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Positive result after a challenging Istanbul
World Superbikes visited Istanbul for the first time, a circuit that neither ProRace or Ronan had ever seen before. A one man team meant that Ronan had to work hard with the team to find a decent setup on a long and very difficult track.
Whilst Ronan almost totally dominated the wet session on Saturday morning, the team battled to find a dry bike setup that worked with the combination of straights, fast and flowing turns and tight infield sectors. Ronan's lap times came down but with each improvement in times the suspension and braking ability got worse. The result was one of his worst qualifyings - 20th.
Changes were made again for Sunday morning's warm up but these only confirmed that the bike was just not working for the ProRace rider. The team made a decision to take a huge risk and changed not only setup but tyre choice for the race. Rev limiter was pushed to the maximum and everyone held their breath as the race started.
Ronan did not take long to get the feel of the bike and although his grid position meant he was around 200 metres behind the front row he quickly started moving through the pack. Passing riders one after the other, an apology to Salom as he dived him on the inside forcing him to sit up, saw the youngster up to 12th and chasing hard. His lap times over the last few laps resulted in him reducing the deficit to Jack Kennedy from over 3 seconds to point 4 as they crossed the finish line.
Finishing 10th after a very difficult weekend for team and rider is a great result and everyone is looking forward to Magny Cours on the 6th October.
Back to racing with ProRace Honda
Following 8 months of no riding Ronan received a call up from ProRace to replace their injured rider. In only his second race with this dynamic team he once again proved he has the ability to run at the front.
He qualified in 8th in Friday's 1st timed session and was second quickest in Saturdays mornings free practice. However a wet track for qualifying 2 meant that no riders could improve their times.
A good start in the race and some incredible overtaking manoeuvres meant it did not take long for Ronan to get from 8th up to 4th, setting the first fastest lap of the race on lap 2 - in fact he was quickest over the first 4 laps and catching Foret in 3rd. Unfortunately a fantastic weekend turned into a disaster when the camshaft let go on lap 5 and a sure podium finish went with it.
Istanbul in Turkey is scheduled for 15th September and both Ronan and the team are eager to make amends.
Quarmby delivers most impressive ride of the class
Ronan Quarmby served up one of the most impressive rides of the World Supersport class on a changing Portimao circuit. Starting 20th he passed multiple riders to take a strong 9th place finish.
It was a difficult weekend for the 21 year old South African as he continues to try and improve his bikes setup. Battling with both front and rear suspension meant that Fridays two sessions on the twisty elevations of the Autodrome left the youngster frustrated with a bike that was running wide and lacking grip - he qualified in an unusual 25th place.
The team put their heads together on Friday evening and with the excellent input of the data specialist, Andrea, made some major changes. By the end of free practice 2 Quarmby was close to his usual place and finished the session in 8th - a theoretical improvement of close to 3 seconds. However he was unable to improve his times in the afternoons second qualifying, leaving him 20th on the grid for Sundays race. An unfortunate error on rear tyre pressure was losing him valuable time on exit of the numerous Portimao corners.
The rain came down on Sunday morning and once again Ronan was in the top 5 and hoping for a wet race. But by race time the track had a dry line and the Honda rider had work to do.
Pushed wide at turn one dropped him to 24th. The "Comeback Kid" put his head down and by lap 16 had passed 17 riders and was up to 7th. However he had lost valuable time on a difficult overtaking circuit and used up additional tyre wear in all his overtaking maneouvers. He got slipstreamed into turn one in the 2nd last lap and came home in a very impressive 9th place.
The last round of the championship is on 7 October at Magny Cours in France and Quarmby is looking to finish well up in the points.
Ronan: “That was a good result after what has been a really tough weekend for me. Starting 20th I got a bad start and was 24-25th. I got up to seventh, and finished ninth and I am happy with it, it is decent points. There is one more round and I want to qualify better. Today though, it has been a great race."
Slippery Nurburg for Me
This time nice and easy. A direct flight to Frankfurt, 10 minutes to get the hire car and flat out on the autobahn to Nurburgring – well as fast as my 1.2l rental would go. Accommodation right at the track entrance located in a beautiful town next to the Nordschleife, the famous 22km track where Jon Ekerold and Kork Ballington took race wins in 350cc and 250cc Moto GP respectively. That was in 1980, the year that Ekerold won the World Championship.
The weather was great and Friday morning’s first session treated me well. Out of a total of 32 world riders I was 4th, just 0,4 off pole. The track temperature had risen by the time we went out for first qualifying and we battled finding a good setup. Everyone else went quicker whilst we were slower, posting a lap time of more than half a second slower than the mornings free practice. I finished up 12th and not happy to have dropped two rows. Saturday was a repeat of the first day with my bike handling fairly well on a cooler track but lacking grip once the temperatures increased. In the morning I was6th but second qualifying saw me back in 12th.
We tried some setup changes in warm up on Sunday morning but with no improvement we went all the way back to my Friday first session settings for the race. The first lap of the race was eventful for us SA boys. I managed to pass 5 riders and get to 7th but unlucky Mathew had a coming together with another rider and was left stranded on the side of the track.. I sneaked into 6th behind Foret and was feeling comfortable. Then I started losing grip, I was losing drive out of the corners and even with a two rider slipstream was unable to pass on the main straight. Turn one is one of the best overtaking places but you need the top speed to make the pass work and I just could not get enough drive out off the corners to set it up. I rode as hard as I could, braking as late as possible, and taking a ton of chances. In the end I came in 9th, not a bad result out of 32 riders - however for me a poor result. . Final race results were similar to Moscow, Kenan Sofuoglu on the factory Kawasaki came in ahead of Jules Cluzel and Fabien Foret and now leads the championship by a substantial margin.
We have two rounds left in the championship and I hope to improve the bike setup and get some more decent results; so you need to all hold thumbs and cross your toes !!
Thanks for the overwhelming support.
Quarmby up front at Silverstone
PTR’s Ronan Quarmby had the best race of his career at a difficult Silverstone circuit in typical UK weather conditions. Coming back from a massive high side only two weeks earlier, where he was airlifted to hospital, the young South African showed no signs of the continuing pain in his back as he went second fastest in the first free practice. In the race he was part of the four-rider group that dominated proceedings on an eventually completely dry track at Silverstone, after many wet periods of practice had held up the business of finding a good set-up. Quarmby ran in the top three with his two fellow PTR boys for most of the race but in the final laps he missed a gear and that break in his rhythm allowed Parkes to get past him. The race was won by PTR team mate Jules Cluzel, followed closely by Lowes, Parkes and Quarmby.
However, the Comeback Kid did not have an easy weekend. A misunderstanding with the medical team resulted in the Honda rider missing half of Friday’s first qualifying after he was called to the medical centre as the session started. Quarmby was declared unfit after his crash at Brno and the medical team had not yet finally cleared him to race. He qualified a dismal 18th in the wet conditions after rushing from the medical centre to get out on track.
Saturday proved better as he moved to 7th on the starting grid, showing great wet pace as he recorded the second fastest lap in full wet conditions. He was third quickest in warm up on Sunday morning, leaving him confident in either wet or dry conditions.
The PTR rider was up to fourth in the initial race which was red flagged and restarted after some riders fell in the tricky conditions when a light drizzle fell. The restarted race saw the top four pull a massive lead over the rest of the pack with only Sofuoglu, who ran off track in the early stages, able to match their pace.
Thirteen points from a great fourth place result moves the youngster to 7th in the championship with four rounds to go.
Ronan: “I really enjoyed that race and was right with Jules and Sam until I made a small mistake and Parkes came past me. After that it was hard to get back with them, but I am delighted with fourth and want to say thank you to the PTR Honda team for giving me such a good bike, it's been a very strong and positive weekend.”
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: “Ronan was impressive holding third and then finishing fourth. It’s great to see him growing in confidence and delivering ever better results.”