The picturesque Oulton Park in Cheshire was the setting for round 9 of Scruffs-sponsored Adam Shelton’s quest in the British Thundersport Championship.
This was Adam’s first time at the track on the Kawasaki ZX10R, and with limited testing and a new suspension it turned out to be a weekend of mixed emotions.
A strong fifth in qualifying with plenty of room for improvement was an encouraging start. A tweak in the right direction by the Scruffs Racing Team elevated Adam to a more competitive position than expected in race one. After two laps of intensely close, exciting racing right at the front with fellow rivals Curtis Wright and Billy Mellor, Adam’s bike failed epically...
“Prior to the failure the ZX10R was turning beautifully. However, as I pushed harder, excess dive meant that my straight line braking was compromised; the steering damper failed and lost its oil. We had a camera on board, and there are a few points in the video where it’s evident that I can’t keep the throttle open without the handlebars slapping about. This made the front end too soft at the newly found extra pace, and the bike went from under me pushing into a chicane” rued a bemused Adam.
Thankfully, Adam jumped straight back up onto his feet, but the bike didn’t come out of the crash well at all.
“The ZX10R really took a pounding. The front wheel was bent, the seat unit and tail were destroyed. It was a mess - but that’s racing” he added.
With just a little over three hours until the next outing it was going to be a battle against the clock to get a race-ready bike on the start line.
“Thanks to the team we were able to strip it down, rebuild it, and get the thing out for the final race. Duct tape saved the day!”
With priceless guidance and advice from racing legend and set-up guru Ron Haslam, Adam opted for stiffer springs in the front end, which really changed the dynamic set-up of the bike. With his unstoppable passion and enthusiasm he was able to push hard to take second place in the Superstock 1000 race, and third overall behind the superbikes, to put more valuable points on the championship board.
“I’m really pleased with the result, given the situation. We can’t wait to get back on the bike and to continue heading in the right direction.”
See Adam in action again on the Scruffs Racing Team Kawasaki on the 25th and 26th of July at Rockingham in Northamptonshire.