2019 SEASON STARTS BRRRRAUP !
At last, following a successful meeting with our main sponsor Echelon Consultancy in December we have pulled together an exciting plan for the 2019 Stock 1000 season.
With Echelon backing we have already moved to purchase and develop a Stock 1000 ride with a brand new Suzuki GSXR 1000 from Crescent Motorcycles in Verwood, Dorset. This has already arrived at the Road & Race performance workshop nearby, ready for the strip and rebuild.
Alan Cook and Simon Green (R&R) will this week begin the build which should take no more than 4 days, so hopefully we will have something to show in the next week or so. Selected performance parts to build the bike to Stock 1000 spec are:
Yoshimura ECU and Loom
Yoshimura Exhaust system
GBR Race protection
Brembo HPK Race discs and pads
Ohlins steering damper
2D Data Logging
Decisions about which 1000cc bike have dominated our thinking since the middle of last season. With budget in mind and concerns about costs involved in running a BMW or Aprilia (both good performers) the main choices became the Suzuki, ZX10 or remain with the current Yamaha R1. The ZX10 has a great reputation but access to the 2019 spec bike was not guaranteed in time and unfortunately the purchase of the older model with inherent set up issues (upon advice) to deal with set this option back.
The already tested 2016 R1 was a promising choice as an entry option to the Stock 1000 series. With a friendly electronics package - easily operated - it had an overall attraction for us last year even considering known braking and wheelying issues. However, without breaking the class rules, ensuring the R1 delivered an even better performance proved difficult in 2018. Braking became troublesome in hot conditions, wheelying a constant thorn to full throttle operation. And then there was the engine failure! The new R1 might have resolved some of these issues but with so much on the new R1 having to be stripped off before track use it hardly makes sense with the 16K price tag.
Suzuki offers an attractive race scheme providing a register able bike and discounted parts. This deal amounts to a saving of over 30% off RRP to any BSB Race team. To start the season with a brand new machine, added to top spec bolt on race parts is an obvious draw and it is this option that has won our minds. Last years Stock 1000 results show that the GSXR, in the right hands, is a competitive bike and always featured in top 5 if not pole or podium positions. This can only get better after its first season of competition.
Our pre testing period has also been confirmed with the following dates in Spain and the UK:
Cartagena 28th Feb – 2nd March
Cartagena 8th – 10th March
Valencia 19th – 21st March
Silverstone 9th March
10 days of testing seems a lot but with the potential interruptions for weather and ongoing issues (always worth considering in motorcycle racing!) this may only be enough if it all proceeds smoothly.
Last season we suffered too many mechanical problems as well as braking and geometry issues. This year our Paddock team will develop a greater stringency in checking and examining components in a far more detailed and analytical way. Of the stoppages last season over half of them could have been avoided with better performance of components and earlier identification of impending failure. Having learned from these mistakes we hope to give Sam the best chance on the best ride we can reasonably afford.
Our knowledge of suspension set up has grown immeasurably since we knew very little in 2006! With the very tunable Maxton kit onboard last year we made great progress in getting the bike working earlier in each round, solving issues throughout P1 and 2. With greater inherent geometrical stability in the Suzuki chassis (it has an appreciably longer wheelbase than the Yamaha) we already start in a better position than the beginning of 2018.
Sam is also more sensitive to suspension changes and their affect on the feel characteristics of the bike. His own feedback has developed and he is more confident in asking for dramatic adjustments during sessions. This quality of input, matched with technical support from Richard Adams at Maxton will be a key asset in tuning for better pace.
One fantastic step forward for Sam and the team is the highly prized addition of a BSB rider mentor. Without naming names now (but soon) Sam will benefit in 2019 from the advice of a seasoned and experienced professional racer – one of the nicest guys in the paddock too!
Watch this space for more season start up news!
Sam Cox Racing