Matt Bond, 08/07/06 – 09/07/06
MRO SuperSport 600 Championship
Despite usually competing in the European Superstock 600 Championship, Matt took the opportunity to compete at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire, in the highly competitive MRO SuperSport 600 series.
Despite running a relatively low specification machine compared too many of his fellow competitors in the class, Matt was returning to run in the UK for only the second time this season and was using the meeting as testing time, to help prepare his MIST Suzuki for the upcoming round of the European series, which will be held at the Czech circuit of Brno.
Saturday – Qualifying
A steady start in both qualifying sessions suffering with a few minor suspension problems which were quickly resolved by Ohlins specialist Steve Jordan led to a time good enough to earn 21st place on the grid for the opening “Super Pole” race of the afternoon.
Saturday – SuperPole Race
After a respectable start and despite opting to back out of the melee in the first turn, Matt ended the opening lap inside the top 20. For the next few laps he settled into a consistent rhythm and made good progress forward through the field, despite having to take avoiding action to miss a falling Pat Sheridan. On the final lap of the race Bond managed to pass another rider and took a respectable 16th place finish, five places forward from where he had started.
Sunday – Race 1
For Sunday Matt was in a more confident mood, and with further adjustments made to his GSXR600 K6 Suzuki was focused on improving his lap times and gaining further feedback from the machine to help further the ever continuing development process. The opening race began well withe another fast start and was already battling into the top 20 and, after avoiding a rapidly slowing Darren Whymark, exited the opening bend in 19th place.
Bond instantly became involved in a five bike battle although he struggled to keep pace on the straights, where his bike was significantly down on top speed against the tuned competition, he more than made up for it in the turns and was enjoying one of his best rides this season. By mid race Matt had become stuck behind Simon Sinnott and struggled to get past the Honda rider. Two laps later however and Bond made a stunning manoeuvre, forcing his way around the outside of the man in front and instantly improved his lap times and began to close on the group of riders just ahead. Despite his best efforts, time ran out for the teenager, who crossed the finish line in 18th place, but with an ever improving lap time Bond was happy with the outcome.
Sunday – Race 2
The final race came to the line and a flying start, the best he had managed all weekend and was instantly inside the top 16 by the end of the first lap. Being involved in a battle with four other riders forced Bond to concentrate hard and it showed as the Suffolk rider put in his best lap times of the weekend. Lap after lap he improved and it was entering the last lap where Bond showed his true class. After losing a place on the main straight Bond made a fantastic out braking manoeuvre to move ahead of Jonathan Wadie and then of the crowd thrilling mountain section Bond literally jumped past Pat Sheridan, to the joy of his MIST Suzuki team boss Mike Edwards. Bond held his position forcefully and crossed the line in 14th place, his best result of the meeting. A jubilant Bond returned to the pits with head held high, knowing that the work of not only himself but also the MIST Suzuki team, will put them in good position for the upcoming Brno round.
Matt Bond would like to thank all the sponsors and supporters and hopes that a good result at Brno will be returned for the continued effort of everyone in the team.