E2E Racing News

25 August 2008

Bike problems at Pembrey

Lee headed to the Welsh circuit knowing if he could win all 3 races he could sew up the Thundersport Sound of Thunder Championship.

Qualifying and race 1 went to plan as Lee won the first race comfortably. However bike problems in race 2 saw Lee having to pull out of the race, Lee explains:

"We were running quite tall gearing which I preferred through out the race and meant fewer gear changes, but it was costing me off the line and I always seemed to loose a few places on the start. Race 2 was identical to race 1, Lee Cutts-Bland got a flyer and I was about 4 for 5 places behind him on the first lap. I gradually picked my way past the other riders and by about lap 4 I was right on his tail. As I entered Honda Curve I noticed the oil pressure light was flashing on my dash, by the time I'd got round the Hairpin it was on fully and pulled immediately out of the race. "

"I was gutted as I knew immediately that we would not tie up the Championship this weekend, but more concerned with what might be the state of my bike. A quick call to the ever helpful Tony @ MotoCorse UK and he suggested it was more than likely going to be a faulty sensor rather than an actual oil pressure problem."

"Graham Goodyear very kindly lent me the sensor from his spare bike and the light went out, although concerning when we put my sensor in his bike it did not show a fault - we were going into race 3 not knowing if we'd solved the problem!"

"I took the first few laps of race 3 quite steady keeping one eye on the dash, but the light never showed, so I got my head down and took the lead early on, I then chased down the riders fighting for 3rd place in the GP1 race. I managed to pass a couple of them several times only to be re-passed down the Straights - after a few near-crash moments trying to bridge the 20 or so BHP difference in bike performance I decided to let them have their own battles and settle for the Sound Of Thunder win. I finished some 20 seconds+ ahead of the next Sound of Thunder Machine."

"In all I came away a little disappointed, but relieved that we finished on a high. We now go to the World Superbike Round at Donington Park needing to win one of the two races to clinch the championship - it would be nice to seal it there!"

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posted by The Team

18 August 2008

First crash of the Season for Lee

Lee goes down heavy on his second lap round Castle Combe and dislocates his right shoulder...

"We'd entered the Sound of Thunder and Superbike Grand National at Castle Combe. I've always really enjoyed racing at the circuit and was looking forward to a great weekend."

"On Saturday we awoke to a wet circuit and the Sound of Thunder qualifying was first out on circuit. With the weather looking very uncertain I was determined to get a quick lap in sooner rather than later and so started to push right from the off. Unfortunately this was my downfall, although it was not raining the circuit was very greasy and on approaching one of the chicanes (whilst still upright) I lost the front and went down heavy. Luckily both I and the bike slid down the track (what seemed like for miles). When I got to my feet I realised I'd dislocated my shoulder (again!).."

"As I walked to the side of the track with the marshals I knew I needed to get my shoulder back in as quickly as possible and after a few attempts it went back in and the gut wrenching pain went away a little."

"We got the bike back to the awning and started to assess the damage to the bike, I reached down to put the bike on the front paddock stand and my shoulder dislocated again - I can only assume I hadn't got it back in fully at the side of the track.,"

"This time it took me what seemed like forever to get it back in, all the time having to concentrate on not throwing up - the pain was unreal - anyway I got it back in and decided to sit down for a while!!"

"Dad and my new technical expert Ross (my brother) beavered away on the bike while I contemplated whether we could race the rest of the weekend - I decided to sit out the first Sound of Thunder race and analyse my fitness later on - as it turned out this was a good call as the first race was neither wet or dry and would not have been enjoyable!"

"As time wore on my should felt a bit better and the real pain I was feeling was from my right knee, which must have took a right bashing when I crashed, we decided to go out in the 2nd Sound of Thunder race and see how I faired. As I had only done 1 lap in qualifying I was 19th on the grid - so it was going to be an interesting race"

"I worked my way up to 6th spot and by the end of the race was doing lap times very similar to the top 4 (except Alistair Fagan who had destroyed the rest of the field to take the win). I was struggling quite a bit as my right arm felt very weak and was not happy with the bike getting out of shape too much as I was uncertain I could react if it got too out of shape."

"The last session on the Saturday was free practice for the Superbike Grand National, I went out and went nearly a second faster than I'd done in the Sound of Thunder race, I was 14th fastest overall, with the majority of the people ahead of me being BSB regulars - so I was quite happy - although frustrated at the fact I was being impaired by the state of my shoulder."

"On Sunday the SuperBike Grand National timed qualifying was first out on track and the track was damp in places, I was not 100% committed and feeling a bit hesitant when reaching areas with damp spots - I qualified 16th for the two main races of the day."

"We then had the final Sound of Thunder race (back on 19th on the grid for the start again) and I was determined to finish on the podium. I had a great race, but took too long to get through the slower traffic and finished forth - again doing lap times equal to the riders ahead of me."

"We had a great Superbike Grand National race 1, I had some good battles with the riders around me and managed to finish 13th overall. But really struggled after the 7th lap as the injury's started to take it out of me"

"We decided to finish on a relative high and not try and compete in the 15 lap final of the Superbike Grand National - we have a big weekend ahead of us this coming weekend at Pembrey and decided to give my shoulder a better chance of being fit by resting it"

"Big thanks to the team - Mum, Dad, Ross, Abi, Lou and Jackie (who was stuck at home dog sitting!) - and thanks to Colin Young for his hospitality and Kevin Jones for his forever entertaining company!!!"

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posted by The Team

11 August 2008

Bridesmaid @ Donington Park

Lee races at Donington Park with New Era and despite setting his own personal best lap time round the circuit, has to settle for 2nd place!

"We were just racing from practice - but Saturday was a wash out," explains Lee," We had a flooded first race, which I pulled out of before I crashed out of! Then pulled out of the second race (whilst in 2nd place) as the track started to dry and my wet tyres turned into gum."

"Sunday didn't start out much better, 4 laps into qualifying it started to rain and then the session was stopped. I checked the timing screen and at the time I was on pole, with the drizzle coming down I didn't expect to better my time, so didn't bother going back out when the session restarted. However most did and the track dried and I dropped to 3rd on the grid."

"In the race I slotted into 2nd place behind Marcus Wade on a Triumph 675, as the race was over 25 minutes and was going to be around 20+ laps I was in no hurry to fight for the lead, so I followed him for about the first 6 or 7 laps, then we hit back-markers and I seemed to always get the rough end of the deal, as Marcus slowly crept away from me. By around lap 17 or so it started to rain, not heavy but enough for me to knock off the pace and I truly lost sight of Marcus."

"Despite this I still finished over 14 seconds ahead of 3rd place man, and set my own personal best time in the process. Pleased that we'd tried different gearing etc and set a good lap time despite the strong wind that must have been effecting the times, as I was really struggling in places on the track."

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posted by The Team

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