Bennetts British Superbike Championship 2006
I'm not the type of person who follows one team religiously, "just because." This year I went along to Brands with a (fairly) open mind. Vivaldi have gone over to Suzuki this year, and Tristan and Aaron were left out in the cold when the new contracts came up. Not surprisingly little Tommy Bridewell was given a ride with Vivaldi. That means Ben, Ollie and Scott in the big boys race and Tommy in the Supersport Championship.
I was very interested to see how the lads got on with their new bikes. Within minutes of spotting them I was once again hooked by Ben's aggressive terrier style and Ollie seemed to be flying on his new Gixxer! Taking into account who else was in the field I just didn't see anyone else who had the same effect. So, for the 2006 season I'll be once again following Ben & Ollie with the addition of Tommy, however I'll still be keeping an eye on Tristan with the Buildbase Honda team and Aaron with his Suzuki who are competing against each other in the National Superstock Championship.
We seriously considered making this round as I have never been to Oulton Park, but its a long way and other things clashed so we decided to give it a miss. We caught the coverage on TV however as they only concentrate of the front runners I missed out on a lot of the action.
After a successful 14th place finish in Race 1 it was a delight to catch glimpses of Ben during the TV coverage as he fought his way to his best ever finish in 10th place just a fifth of a second behind Glen Richards in Race 2.
This circuit seems to be a thorn in Ollie's side, qualifying 25th on Row 7 it was always going to be hard work but no one would have expected Ollie to end up in the demoralising 24th place that he did in Race 1. Race 2 saw him secure an 18th place finish, which, whilst not in the points had to have restored his famous cheeky grin.
some of his famous 17th Row 5 and 25th Row 7 14th 24th 10th 18th
Points - Ben - 8 Ollie - 0
Cumulative - Ben - 27 Ollie - 15
Championship Position - Ben - 15th Ollie - 17th
It was a frenetic sixteen lap race around the Cheshire parkland track. Tommy was embroiled in a multi machine for the lower leaderboard places but bravely battled and scored crucial points for the third time in four races.
Points - Tommy - 1 Cumulative - 5 Championship Position - 22nd
Tristan managed to qualify 10th on the 3rd row of the grid yet Aaron ended up 24th on row 6. Even from this lowly position Aaron achieved an impressive 11th place finish picking up 5 points. Tristan did not finish the race.
Points collected this round - Aaron - 5 Tristan - 0
Cumulative points - Aaron - 17 Tristan - 16
Championship Position - Aaron - 13th Tristan - 14th
You could not have asked for more perfect weather for a day (or in this case two days) at the races. We took the car down on Sunday to watch the practice and qualifying sessions with the camera on hand to catch the boys in action. We popped in to see Aaron in the paddock and get a closer look at his machines. It never ceases to amaze me just how clean everything is on these bikes, I know a lot of hard work goes into keeping them that way, still it just seems impossible to keep road bikes in anything like a similar condition! (Especially if you're a bit lazy like me!)
Despite the fabulous weather this weekend was not what either Ben or Ollie must have been hoping for...
Ben was forced to retire from Race 1 when his bike simply spluttered to a halt. Frustration must have been familiar in the Vivaldi garage with two riders now out of the race. Race 2 went better for Ben with him securing a 13th place finish after a tense battle and final run for the flag.
Following fantastic times in practice Ollie was forced to retire just a few laps into Race 1 leaving all his hopes on Race 2. Pushing extra hard to stay with the frontrunners in Race 2 Ollie suffered a 160mph crash at Church corner dashing his hope for this weekend. Fortunately Ollie was not seriously hurt.
Points - Ben - 3 Ollie - 0
Cumulative - Ben - 19 Ollie - 15
There must have been something in the water in the Vivaldi camp this weekend. Despite all their efforts this weekend did not live up to the riders hopes. Tommy suffered a near crash on the first lap of his race, which given the handling problem he'd already had during qualifying forced him to use his head over his heart and call it a day.
Points - Tommy - 0 Cumulative - 4
Aaron secured a start from the 3rd row with Tristan behind on row 4. It was a superb race with Aaron crossing the line in 8th place with Tristan not far behind in 12th. However due to the race leader having jumped his start the results were later amended giving Aaron 7th and Tristan 11th place in the final results.
Points - Aaron - 9 Tristan - 5
Cumulative - Aaron - 12 Tristan - 16
I didn't make it to Donington but given the horrid weather conditions perhaps its just as well.
Ben did not have an ideal position on the grid but got off to a good start nonetheless. Several of the leaders crashed at Redgate in the first lap causing those behind to take evasive action. Race 1 was halted at 13 laps when the rain turned to hail leaving Ben to claim 12th place. The weather didn't improve in time for Race 2 either however Ben still managed to achieve an 11th place finish.
Ollie too had to take avoiding action following the pile up at Redgate requiring him to make up time from the very back of the pack. Admirably in spite of the horrid conditions Ollie was running 17th when Race 1 was brought to a halt. However Race 2 more than made up for it with a stunning 8th place finish in monsoon conditions. This puts Ollie 16th overall alongside Rizla rider James Haydon.
Points - Ben - 9 Ollie - 8
Cumulative - Ben - 16 Ollie - 15
Tommy had to endure perhaps the worst conditions of the afternoon, his race was first delayed then stopped when oil was deposited onto the track. In the restart Tommy battled for the remaining six laps to bring his Suzuki home in a very respectable 13th position.
Points - Tommy - 3 Cumulative - 4
Aaron managed to secure 15th place from 6th row of the grid for one point, whilst Tristan, starting from row 3 stormed in at 5th bagging 11 points, no small feat given the appalling conditions of the day!
Points - Aaron - 1 Tristan - 11
Cumulative - Aaron - 3 Tristan - 11
Filthy weather saw us taking the car in both days, getting out as usual was a bit of a nightmare especially given that all the cars had chewed the field up so much traction was difficult to find. The marshals do a great job getting all the cars in neatly however mob rule seems to come into full force on the way out.
Ben got a good start in Race 1 but seemed to struggle to hold his initial fifth position, still coming in ahead of teammate Scott in 12th position ensured highest points for the team. Ben seemed less confident in Race 2 with the combination of weather and tyres yet still came up with the goods in the form of a 13th place finish, once again ahead of Scott in 16th place.
Ollie had a fantastic two races, 15th place finish in Race 1 just behind teammate Scott and a superb 10th finish ahead of Rizla Suzuki's' newest star; Shakey Byrne in a wet and wild Race 2.
Points - Ben - 7 Ollie - 7
Tommy seemed to struggle a little to get into the pace with this new group. Having suffered a small crash in qualifying at Druids and a rather nasty injury to his finger in pre-season testing he's bound to be making some adjustments both mentally and physically.
Points - Tommy - 1
Aaron picked up a 14th place finish and bagged himself 2 points. Tristan retired early with what looked like front wheel problems.
Points - Aaron - 2
Copyright © 2005 by Girlie_Biker/Girlie-Biker. All rights reserved.
Pictures used by kind permission of Mikey Scott.
Revised: 07 Jul 2012 11:45:22 .