Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Bomber Harris on target for Oxford Tag Triumph

A wet and windswept Cadwell Park played host to round nine of the British Supersport Championship over the August Bank Holiday weekend. With both Saturday’s and Sunday’s sessions blighted by on and off showers and gusting high winds, recent signing, Karl Harris showed his class by consistently running in the top five throughout the changeable conditions while Lee Johnston impressed during the wet sessions.

With the weather improving and the track drying out for second qualifying, the Knox-Armour protected Oxford Tag Triumph trio of Harris, Johnston and Shaun Winfield had it all to do with the lap times tumbling towards record-smashing figures.

The session started badly for the team and rapidly got worse. A bizarre misfire afflicted Harris’ machine, leaving the likable Sheffield rider with just two flying laps to post a time, leaving him down in 16th position while Johnston’s luck was no better, with a similar problem forcing him to complete just one lap leaving him languishing in 32nd place.

Having struggled to find the exact cause of the fault for morning warm-up, the team decided to replace the entire electrical system and it was a decision that proved to be the right one, with Harris riding a superb race to finish ninth, posting his fastest lap on the last lap of the race and matching the times of the leaders, a testament to the set up of his Triumph Daytona 675 machine.

16-year-old Shaun Winfield struggled with set-up but put in a determined performance to finish just outside the top 20 overall and 8th in the Supersport Cup championship.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Make what's inside count this autumn

Autumn in the UK is synonymous with unsettled weather conditions; unpredictable levels of rainfall, huge variations in temperature and an increased risk of storms can all be expected between September and November, which makes choosing the right riding kit extremely difficult.

An effective base layer can help deal with many of the issues associated with such changeable conditions - such as perspiration, overheating and chills - regulating and stabilising body temperature, acting as ‘climate control' for the rider.

The Knox Dry Inside ‘cotton-tech' base layer range does just that. It's the only base layer system available that combines the natural comfort of cotton with the wicking and water resistant properties of ‘technical' fabrics, and helps keep the wearer comfortable and dry, during such varied conditions.

Made from 95% natural cotton, with 5% Lycra® for a comfortable fit, Dry Inside tops and pants offer a flexible layer between the skin and outer garments, but unlike any other cotton base layers, are treated with 3XDRY® from Schoeller - 'The Feelgood Technology' - to help keep the wearer dry and regulate body temperature.

The 3XDRY® does this by absorbing perspiration from the inside of the garment and transporting it to the outside where it evaporates, stimulating a natural cooling effect, and helping to prevent overheating. All Knox Dry Inside garments are machine washable, and no re-proofing is required to keep the 3XDRY® layer performing; to re-activate, simply iron the garment inside out.

The Knox Dry Inside range includes long and short sleeve tops - priced £29.99 and £27.99 - and matching long and short pants - at £24.99 and £19.99 respectively. Both tops and pants are available in unisex sizes XS-XXL and the entire range has a fresh look for 2010, so the wearer can look as well as feel good this autumn.

Call 01900 825825 or visit www.dryinside.co.uk

Monday, 23 August 2010


Impact protection specialists Planet-Knox have launched a brand new micro site dedicated to the wide variety of athletes who rely on the British-company's market-leading safety products. With input from superbike racers, stunt riders, motocrossers and mountain bikers, the Knox Athletes site features picture galleries,plus regularly updated blogs and twitter feeds, so viewers can keep up with the latest news.

Prominent sports men on the Knox Athletes site are 2009 British Superbike runner-up James Ellison, racing for Swan Honda in BSB this year, and motorcycle stunt rider Sparky Stunts, widely regarded as the Ace Cafe's official No.1 Stunt Rider.

Off-road riding is represented by former Relentless Suzuki star Jamie Law, who is running a one-man team this year. Often the first non "works" rider home, Jamie is a great development rider and helped Knox create their class leading Warrior harness.

World Cup downhill mountain bike racers Stuart "Jenko" Jenkinson and Liam Little are both dedicated hard-riding competitors who rely on Knox armour to protect them during the unavoidable bumps and scrapes that occur in their sport and their blog entries are action-packed.

On top of all this readers can find out what members of the Knox test team are up to; with contributors from the design, development and sales teams. "We don't always get it right and it's the constant mishaps on the trail or track that keep the developments going" explains company MD Geoff Travell.

"Ultimately the intention is to grow the Knox Athletes microsite over the next 12 months to around 50 Knox-protected sports people from around the world, creating an exciting window that reveals the real face of Knox - the users." For further information, call Knox on 01900 825825 or visit www.knox-armour.co.uk/athletes/

Friday, 20 August 2010

Lougher re-writes the Ulster GP history book

Handroid-protected Ian Lougher became the second most successful rider in the history of the Ulster Grand Prix when he romped to victory in the 250cc race in Saturday's event. The win takes the popular Welshman to 15 wins, one more than Philip McCallen with only the great Joey Dunlop having secured more victories. Ian also moves into joint second with 18 wins in the all-time list of most victories round the Dundrod circuit, ahead of such notables as Ray McCullough, Brian Reid and Robert Dunlop, with Joey Dunlop topping the list again.

Ian's win on Norman Rank's, Pirate/Berwick Racing 250 was a brilliant display of speed racing, taking the race by the scruff of the neck from the lights he was simply unstoppable as he extended his lead on virtually every lap. An opening lap of 116.87mph gave him a lead of nearly four seconds and by the second lap the lead was up to around five seconds from William Dunlop. A blistering third lap of 120.12mph, just under Darren Lindsay's 2006 lap record, effectively broke any resistance from Dunlop and gave Ian a lead of almost ten seconds at the halfway stage. Ian was able to ease up for the remainder of the race and crossed the line at the finish just over ten seconds in front of Dunlop with Paul Robinson in third.

The Lisburn City Council Superstock Race was the first race on the programme, and from fifth on the second row of the grid Ian was soon in the mix and at the end of the opening lap he was up to fourth behind Amor, Hutchinson and Farquhar. By lap three Amor and Hutchinson had broken clear, with Farquhar on his own in third, and behind them Gary Johnson was fourth with Ian right behind. On the next lap however Lougher and Johnson were very much on the move and were right on Farquhar's case and as they crossed the line together at the end of the lap Ian was back up to to fourth. On the fifth lap the trio were locked together, however Ian overhauled Ryan Farquhar, moving into 3rd place and having eeked out a comfortable margin on the Ninja ZX-10R, a podium looked secure. But an incident further down the order forced the race to be red flagged, bringing the race to a premature conclusion and with the result being taken from the end of the previous lap, the Blackhorse Kawasaki team boss had to concede his 3rd place finish to finish just off the podium in 4th.

Having decided to give the second Supersport race a miss later in the day, Ian and the team pinned their Supersport hopes on the Strong Construction Supersport Race. However there was to be disappointment as Ian came off the ZX-6R at the Hairpin when Manxman Dan Kneen accidently hit the pit lane speed limiter button on his handlebar causing his bike to virtually stop; with Lougher poised for an over taking manouvre, a collision was unavoidable. Luckily Ian was unscathed and the damage to the machine was minimal.

In the Stoneyford Concrete/The Peoples UGP Superbike Race 1 Ian opted to ride the Ninja ZX-10R Superstock bike and from the off a small group made a break for it. Behind them Ian was leading a seven man express train out of Leathemstown Corner. As they completed the first circuit Ian was eighth just over a second behind Gary Johnson. Cameron Donald dropped back on the next lap as Ian battled on with James McBride, Dan Kneen and Michael Pearson for company. McBride got ahead of Lougher on the third lap with Kneen following suit on the next lap but there was nothing between the three and Ian doggedly fought back to overhaul Kneen once again. The battle between the two had allowed McBride to open up a small cushion and at the chequered flag he was able to secure seventh with Ian fending off the challenge of Kneen to finish a battling eighth.

The final race of the day, the second Superbike race, got off to a hectic start with Ian right in the mix as they arrived at Leathemstown. As with the first superbike race a small group was attempting to go clear whilst right behind them was Guy Martin, Lougher and Bruce Anstey. At the conclusion of the lap Martin and Anstey had opened up a small gap on Ian with Gary Johnson joining them. A lap later and Ian was in a relatively safe eighth place but the next lap saw him come under pressure from a three man group which included William Dunlop, James McBride and Michael Pearson. The next two laps to the finish would see Ian draw upon every ounce of his experience and skill to fend off his rivals and secure another eighth place superbike finish on his Superstock bike.

In conclusion, a satisfying Ulster Grand Prix for Ian Loughe, with a lap of 130.2mph on the Superstock Ninja ZX-10R proving what a great effort was made.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Ae plus for Knox mountain bikers

Congratulations to Ben Hall, who came 1st in the Expert Class at Round 4 of the SDA Series at Ae Forest in SW Scotland.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Classic case for wearing Knox

It's not only riders of modern sports bikes who need knox-armour, as the following report from classic racer Frank Melling proves. When not busy organisining the Thundersprint, Frank races a G50 Matchless.

"I was reminded of the key reason for wearing a Knox back protector yesterday at Donington. The breather tube split on the Matchless and put oil on the back tyre. The rest, as they say, is history. I walked away with minimal damage except a bruised nose and other assorted lumps. This was almost nothing from a 70mph off. When I had finished sliding down the track on my back and head, the first thought in my mind was that state of the art protection is cheap. Forget power, handling and tyres. None of these mean a thing when the job goes wrong and at that point it’s rather too late to wish you had spent the money on a Knox back protector!"

He makes the following point about the need for protection; "I cannot understand the logic of: 'I only race a classic so I don’t need state of the art protection.' I didn’t notice the tarmac being any softer because I came off a G.50"

All at Knox wish Frank (and his Matchless) as speedy recovery and hoe they're back on track soon.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

FiveTwo Race Team results from national champs and national points 4x series round 5

Nps 4x round 5 - With the team all eventually arriving in Devon, miles from home, we were all ready for a long weekend of racing and taking on the challenges that lay ahead (writes Team Manager John Lee). We all had some big goals and aims, but this is 4x racing and it never goes the way you expect!

John Lee 9th place in Senior - John battled hard and put up his best performance yet, but in all honesty was still finding his feet with large jumps and having a field day with any technical sections that featured here. By choosing some tight hard lines he was able to edge into the lead on tough corners, giving him ample space to lead with. After a great batch of moto`s he took two 1st places and a 2nd and 3rd, but unluckily got called for a run off to determine whether or not he would make his first ever B final. Off the gate John took a bike length lead and it looked in the bag, but as he rolled over the step up he was torn off his bike by a slipped pedal and slammed into the stem for a horrible ride down the first berm.

Suzy Lacey 4th place in Female/Elite - The wind and rain was making the series leader, Suzy, feel like she had to play the race safe and not air the jumps in her usual fashion. With pressure from every angle and with the jumps not being sorted she quickly found herself playing catch up and not in her usual winning position. As she approached the A final she gave it one last chance and came just inches behind 3rd place and with a focus being on the national champs the following day being a better result. Suzy still comfortably leads the series and is set to take the title home in September!

Claire Pollard 9th place in Female/Elite - Claire’s first race from her horrible crash was not going to be anything mind blowing or extravagant. But after her cautious training laps that morning she managed to piece together a safe run, which needed improvements in a lot of areas, but it still showed she was able to get back on her bike and show a lot of strength in other areas. With nice gates and better berm technique - winter will certainly see her move forwards with time for confidence to grow and thrust her forwards in her category.

Kieran Brown 9th place in Juvenile - Kieran’s second ever race was again another alien experience upon his newly geared up DMR. He started his day strong but just couldn’t seem to hold any lead he got in the races. After every race he tried harder and harder to get better results and make the final - but it just wasn’t his day. After some issues over the first double and step up he just couldn’t find his way through the pack and he ended his day just missing out on entering the finals.

Suzy Lacey - Silver UK National Championship 4x - With Suzy aiming all year to take home the national title and jersey, only one girl could stop her - the UK world cup experianced racer, Katy Curd. After a hard race the day before she had refocused and got her training session dialled on the track that morning before the races begun. In the final Suzy out-gated all of the competitors and led the field into the first straight and step up, as they came round the second berm her and Katy were neck and neck through the tabletops and into the rock garden. Katy managed to pull ahead of Suzy slightly and Suzy jumped her way to the finish only a bike length behind Katy Curd!

Claire Pollard - 6th UK National Championship 4x - Also returning from injury was Claire, whose confidence has taken a massive beating since her last big crash and her slow recovery meant she was cautious and slightly off in her fitness, but her brave and courageous efforts gained her into the B final and she finished 6th!


Monday, 16 August 2010

Stunning Ulster GP Bike Week for Amor

Knox-armour protected Keith Amor enjoyed one of his best ever week's road racing, climbing the podium in all six of his races at the Ulster GP Bike Week. The KBMG Racing rider was in imperious form and he was able to take his second ever International Road Race win (his first at the Ulster GP), a win in the Dundrod 150 Superbike race and a brace of seconds and thirds in his remaining four races at the high-speed Dundrod circuit.

Thursday’s Dundrod 150 Superbike race set the trend for the week when Keith was embroiled in a terrific tussle with Ian Hutchinson. When the Honda rider retired on the third lap, Keith was able to take his Superstock BMW, simply fitted with slick tyres, to a commanding 4.75s win, setting the fastest lap of the race.

With fine weather on Saturday for the Ulster GP proper, Keith led the first four laps of the Superstock race only for Hutchinson to take over a lap later. The duo were 8 seconds clear of the rest of the pack when Keith re-took the lead on the penultimate lap. However, the red flag came out and with the result going back a lap, Keith had to settle for second place.

The first Supersport 600cc race saw the duo joined by Michael Dunlop and again Keith led the first four laps before Hutchinson pushed him back to second and he ended the race just 0.176s adrift on the Kojak Racing Honda. Next up was the feature Superbike race where the same pattern emerged. Lapping at over 133mph, Keith led early on once more before being pushed back to second by nemesis Hutchinson and at the chequered flag, the Suzuki of Bruce Anstey had relegated him to third as they encountered some backmarkers.

The second Supersport race saw a four-way battle between Keith, Hutchinson and Michael and William Dunlop with positions changing throughout. The race was held in two 3-lap legs due to an incident and, lying second after the first 3 laps, Keith had to get the better of Hutchinson by half a second to get the win on aggregate. It was nip and tuck all the way between the quartet but Keith wasn’t to be denied and after hitting the front on the final lap, he got the overall verdict over Hutchinson by 0.210s for his first ever Ulster GP win.

The final race of the day was the second Superbike race and it was nothing short of sensational as Keith battled it out with Hutchinson, Anstey, Cameron Donald and Guy Martin. Second on each of the first four laps, there was literally inches between the riders as they lapped at record-breaking speeds but, after a last lap sort-out, Keith had to settle for third place on the BMW behind race winner Anstey and Hutchinson with just 0.335s separating them at the end of the five laps. Keith also posted a personal best lap of 133.435mph to round out a truly memorable day.

Pictures by Alan Armstrong Photography

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Success for Amor at Armoy

Keith Amor was back on the winner's podium with the KBMG Racing rider putting in a trio of fine rides at the Armoy Road Races. His first outing since Kells in mid-July, the Scotsman took the top step of the rostrum with his now, almost customary, Supersport 600cc victory and he backed this up with a brace of runner-up spots in the two Superbike races.

It was Keith's first appearance at the 3-mile road circuit and his task of learning the course wasn't helped with most of Friday's practice sessions wiped out by rain but he was soon up to speed and running at the head of the field. First up was the Open race and although he was unable to match the pace of regular sparring partner Ryan Farquhar, he finished the 6-lap race only 2 seconds adrift on his S1000RR BMW.

The Supersport 600cc race was next up for Keith and he allowed Farquhar to set the pace, sitting right in the slipstream of his rival throughout. Hhappy once more with the performance of the Kojak Racing Honda, Keith waited until the last lap before making his move and overtook Ryan to take over at the front for the first time - he duly held on to the win, taking the chequered flag just under two tenths of a second.

The final race of the day was the 'Race of Legends' Grand Final and Keith hit the front immediately on the BMW with Farquhar again right with him. Keith held on to the lead for almost the entire race and looked like he'd take his second win of the day but coming in to the final corner of the final lap the duo encountered backmarkers. All of the riders collided and in the ensuing melee, Farquhar was able to get on the power first and Keith had to settle for second albeit just 0.153s behind.

Keith now heads straight to Belfast for the Dundrod 150 and Ulster GP races which take place on Thursday and Saturday respectively.

Pictures by Alan Armstrong

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Victor Cox in the points at Silverstone

Blackhorse Kawasaki's Victor Cox fully justified his wild-card selection as he rode to a solid 14th place points finish in the FIM Superstock 1000 Championship round at Silverstone.

Friday's free practice session saw Victor out on unfamiliar Pirelli tyres as opposed to the Metzeler tyres which are commonplace in the BSB Superstock 1000 Championship, creating a challenge for the team especially in suspension set-up, however the session concluded with Victor in an excellent seventh position.

Having qualified in 18th, the team knew that more changes were needed to the suspension set-up and on Saturday evening a lot of thought and effort went into trying a whole different approach, it was a move that was to pay dividends. In the morning warm up Victor was 9th quickest which was pleasing but frustrating, as everyone in the team knew it would be a hard job for him to get through from 18th on the grid to run with the front runners. However Victor is a great competitor and he gave it a real go, taking 1.3 seconds off his best qualifying time in the race to finish a fine 14th with an uncharacteristic mistake on the last lap costing him a possible 12th place. Nevertheless a strong ride from the 24 year old which didn't go unnoticed by the Eurosport commentary team during their live coverage of the race.

Returning to action for Blackhorse Kawasaki at Silverstone was David Pearce who resumed his Metzeler National Superstock 600 campaign after missing the Snetterton round through injury, the Silverstone race being rescheduled from the postponed event at Oulton Park earlier in the season. David spent the allocated two free practice sessions learning his way round the unfamiliar circuit and with grid positions for the race determined by qualifying from the previously cancelled Oulton Park event, he started the race from 31st position on the grid. However the team shrewdly adapted similar changes to David's ZX-6R that had paid dividends for Victor Cox in the earlier race and this enabled David to storm through to 18th place when the race was stopped with two laps remaining thus denying the young Manx rider an even higher placing, an impressive ride however as a lot of the other lads had been at Silverstone on track days and had learnt the track which was a good advantage with the track being so long at 3.66 miles. Also, like his team-mate before him, David also lapped much quicker in the race knocking a full 2.1 seconds off his qualifying time with a lap of 2:18.2 seconds to round off a very satisfying weekend for the team.

It's a return to the domestic scene this weekend when both Victor and David will be in action in the next installments of the Metzeler National 1000 and 600 Championships respectively. The venue being the Brands Hatch GP circuit in Kent.

Photo: Victor Cox and the Blackhorse Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R (Courtesy: Clive Challinor Motorsport Photography)