams hopes for the season has not weltered.
Mounsey hopes to continue making progress and gaining experience on the track. When speaking of his targets for the season, he stated: “To get in the top 10 and get better with each ride I also want to communicate well with and give feedback that helps me and the team.”
Despite the current circumstances, Jones has claimed to have a very important season in the making. The Welshman said: “The targets from myself and the team are clear, it’s a learning year for me. My first year on a 600 is all about improving. As long as we see improvement from both sides throughout the season then we are on track.”
The team were finally back on the track today for the last official BSB test before the start of the new season, after the gruelling postponement of the season due to COVID-19.
It would have felt like a dream come true for riders Joe Francis and Dan Jones as they enjoyed four sessions under warm and dry conditions at Donington Park National circuit.
Jones grew into the test day, with his best performance coming in the second session. Jones finished twentieth overall and fifth in the GP2 class. His fastest lap of the day came in the fourth and final session posting a 1:10.9, slashing a full 4 seconds off his time from session 1.
Jones said: “It was great to be back on the track after a long while and blow off those inevitable cobwebs. I grew in confidence and felt a lot sharper as the day went on and I am buzzing to get the season underway.”
This will leave the GP2 rider optimistic going into the start of the season.
Superbike rider, Francis, came back to the track as if he never left. He showed great consistency over the four sessions and even set a new personal best of 1:06.8 for a single lap at Donington Park.
Francis added: “It was great to be riding again today, I underestimated how much I missed the atmosphere in and around the track. It is always nice to set a new personal best, but my sole focus is on the season ahead getting the BMW as close to the front as possible.”
The team are full of optimism after today’s test and are looking forward to kicking of the season back at Donington Park on the seventh of August.
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