Road Racing News

TT 2019: BE Racing Take Positives From Challenging, Weather Impacted TT 2019 Voyage

BE Racing, who’s official team name this year is BE Racing In Conjunction With Richardson Kelly Racing, like many teams had a challenging TT 2019 voyage, largely due to the lack of track time gained following a hugely weather impacted practice week.

Reflecting respectively on BE Racing rider’s respective race weeks, multi Irish Road Race Superbike champion Derek Sheils began race week by leading the Suzuki challenge in the RST Superbike race, finishing a very creditable 16th.

A collector of two top 12 finishes from the Monster Energy Supersport encounters, the showpiece Dunlop Senior race would see the highly rated Sheils clinch a very respectable 13th place finish, leading again the Suzuki challenge.

Commenting on his sixth two week TT stint, the 2009 Newcomers A Manx GP runner up, stated:

“It was a tough TT for both the organisers and competitors alike. We had very limited track time during practice to get the new bikes working, but it was the same for everyone.

My annual bad luck at the TT continued with a dose of food poisoning on the Wednesday of race week, which meant in the races on Thursday and Friday I was really unwell and getting sick as I raced. My lap times fluctuated throughout as a result because my concentration was slipping at times.

The Superstock bike blew an engine but all in all, I was happy to come across the line in 13th in the Senior considering I really struggled and was vomiting on laps three and four.

I was pleasantly surprised with my pace on the 600 and to finish 11th and 12th was great, as it’s not usually my strongest class.”

Photo by Baylon McCaughey

BE Racing team mate, 2016 Senior Manx GP winner Tom Weeden, chipping away with his pace aboard his Superstock, Superbike spec GSX-R 1000 Suzuki mounts, banked 37th, 26th place finishes within the Royal London 360 Superstock, Dunlop Senior races.

A non finisher within the opening Monster Energy Supersport race, the second middleweight class encounter saw Weeden secure a very creditable 24th place finish, finishing just over 16 seconds off a top 20 finish.

Taking the positives from his third TT voyage, which alongside the aforementioned results, included lapping the fabled, mythical Mountain Course at close to the 123 mph lap mark, Weeden when reflecting on TT 2019, candidly stated:

“I was happy enough under circumstances with how the TT went this year. We had new bikes and badly need more track time to get dialled in. Prior the Superstock race, I had only done two laps on the 1000cc Suzuki, so I went into the race blind.

I really enjoyed the six laps in the Senior and the team had the bike there or thereabouts for the race. It felt good and for the first time it really began to feel like my bike.

I lapped just shy of 123 mph and I’d hoped for more than that to be honest, but the weather just really left us on the back foot and at one stage we were sat around for four days doing nothing.

It was my first time running slick tyres on a Superbike in the Senior and the Michelin tyres were really impressive. We’ve a bit of a break now before our next race so it’s back down to earth with a bump after the TT.”

Photo by Nick Wheeler

BE Racing In Conjunction With Richardson Kelly Racing, Team Principal John Burrows, provided additional reaction to the up’s, downs, positives, challenges of TT 2019:

“It was a positive end to the 2019 Isle of Man TT for the team, with Derek finishing in 13th place in the Senior. However, we also had mixed feelings because there is no doubt Derek had the pace to go much faster and finish higher up the leader board, but he was feeling sick after eating something that disagreed with him.

He was vomiting and Derek just wasn’t himself, but he battle through the race and to finish 13th under the circumstances was a decent result for the team, and once again he was the first Suzuki rider home.

Derek also finished 11th and 12th on his own Yamaha in the Supersport races but sadly he had a DNF on our bike in the Superstock race, when it seems to have broken a valve on the final lap at Ballacraine.

Like everyone, we were up against it with the weather at the TT and a lack of track time, but we overcame a few issues with the GSX-R1000 Superbike and were feeling confident on Friday morning.

Dunlop changed the profile of their front tyre this year, and we were struggling to find our way with it. You only get one chance at the TT, so it was unfortunate that Derek wasn’t just feeling 100 per-cent.”

Burrows went onto add:

“Tom (Weeden) didn’t get many laps done to be fair and to lap at almost 123 mph in the Senior is probably what I thought would be possible for him.

Prior to the TT, I had expected that he could lap at 125 mph and I do think he would have done that, with more time under his belt. Tom was using Michelin rubber and he was very pleased with the feedback from the tyres.”

Burrows also added that his squad’s next roads meeting will take place in July, with the BE Racing squadron venturing back to Skerries, for the Skerries 100.

Words by Stevie Rial, quotes courtesy of Baylon McCaughey

>