Solid result for Simpson at Monza
John Simpson recorded his second successive finish in the European Superstock 600cc Championship on Sunday when he finished in 22nd place in the third round of the series. Held at the iconic Monza circuit in Italy, Simpson and the Trickbits/FBM Performance Triumph team overcame a difficult qualifying session to advance significantly forward in the race and take another solid result.
With another new circuit to learn, John set about his task diligently and although he found himself towards the bottom of the timesheets, his times again tumbled from session to session as he got himself dialled in to the high speed circuit. Conditions were perfect during the two qulaifying session and although John finished in 32nd place, he was confident of improving in the race.
That confidence increased when the rain fell on Saturday afternoon but the organisers eventually took the decision to postpone the race until Sunday due to the adverse weather. It was actually worse on Sunday afternoon but the race got underway and, despite his front tyre not being up to the correct pressure, John was more at home in the conditions. With his top speed disadvantage not as apparent in the wet, he overtook a number of riders and with the 15th fastest lap of the race, a superb effort, he fought his way up to 22nd at the end of the shortened 6-lap race.
Speaking later, John said; “Overall, it hasn’t been a bad weekend and the most pleasing aspect has been that we’ve now found a good set-up with the bike, particularly when on the brakes, and I’ve now got the feel for the front end that I’ve been looking for. Obviously, I had another new track to learn and it took us a while to sort the gearing out but I can honestly say I’ve never experienced anything like it! The straights were much longer than what I’m used to and trying to get the bike stopped from 6th gear to 1st for the chicanes was certainly a challenge. I really enjoyed it though and I’m certainly learning a lot by riding on these types of circuit.”
“We were down quite a bit on top speed though compared to the 4-cylinder bikes so it was tough going but the rain helped. I was disappointed we didn’t race on Saturday evening but I think some of the front runners were a bit reluctant so we ended up going on Sunday when conditions were actually worse! Because of the reschedule, two of our team members had to leave early so it was all a bit frantic on the grid and that’s where the mistake with the front tyre was made. It was about 12-13psi down on what it should have been so that made it a bit ‘squashy’ through the corners and I had to take my time as I didn’t know how hard I could push. I picked off quite a few riders and, given the front tyre problem, I was happy with the result especially as I set the 15th fastest lap of the race – it was a case of what might have been though because if the pressure had been right, I could have picked up some good points.”
“Like I say, I’m a lot happier with the tyres now and with the set-up of the bike whilst the next track, Misano, is a lot more twistier so it should suit the Triumph more. I feel that we’ve turned the corner now so can start pushing on for some points and that’s exactly what I’ll be looking for next time out.”
John now has a 5-week break before the next round takes place at Misano, Italy on the weekend of June 8-10.