After two hard fought races MIST Suzuki leave Brands Hatch in 4th place in the SuperBike Evo Championship after recording the fastest lap for an Evo spec. Suzuki over the weekend.
This was no mean feat for the former SuperBike Cup team who only decided to enter the class four weeks before race day and then had to build a bike, find a rider and try to finance the race weekend in a short space of time. Many late nights of work followed, including rebuilding the team’s spare engine from 2009 with new standard parts to make it eligible for the class, fitting and configuring a bespoke wiring harness, etc. culminating in finally running the bike on the dyno just hours before setting off to Brands Hatch for the race.
Team Manager Mike Edwards was fairly positive saying “After losing our sponsor and original rider at the end of February we had given up hope of racing in 2010 but as we approached the first round the draw of racing proved to be too much so it was a busy period trying to get everything sorted in time. We still have plenty of parts on order so we are confident that the bike will keep getting better.”.
Drafting in AMA SuperBike privateer, Dave Anthony, was a calculated risk as despite being an experienced Suzuki rider Dave would have to get used to new circuits and Pirelli tyres with no testing time before the first round.
As it turned out the bigger issues delayed early progress, including what turned out to be a problematic fuel pump that cost valuable laps over the first few sessions and a suspension issue caused by a damaged fork internal. After finally managing to get the bike working properly on Saturday evening the first dry track time was the qualifying session where the Dave finished as 5th Evo bike, just 1.86 seconds off pole. A significant suspension change overnight had the bike running in 2nd place for morning warm up on race day and the team confident for the two races later in the day.
Struggling to get away from the line in the first race Dave dropped to 29th at the end of the first lap leaving him with a lot of work to do. Knowing that we had a good suspension set up on worn tyres Dave took the sensible option of settling in to a good rhythm and was soon moving through the pack. The guys that had been 15 places higher early on in the race were gradually reeled in with the fastest laps coming towards the end of the race with Dave finishing 21st, and 5th Evo bike home, just 1.5 seconds off the Evo class podium and a fastest lap just 1.29 seconds slower than the full on SuperBike race winner.
A small suspension change for race two and a much better start had Dave sitting in 24th place on the first lap. Once again lapping faster than many of the bikes in front Dave was held up for half a dozen laps in the middle of the race allowing the riders in front to open up a four second gap. Eventually making his way past he closed the gap rapidly setting a new personal best time to finish in 18th place, 4th in the Evo class, once again just under 1.5 seconds from the second place podium position in the Evo class. Even better Dave’s new fastest lap was only just under 1.2 seconds slower than the SuperBike race winner’s best lap.
Mike Edwards concluded, “With no prior testing and the problems over the first couple of days it was a big challenge but I think we made the best of it. To come away fourth in the championship with a the fastest Evo Suzuki lap time from the weekend is great although I felt we had the pace to make it on to the podium had we managed to get the bike sorted earlier to allow us to qualify better. We will now be doing everything in our power to secure the necessary funding to make it to Thruxton where we hope to have some new parts to make the bike even more competitive.”.
The team have plenty of sponsorship opportunities available to allow them to continue this season and have a lot to offer any organisations interested in seeing their name vying for the inaugural SuperBike Evo Championship title.