Simon Says in association with the UK’s leading specialist home insurance provider – The Property Insurer.
This is the first Simon Says since the start of the season so I thought I would start with an overview of our Philip Island race.
Leading up to the race we had to let PJ Jacobsen go due to contractual difficulties and brought in Jules Cluzel as his replacement. The two day test went well and we went into the race weekend in confident mood; Sam Lowes showed he will be a title contender again this year and Cluzel was outstanding considering he never even sat on the bike or even saw it until he arrived in Philip Island. Add to that good progress being made by Ronan Quarmby, Mathew Sholtz and Martin Jessopp and things were looking good.
Our technicians have done a great job this winter and most of the time our bikes were top of the speed chart and sometimes all the top three were PTR Honda’s, well done again boys. Sam and Jules qualified 2nd and 3rd and both looked good to be in with a shout for the win until the last few laps of a race reduced from 21 laps to 15 due to tyre wear problems. We have previously had the best of the tyre wear situation but on this occasion we did not and Jules finished 4th after losing out on the last podium place to Broc Parkes on the last corner of the last lap with Sam dropping back to 5th.
With Ronan finishing 7th after coming from a 4th row start to close on the leading pack, 3 riders in the top 7 is a tribute to our team indeed. Both Mathew and Martin were forced to take to the grass on lap one when another rider crashed in front of them and both did well to fight through the field to finish 14th for Mathew and 17th for Martin. There is most certainly more to come from both of them.
I have never been one to make excuses and hide away from the truth and we have to say as a team we did not maximise our potential in Philip Island. That said we have all gone through the data and we know what we need to do to make sure we do maximise potential at Imola and for the remainder of the season. Congratulations to Kenan Sofuoglu for winning, Fabien Foret for 2nd place and Broc Parkes for 3rd, but rest assured it will be a lot harder to keep us off the podium in Imola and beyond.
What is refreshing is the depth of the WSS field and the number of riders on the grid that will expand even more for Imola and the rest of the European season. This and the increased involvement from Effenbert Liberty Ducati who are now running 4 riders in the Superbike class really does show the one bike rule works no matter how much complaining there has been from some teams. I say to them please look at the bigger picture and not just think of yourselves. We all need these cost reductions so our sport can survive and even grow in these difficult times.
I know I will most likely get slated for this but I have to say the one bike rule is far better than the CRT rules being introduced for MotoGP. On the face of it the Aprilia aside, which let’s face it is much closer to a full prototype than an adapted road bike engine in a prototype chassis, there is a massive gap between the CRT teams and the full factory bikes. OK they have 21 bikes on the grid but in reality it will be 2 separate races with a 12 bike factory race and a 9 bike support field to make up the numbers so the fans don’t get bored waiting for the factory bikes to come round again.
Don’t get me wrong, I support the CRT rules or more like ‘road bike engines in prototype chassis’ but this needs to be the rule across the board. Full factory bikes with the same riders and teams will still win but at least the private teams will have some chance to race with them and on the odd occasion maybe even beat them. It would also encourage better riders to ride the private CRT bikes. This is another big problem with Colin Edwards and Randy De Puniet being a class above the other CRT riders.
This brings me to my last comment and I promise I will not mention this again. So-called pay riders; there has been quite a bit said about this on Twitter, Facebook and other media from fans and supporters alike. The line why should these riders pay to risk their lives just does not wash. Who is forcing these riders to ride? Nobody. Get real everyone all this is riders and teams working together for the common good of all. The rider gets a good team and bike and the team continue in the sport. What would you all rather see - teams still in the sport working together with their riders or less teams and some riders forced out entirely. In nearly all cases the riders are just bringing personal sponsors to teams or putting it another way – they have an advantage and are using it. Riders working with their teams to be as competitive as possible is the best result.
Hope you can see my point of view and I appreciate yours should you disagree with me. Hope to see you all in Imola
***PTR has moved to a new page on Facebook – please visit and like http://www.facebook.com/pages/Performance-Technical-Racing-LTD-PTR/342811925749796?sk=wall
****PTR news is brought to you by The Property Insurer, the UK’s leading price comparison and specialist provider of low cost home insurance. Visit for details on a GUARANTEE to match or beat your home insurance quote and donate £5 to the motorcyclist favourite Air Ambulance Charity.