During one of the hottest weeks of the year, the 2013 Triumph Young Guns headed to Brands Hatch to take part in the next stage of this year’s competition – racecraft.
The ten riders and their race bikes arrived at the iconic South-East circuit to be put through their paces by the Young Guns judges and the Factory Smiths Triumph team. All in front of Britain’s top motorcycling talent on the Friday morning of a British Superbike weekend. So, no pressure then!
Just to add a bit more stress for the riders, The Sun journalist, Nick Francis, was also on hand to see what the riders were up to.
The action-packed day included four exclusive sessions on track on the Indy circuit, all of which took place in scorching heat, putting the riders' fitness – and what they learnt at Loughborough – to the test. During each track session the Young Guns were assessed by Smith’s Triumph riders, Glen Richards and Billy McConnell as well as Triumph test rider Peter Ward, with a debrief on their performance and where they could improve following each session.
Brands Indy Circuit, with just 10 riders on track and expert tuition from Glen, Billy and Pete. What a way to spend a Friday!
The technical element of the day saw the riders sit down with the Smiths Triumph team manager Rebecca Smith, Smiths’ chief engineer Jason Jones, Chris Taylor from K-Tech Suspension and factory rider, Billy McConnell. During the session the riders discussed how to give feedback to their engineers, how to approach diagnosing issues with the bike and improving set up for a given track, as well as the importance of understanding every moving part of your bike. If you don’t know what it does, or how it works, then how can you hope to make it better?!
All of the riders performed extremely well in front of the Young Guns judges and BSB crowds demonstrating their riding talents. Unfortunately, Jake Mason had a fall during one session and sustained an injury to his shoulder. We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him at the next session at the beginning of September. A special mention should also go to Grant Robertson and his father who changed a complete engine due to a gearbox problem – a great effort considering the scorching heat and time constraints of the day.
Next stop, Donington Park, for a reassessment of everything the Young Guns have learnt so far and the whittling down of the 10 original contestants to the chosen finalists.