MIST Suzuki Lead Championship After SuperBike Evo Double Win
The second round of the season couldn’t have worked out better for the dedicated MIST Suzuki team. Just two weeks after having run the bike for the first time they scored a whole range of firsts at Thruxton to take the double race win in the inaugural SuperBike Evo series. Having qualified at the front of the strong Evo field rider Dave Anthony also secured the Evo lap record at Thruxton and left leading the Championship by 18 points.
After all the excitement it is easy to forget that Dave nearly didn’t make it as his flight was one of the last to arrive before the airports were closed on Thursday due to the Volcanic dust in the atmosphere. Even at the time of writing he is still waiting to find out whether he will make it home to California at some point this week or whether he may have to stay a while longer.
Having fixed a fuel pump issue at Brands which cost valuable track time the team spent the interim workshop time trying to get to the bottom of why the bike appeared to be down on power. It was only when they got to the circuit on Thursday that a crucial configuration issue was spotted that meant they could fight on more equal terms at the fastest circuit in the country.
According to Team Manager Mike Edwards “A small team such as ours can only achieve so much so it is a testament to the help and support we have had from around the paddock to allow is to come so far in such a short time. The guys from Motec have ben brilliant who, along with Tim Seed, have always made time to answer our daft questions. We also had to call on the Ohlins expertise from Harris over the weekend when we had a problem with our forks otherwise we might not have been running at the front at all.”.
Taking his time in the first session to learn the track and make some minor suspension changes it was the second practice session where Dave showed his credentials finishing a close second in the Evo class before dominating the third session finishing in 16th place overall in amongst the main SuperBike riders. Just ten minutes in to the session and Dave was up in 9th place with a number of factory SuperBike riders left trailing in his wake.
With such a tight budget it was the end of the sessions where many others set their fastest time as they were able to fit new tyres whilst the MIST Suzuki team had to sit on the sidelines and watch the clock. Qualifying went well with the team inside the top twenty and thus making it through to the second qualifying session. Eventually finishing in 18th place Team Manager Mike Edwards was happy although confident that Dave could have gone faster had they more tyres available as they were sidelined half way through the period due to budgetary constraints.
Dave made a slow start in the first race and after being held up at the first corner finished the lap in 26th position a fair way down the field and behind many of the top Evo runners. Showing the same determination he had at Brands Hatch he soon found a strong rhythm and fought his way through the pack and was soon battling with the factory supported BMW that is widely recognised as having a good 20 hp more than the Suzuki. Showing that power isn’t everything Dave would overtake on the tighter parts of the circuit only to see the BMW power past on the faster straights. Swapping places every lap allowed some of the other Evo riders catch up but Dave made his pass on the BMW stick on the final lap and crossed the line 13th overall and 1st Evo bike home.
With the grid for the second race decided by fastest lap times from the first race the team were up in 16th place for the start. Getting off the line better Dave fought his way passed a couple of Evo bikes that had slipped through and rapidly opened a gap on the rest of the Evo field. Once again getting held up by the BMW Dave fought to get by but was regularly demoted again on the faster sections. Long time SuperBike regular Chris Walker had a few problems early on but used his superior power and experience to get between Dave and the BMW for much of the second half of the race.
Aware that the rest of the Evo field was closing in Dave bravely fought his way through to lead for just one lap only to have Chris and Steve Brogan on the BMW power past on the fastest part of the circuit. Giving away 30 hp to the SuperBike he bravely hung on until an incident at the chicane a couple of laps from the end delayed him enough for Tom Tunstall to slip through on another SuperBike. Not to be deterred he crossed the line in 17th place just half a second from Chris Walker in 15th. Another Evo race win and a new lap record to top off an excellent weekend.
Mike Edwards commented “We are overjoyed at the progress we have made this weekend. Our first podium in five years of racing and our second so soon after. Working with Dave Anthony has been a real pleasure. He has the experience to tell us what he needs from the bike and everyone then does their best to give it to him. Now we are leading the championship but still have to secure funding to allow us to compete in the next round at Oulton Park in under a fortnight so in between rebuilding the engine we will be out looking for sponsorship as we are determined to win the British SuperBike Evo championship title.”.
Anyone that is interested in helping the team please get in touch via the team website at www.mistsuzuki.com or email them at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.