The first round of the KRC UK Endurance Championship took place today. This series comprises four six-hour races and an eight-hour, all open to modified motorcycles.
Amongst the new teams using this meeting as their first endurance race experience was Team Moto Legends, Sigma
Performance is working alongside Rupert Murrain of Moto Legends to get the best out of the teams 1998 Ducati 996SPS.
In a pit lane full of highly modified bikes with long range fuel tanks and quick fillers in the garages the
standard Ducati looked somewhat incongruous.
This bike has twice started the IOM TT production race and is completely standard (the Dyno charts are available 'on site' in the tech section of http://www.sigmaperformance.com). Team Principal Rupert Murdon said 'we've just come here for a bit of fun really. We need to get the riders up to speed before the TT and six hours round Snetterton should do that, the bike is completely stock, we have changed the Eprom and exhaust and that's pretty much it'.
In practice the bike was devastatingly quick, by the end of the second practice session the Moto Legends 996 was on
pole, by the end of practice the team qualified fourth, ' We are happy to be in the front half of the field, it's a safer start. We have fiddled a bit with the suspension so we can hold good speed through the
corners but we are going to have to stop more often than the front runners as we have a standard fuel tank.' Said number one rider John Barton.
The race started with a conventional sprint across the track and with first rider John Barton in the saddle the
Ducati settled into third place, as the fuel stops and rider changes took their toll the team were varying between third and fifth place.
A fastest lap of 1.13.44 was recorded, (only 1 second a lap off a good British Championship Supersport time on the 748RS last year) teams started to retire but the Ducati just kept soldiering on, never missing a beat. Overall four rear Dunlop 208s were used and two fronts; rear tyre changes took 15 seconds longer than a basic fuel stop.
The original point of the exercise had been to give the riders some reasonable track time so we had not taken
advantage of the third rider allowed under the rules. As the race approached its end the pace was really starting to tell, 'I was developing double vision' said Tom Knight ' it was starting to get dangerous so
I had to come in.
John Barton took the bike out into second place with only 30 minutes to go and a 50-second lead over third. ,
'Unfortunately to get the bike out quickly the used rear tyre had been left in the bike, we thought that we would be alright but as this started to slow the bike the pace car came out and the field bunched up losing
us our advantage' said Neil Spalding. Last years champions 'Doc Bush Racing' finally caught up with six laps to go and their highly modified GSX-R1000 slowly past the sliding Ducati.
Team Moto Legends finished the six hour sprint in third overall and first in class on a completely standard Ducati
996 SPS. Over 500 miles was ridden, at a rolling average speed of around 95mph without any problems at all.
This was a wild card ride and may be repeated later in the year if the funding and a good third rider can be
found. A full article will be posted on site (http://www.sigmaperformance.com) as soon as we have the pictures.
Sigma Performance Limited
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