CMR has just heard from Lew Batty, owner of Team Battz, about the results for the first race of the season in the European championship, and wanted to share it with blog readers. This is the ICGP Championship, with the first race in Hengelo, Holland, on May 10 and 11, 2013. Team Battz is running two CMR Harris Yamaha TZ350 GP Low-line frame kitted bikes. You may recall seeing these beauties in a previous post in 2012.
"Hi partners, supporters, helpers and friends
The season got off to a mixed start at Hengelo in Holland, those of you who turned up must have wondered what else could go wrong by the end of Saturday's proceedings. Well, as sods' law says, "If it can go wrong, it will"..and it did.
Luke Nottons; engine seized a main bearing after only 3 laps of the first Qualifying session, but at least his team made Swiss rider Ives Glauser got himself on the front row (3rd) while Myself and German Mechanic Paul Strugala foughts against the clock to get the engine changed on Luke's bike which was completed within minutes to spare just before Qualification 2 went out.
The rain came down just as they started the session which gave Luke no chance of improving his lowly 6th row position, then just as we thought it couldn't get worse his 2nd engine failed when it ingested a foreign object, wrecking a piston and cylinder. Meanwhile Ives' bike was getting some changes to the suspension set-up in the hope of improving the handling in the wet ready for the first race which Luke had to miss due to too little time to swap to the last engine we had with us.
So we took time out to watch the race which started on a drying track, Ives got one of his usual good starts and 2 laps in he was putting UK rider Mike Hose under increasing pressure for second spot while the French "Team Mestre" rider Guy Bertin was 2 seconds ahead on the ex Anton Mang Kawasaki. As the 3 came into the last corner on lap 4 Ives made a bid to pass Hose on the inside as the Brit ran wide but our lad was "high sided" as the rear tyre let go and the suspension suddenly unloaded, the rain had again made conditions very difficult and he crashed out without serious injury.
Back in the garage we worked into the early hours to get Luke's engine in the CMR-Harris Yamaha TZ350GP low-line special frame, while Ives' bike had the bodywork and other damaged parts replaced or repaired. Many thanks to our new partner in 2012, E.S.T. Plastics (Gmbh) for the sterling work they did kitting us out with their latest fairing and screen and their technicians came and fitted a replacement top half and screen in less than 20 minutes, they really are a joy to watch no one speaking just working in unison.
Sunday morning arrived all too soon and again with dark clouds looming conditions were not as inviting as I went for a final check over things at 7:30AM. The team gathered together for breakfast and a race briefing, only to hear that poor Ives had not got the all clear from the Doc because his right hand was too badly swollen and had no grip, so Luke now felt the weight land on his shoulders for upholding the Team name, race warm-up came all too soon but the rain had held off and the track was drying as the grid formed up, now those of you who know me will be aware that I rarely give team orders but in the circumstances I instructed Luke not to push too had if he was being held up getting through from his low grid placing and just do what he could to get a finish with some points.
The race started a little late but Luke was away well, in fact we were all taken aback when at the end of lap 1 he was up to 8th, 2 tours later saw him take 3rd as they crossed the line passing Andy Muggleton on the outside, another British rider of no mean ability. Watching the big screen we saw our rider power up to striking distance of second placed Mike Hose along the frighteningly fast Varsselweg straight. As we looked for Frenchman Guy Bertin on the green Kawasaki in first place, we only saw Luke and Hose in that order, Bertin was out with a broken disc valve and we were now in the lead, we were also made aware of the UK presence in the crowd as a mighty cheer went up in the stands, but Mike Hose is not a rider to give up a win without a fight and he fought back well, setting fastest lap so far to take the lead back and that's how it stayed for the next 3 laps with Luke shadowing him all the way. Then with just one lap left Luke made his move on the fast sweeping bends that lead back to the start passing Hose, and with a last lap push set fastest lap of the race to win by over 2 seconds....FANTASTIC. So as I say, bitter-sweet season opener.
By the way that makes Hengelo a 100% podium circuit for Team Battz since 2007...Talk about pulling the iron out of the fire, we don't want many of those in a year.
See you at Rijeka (Croatia) next month.....Team Battz."
Lew approached CMR in 2010 regarding a single CMR frame for his team and now he has two CMR-framed bikes competing. We appreciate Lew's confidence in our product, and follow his team's exploits with great interest.