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Eazi Grip

A mixed weekend for Dynavolt Triumph saw a positive Saturday and a disappointing Sunday

Saturday

Team tyre choice pays off in race one in Australia

Chaos reigned over the opening race of the 2023 FIM Supersport World Championship with the weather conditions playing havoc at the Philip Island Circuit in Australia.

The race, which was scheduled to be over 18-laps, started in slightly damp conditions and was red-flagged after only three laps due to a crash.  With the bikes back on the grid and the dark clouds looming, the decision to fit full wets was taken. The quick start procedure was deployed but was further delayed due to the weather worsening.

The 10-lap sprint finally got underway with Niki Tuuli starting from fourteenth and teammate Harry Truelove in nineteenth; grid positions dictated by the end of the last completed time-keeping point.

Tuuli battled through to sixth and as the track started to dry it looked unlikely he would get any higher up the order when, with three laps to go, the rain started to fall again. With the correct tyres for the conditions, Tuuli was able to up his pace, overtaking Mackenzie and Manzi to cross the line in fourth position.

Niki Tuuli: “It was a difficult day, the qualifying didn’t go as planned but also the weather was maybe the reason for that.  I stayed out all the time in qualifying because I felt I could improve lap by lap. I was P1 but in the last four minutes the rain stopped and the track was dry but I didn’t have time to change the tyre, so I lost the good positions.  In the race, first of all I was happy I made a really good start. I think it was stressful, the race started three times but in the last start, the first two or three laps it was quite dry and the tyre temperature went high so I was dropping positions but after it started raining more I felt much better.  Of course it was the first time on my bike in the wet, I improved every lap I was thinking, I can go faster and faster but in the end the front was too far.  P4 I can be happy with, we made a really good job.  I can’t wait for a dry race I think we can be really strong.”

Harry Truelove was also able to profit from the tyre choice and enjoyed an incredible debut to his World Supersport career with an eleventh-place finish at the 4.4km Australian circuit.

Harry Truelove: “It was really good, eleventh in my first race. Pretty happy with that because the wild-card last year was all up and down and I didn’t finish a race.  I’m really happy because wet has never been my favourite conditions and I think we were just chipping away and the bike felt really good.  I felt confident, it was just a really good result.  It was chaotic with the changing conditions but I think we made the right call with the tyres and worked well with what was happening. I’m just really happy I’ve got race one out of the way.”

Dynavolt Triumph Team Manager Simon Buckmaster: “We are quite happy after race one. The boys did a really good job because it was a bit chaotic on the grid with one Dorna staff saying one thing and another Dorna staff saying something else.  We had rain tyres fitted front and back and with about four laps left it looked like it might not be good but you could see the rain was coming and then it was really good for Niki.  Obviously we want to be on the podium but we must be really happy for Niki.  Also for Harry, eleventh in his first proper World Supersport race at a track he didn’t know, he’s been learning all week and I’m really happy for him and all the crew for two really good results in a very difficult situation.  We work fantastically well as a team, I’m really proud of everybody.”

Sunday

Tuuli secures ninth as Truelove is taken out on first lap

The second FIM Supersport World Championship race at Philip Island took place today in much improved conditions. There was much less drama than yesterday but this race was also subject to a red flag situation having wild birds invading the track.  As the race was two thirds distance completed at that point, the result was called after only thirteen laps of the eighteen scheduled.

From his starting position of tenth on row four, Niki Tuuli was battling in the top ten for the duration, exchanging positions with Debise throughout. Tuuli was running strong in ninth before the red flag came out bringing the race to a premature end.

Niki Tuuli: “Well, not really happy about the race I felt like all the weekend we try to improve the feeling with the front. When I go inside the turn I feel like I don’t have enough front feeling to continue the turning so maybe I need to improve my own riding about that.  I think that I need more time to understand how to feel better on the front.  Today the wind was not good for me or the bike, I felt like I lost too much time in some places. It was really difficult, the feeling was difficult, I felt like I can’t do more.  Let’s see in Indonesia.”

From the high of scoring points in race one yesterday, Harry Truelove’s second World Supersport race was over almost before it had begun.  Truelove got off the line well, making up three or four places before he was hit from behind by McPhee at turn 2 on lap one, ending the British rider’s race early.

Harry Truelove: “Obviously a bit disappointed with race two.  There’s not a lot we can do about it, someone clipped me on the way through turn 2.  There wasn’t a lot either of us could do. I’m just gutted.”

Dynavolt Triumph Team Manager Simon Buckmaster: “Unfortunately Harry got sat up at turn 2 and John McPhee couldn’t avoid him.  He did come round to apologise, it was simply a racing incident, just unlucky for us and Harry.  Niki just got stuck behind a group, it was like he had more pace and was struggling to pass people.  It was windy today, maybe it affected our bike more than some others.  He was finding it difficult in places to make the bike do what he wanted it to do.  All we can do as a team is look at the situation, look what we can do to help Niki to be faster and move on to Mandalika.  It’s not been the best race meeting for us but it’s not been the worst either. We’ll move on, try to get more points for Harry and get Niki closer to where we all want to be and where we should be.”

Posted on Monday, February 27th, 2023 in News

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