Rough weekend at the Italian GP for the Supermotoland race team.

Loris Ford-Dunn 82

It was always going to be a very steep learning curve for the two Racers selected by the Supermotoland race team, to contest the European S4 (road only) Supermoto championships at Busca, Italy.

The winner takes all

The task was simple enough. One event, 3 races, winner takes all and is crowned European champion.

New track to learn quickly

With 3 x 20 minute practice sessions on Friday to learn the track, and then straight into free practice and Qualifying on Saturday, the need to learn a new track and get up to speed was a must, and both team riders were up to the task. By the end of free practice two, Loris Ford-Dunn was in P3 and Nick Cronin was in P11. Considering that most of the racers they were competing against had been to the Italian championship 2 weeks before and had already tested and then raced on the same track, the team was very happy with the result.

The high point

But that was the high point………………….. from then on, bad luck and some unfortunate crashes just seemed to take over.

Timed Practice

The rain fell in timed practice and then stopped and the track started to dry. It was a case of last rider on track had the better conditions as the track dried. We miss timed it, and Loris ended up in P8 and Nick in P12. So the races were always going to need a very good start.

Race 1 and things get messy

In race 1, the heavens opened again, but the rain stopped on the grid and there was a chance that the track would dry. Nick Cronin played safe, like most of the field and stuck with full wet tires. But Loris Ford-Dunn rolled the dice, and with 2 minutes to go made his mechanic swap out the rear wet for a used slick tyre.

Loris got a good start but was then pushed wide in turn 2. in an effort to maintain position he pushed too hard on the slick rear and spun out. He remounted knowing that the track was drying fast and he had the right rear tyre on to make a charge through the pack. However unbeknown to him the crash had damaged his front holeshot device and locked the front suspension in a low position. He had to run the entire race with no front suspension operating and could not make up the time he needed. Loris finished race 1 in p9 and Nick in P12.

Sunday, morning Warm up

In morning warm up the sun was out and the weather looked good for the whole day. But Loris Ford-Dunn had a minor issue with a rear brake pad breaking up which slowed him.

Race 2 and we are getting confused

In Race 2 Loris finished P7 and Nick P12. Loris complained of a strange feeling when riding (as if i am riding on pebbles) which slowed him. This was put down to a bad suspension setting or tyre, and settings were changed for race 3 to try and improve things.

Race 3 and the end to a frustrating weekend

In the Final race of the Day the results were p10 for Loris (after a crash with 2 laps to go from P8) and P12 for Nick. Once again Loris struggled with a strange feeling from the bike all through the race.

What went wrong???

When Loris returned to his pit box after the race, it was discovered that his entire rear brake assembly had broken and was dragging against the rear disc (creating the strange, riding on pebbles feeling that he had complained of). A really unfortunate experience that ruined our chances in the races. We think the problem existed from timed practice onwards, and just got worse, until things deteriorated and there was a complete failure of the rear brake system, resulting in the brake binding and vibrating the rear wheel throughout the races.

Positives from the weekend?

Before everything went south……………………. We could see that we had the pace for a podium finish for Loris Ford-Dunn and a potential top ten for Nick Cronin. We tried as hard as we could, and we had a great weekend racing at the highest level in the World for S4 (road only) supermoto. At the end of the day despite the tricky weather conditions, racing on a track that others had loads more experience on, and all our mechanical gremlins and crashes, we still managed to come away with Loris Ford-Dunn in P10 and Nick Cronin P12 in the European championships. But we were gutted lol……

Thanks to these guys that make it possible

A massive thank you to all our team sponsors who make our racing activities possible. Especially our main team sponsors  ,  Putoline Motorcycle oils  ,  And Advance moves international removals.

We will be back……………………………………………………………………………


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