Team Prepare for 2006 Season
Lee has been hard training through the winter (6:30 down the
gym, Monday to Friday - now there's commitment!!), Steve has pulled
the ZX10 to pieces and given it a full going over, so the team
are set for Brands in March 06.
tyres for sale, click here
Bad Day at the Office at Snetterton
Having ridden the track many times before and racing
here with New Era earlier on in the year, Lee was hoping for a
good result at Snetterton - but brake problems plagued the weekend.
"Had brake problems all weekend, after 4 laps my lever was
back to the bar...
A bit of a problem at the end of the back straight, when you are
from 170 mph to around 70 to make the esses.
In the race I made the best of a bad situation and qualifing (27th)
but then got nurffed off at the end of the back straight whilst
making ground in 25th place, re-joined 32nd (6th from last), and
made progress back to 24th to then crash on the debris of someone
else's crash... One of those weekends.
I'm fine, minor damage to the bike, out next at Castle Coombe
at the end of
Lee Happy With Result at Croft
Having never ridden at Croft before and the qualifying
sessions carried out in mixed conditions, Lee Qualifies 30th out
of 47 riders.
Still learning the track during the race, Lee battles through
to finish 20th in the race, improving his best lap time in qualifying
by nearly 2 and a half seconds.
Due to Time and Monetary commitments, Lee will not be attending
the BSB round at Knockhill, but will be back at Snetterton (a
track Lee knows well) and will be looking for some good results.
Due to the cancellation of the Mallory round Lee will get two
races at Snetterton - with the postponed Mallory race probably
being ran on the Saturday with Lee starting 12th on the grid (as
the grid for this race is being carried over from the qualifying
that took place at Mallory Park).
More Race Wins for Lee & the ZX10R
Another club round, this time at Snetterton and Lee bags
some more race wins:
Lee's Report Below:
"Good weekend and although I'd like to have seen slightly
faster lap times I'm pleased with the two 1st's and two 2nd's
I achieved over the weekend. Doug Johnson proved as challenging
as ever and we had some good races.
On Sunday I lost my steering damper (It flew off and hit me in
the face) down the back straight which meant I had to pull out
and then go looking for it in the lunch break!!!
Good testing for our return later on in the year with BSB"
First win on ZX10R for Lee!
After a mixed day (both weather and results wise) at
New Era Club Championship Round 3 - Donington Park, Lee beats
a full grid in the Clubman of Donington Race.
Lee's Report Below:
"After qualifying 4th in a wet and slippery qualifying session
I was looking forward to some good results racing with New Era.
Wrong tyre choice (again!) for race one, left me pulling out of
the race as the heavens opened again and I didn't fancy throwing
the bike up the road, trying to wobble round on full dry's"
"2nd race was dry, but at this point I'd only done 3 laps
in the dry at Donington all year, so I knew it was going to take
me a few laps to get up to speed. After getting held up for a
few laps I moved up to 5th and started chasing down 4th place
man Greg Lewis and ran out of time (Forgot how short club races
are after doing the BSB rounds!!!). Finished 5th, with me finding
an average of a second a lap as I started to get tuned into the
"For the Clubman of Donington race, the grid positions are
luck of the draw, rather than based on any qualifying sessions.
I had 16th place on the grid, so I had a little bit of work to
do if I was going to pull a result. By Lap 2 I'd dropped straight
back into the 1.15's and was chasing the leader, with my lap times
coming down each lap, I caught and passed him to take the win!"
"Finally I'm starting to feel at one with the bike, Although
I'm yet to pull a decent result in the Superstocks race, I now
feel I can start pushing the ZX10R as hard as I rode the good
ol' RSV Mille - Watch this space !!!!"
Wrong Tyre Choice at Oulton Park
After a good first qualifying session and knocking over
2 seconds off his personal best round Oulton Park, Lee has problems
in 2nd qualifying and slips to 30th on the grid. With 50 riders
fighting for 40 places Lee was still relatively happy with his
qualifying position and was convinced he could make his may into
the points places in the race. With rain prior to the race, tyre
choice was difficult and unfortunately the team made the wrong
choice by choosing a wet front and a dry rear - with the majority
of the field choosing the right dry/dry combination. Despite this,
Lee battles all race to finish 24th - Setting a lap time fast
than his previous best.
Lee's Report Below:
"Oulton is a track I love riding, but out of the tracks
we will be visiting this year that I have ridden more than once
before, its the one I don't get on that well with. When I looked
at the calendar this year - it was the one I thought I may have
problems qualifying at. So in Qualifying 1 when I went 2 seconds
quicker than my best in a club race earlier this year I was chuffed
(despite being down in 24th at the time). I was convinced I could
drop in a much better lap time as I worked on other areas of the
circuit were I felt I was poor.
Qualifying 2 did not go to plan, For some reason my right boot
was fouling on the heal guard on my bike and my foot was getting
stuck to the bike (making changing direction very difficult!!)..
On my one quick lap I managed to put in (following Rhys Boyd who
qualified 11th), I managed to have a major high-side moment coming
out of foulstons chicane and was very lucky not to crash.
I was just happy to qualify with the bike in one piece in the
end - we removed the offending heal guard to stop the problem
I was having and was looking forward to the race.
It rained prior to the Superbike race 2 (they went out on wets),
then the 125 race went out - it rained some more then stopped.
With no more rain and the track drying I was struggling to chose
the right tyre combination. In the back of my mind I knew that
a full dry setup would be the right choice IF I was at the front
of the grid - with a good dry line and a clear track you'd be
stupid to chose anything else. HOWEVER - I was not at the front
of the grid - I had 29 riders ahead of me and if the dry line
was narrow in places, the only way to pass would be on the damp
so we went for a wet front and a dry rear. WRONG !!
On the sighting lap it was evident I'd made the wrong choice,
the track was bone dry except a few places - even the line through
druids (where it takes the longest to dry out) was a good metre
wide. Too late now to change tyres!
I got a great start and made about 5/6 places into turn one,
then I rode as hard as I could with no feeling of what the front
end was going to do. I made good process initially, while the
riders with full dry setups were testing the water (so to speak)
and think I'd got inside the top 20. Then as the riders behind
me got more confidence I struggled to hold them off. Had a good
little battle with Gary Allinson, Alastair Fagan and Ben Garner
before finishing 24th.
Not great, but not too bad either considering - I was carrying
hardly any corner speed due to my lack of confidence in the front
tyre, which meant my drive out of corners was being effected as
the bike was over geared for the relative corner speed I was carrying.
To still go quicker than I went I a perfectly dry race (with dry
tyres!) earlier in the year is amazing - because I was only riding
at 80% !!! Just imagine what I could have done If we'd have had
the right tyres and I could have rode at 100% !!!"
Next race - Croft - Lee has never ridden Croft before, so another
challenge lays ahead there.
"When racing in the dry with a wet front - Try to
the front wheel off the ground as much as possible!"
Picture by Neil Gilbert
Lee gets on TV - Well not quite!
After Lee's friends Gary & Kelly decide to place
a banner at the Bus Stop at Mallory Park - everyone is surprised
to see it on Sky Sports TV:
Superstock Cup - Mallory Park - Round 3
A Non-Starter at Mallory Park. With Lee's best qualifying
yet (probably due to a circuit he's been to more than once before
in his life!) - Lee qualifies on the 3rd row in 12th place. Only
for the race to be cancelled due to stoppages in other races,
which meant there was not enough time to run the race.
Lee's Report Below:
In Free practice I was 5th fastest out of 41 - I knew this was
a little superficial, but I'd set my quickest ever lap round Mallory
Park on tyres that had done a whole meeting the week before -
so I was chuffed!
Qualifying 1 - had a bad session to be honest, couldn't get a
clear lap (with 44 riders on the short Mallory Circuit) and tired
myself out battling to get through the masses. Went quicker again
though despite this, but provisionally qualified 14th.
Qualifying 2 - Busy again, posted a 55.9, which initially elevated
me to 10th spot on the grid. Came in and had a breather and went
out and set a lower 55.9 despite passing two people and getting
slowed up through the bus stop. Eventually qualified 12th (with
my combined best sector times putting me 9th fastest).
During all the qualifying I was never passed by another rider
(other than in/out laps) so I was convinced that I could run near
the front in the race (chasing quicker riders) and was looking
for a solid top ten finish. I was strong in the breaking areas
and knew I could make passes.
So far so good - then it all went pear shape - Through out the
day I could have sworn I was back at a club meeting - nearly every
race was red flagged (or at least had the pace car out) - time
slipped away and our race had to be postponed.
We will get a double header at a later meeting - but that's no
consolidation - as its bound to be at a circuit I don't know !!
Superstock Cup - Thruxton - Round 2
Good racing for Lee despite some mis-haps, and Lee still
hasn't got the hang of qualifying just yet!
Lee's Report Below:
Never been to the circuit before - Free practice 1, I was 20th
fastest out of 37
Free practice 2 - found a second and a half, was 19th fastest
out of 37
Qualifying 1 - found a second and a half, was 18th fastest out
Qualifying 2 - found a quarter of a second was 26th fastest out
of 40! - oops!
In the race I got a good start and was probably about 20th into
"The Complex". I'd been strong into both of the chicanes
all weekend, so my game plan was to dive up the inside and take
some places, I was due for about 3 or 4 when the rider in front
of me left the braking too late and was entering the corner with
his back wheel above my head, as he t-boned the guy infront of
him, I took avoiding action, but was hit by one of the riders
and forced off the track. I stayed on the bike, and entered the
circuit dead last. I got my head down and passed two riders before
the end of the first lap - when the safety car came out.
At this point we all have to knock off the pace and follow the
car round until the circuit is deemed clear and the car pulls
in. This normally means the field closes up and I could make up
a lot of the ground I lost due to my excursion. Unfortunately
for me, the rider infront of me (Andrew Sennett) was messing around
with his leathers or something and as we crossed the start finish
waving the green flag for "Race On" the next group of
riders were already through turn one. I promptly passed Sennett
and set about chasing the pack infront, with only 10 laps left
in the race! My Lap times were hindered by passing slower riders,
remember none of these guys are slow or mugs, so you can't just
breeze past them at will... Most of the time I had to latch onto
the back of them and then out brake them into the final chicane
only to then focus on the next guy, who might take me a whole
lap to bridge the gap. I ended up 19th over the line, out of a
grid of 40.
In all I was very pleased with my result, in the race I knocked
a massive 2 seconds off my qualifying time! To put that in perspective,
if I'd have done that in qualifying - I'd have been tenth on the
grid. Also, at the end of the race I was hitting consistent low
22's, and those laps were quicker than some of the top 10 riders
lap times at that point in the race. On the last lap I was the
12th fastest man on the track on that lap.
Thanks again to Dad and Steve, the bike could not be prepared
and tweaked by a better team. Thanks too to Chris at K-Tech for
sorting out the front end.
Roll on Mallory Park - Home Turf !!
First SuperStock Race at Brands Hatch
Lee enters the first BSB SuperStock Cup round at Brands Hatch,
and despite finishing way down the field is happy with his result:
"Hard work this Superstocks malarky !! Especially when you've
got a stinkin cold, a new bike and only ridden the circuit once
Really enjoyed it, Steve Howlett and Dad were a class pit crew
and they both were a major help - they pampered the bike after
every outing and shouted at me all the time to get on the case!!!
There was 46 entries and only 39 spaces on the grid - so qualifing
to race was my priority!!
I snook in at 35th on a 51.2 - 2 seconds off pole - if I could
have found another second I'd have been 16th !!!
Finished 27th in the race and shaved another 1/4 of a second off
my fastest lap on the penultimate lap, took me a little while
to settle in after launching a massive wheelie on the start and
nearly knocking my teeth out !!!
Good start really taking all into consideration, but I don't intend
to be flagging around at the back end of the grid all season...
Thruxton might be an even bigger challenge, as I've never ridden
there (going to play it on my Xbox to get a feel for it - but
its not the same obviously)..
Steve has the suspension on the bike spot on, so the only thing
holding me back is me, and that will come with time - I'm sure
After Thruxton, Lee will head to Mallory Park and more familiar
First Races of 2005
It was an extremely cold day at Mallory Park on Sunday for the
New Era non-championship round. Lee qualified 5th and was disappointed
with both his lap times and qualifying position, "I just
wasn't 'In the zone' all day", explains Lee, "it was
so cold, I couldn't tell how far I could push the bike and so
many people were crashing, I decided to hold back and finish the
day with a bike in one piece".
Despite this, Lee managed to finish both races in 3rd place and
take home some plastic-ware...
New Website, New team name!
Yes can't really call the team teamv2.com, as the v2 bit obviously
meant V twin, and now Lee's racing a Straight Four, team S4 didn't
quite have the same ring to it, so we've changed it completely!
Lee went testing at Oulton Park last weekend and had a great day,
despite being the middle of winter Lee managed to go over a second
quicker on the ZX10R than he did on his Aprilia last year in the
middle of summer!
The team head out to Spain at the end of February for 4 days testing
- our next website update will be when the team gets back.
||For old news (teamv2.com
days) click here