In this week’s MCN WSB Supplement, GSE Racing team boss Colin Wright
says that the key to success at the event, indeed any professional road race, is doing laps.
It builds rider confidence, improves machine set-up and he promised that both his Airwaves Yamaha riders Leon Camier and James Ellison would be doing as many laps, if not more, than any of their rivals this weekend.
Looking back to 2000, when Neil Hodgson won as a Donington wild card entry on the GSE Racing INS Ducati, Wright employed the same strategy to being British success.
“Before we went to Donington, I said to our team owner Darrell Healey the only chance of a good result was if we were well prepared. I told Neil we’d do race distance in every session and that’s exactly what we did.”
Here’s Hodgson’s Donington WSB 2000 log:
Practice 1: 26 laps, finished top of leaderboard
Practice 2: 30 laps, sixth in qualifying on race rubber. Top five on qualifiers.
Practice 3: 28 laps, eighth in session
Superpole: Qualified fourth with a 132.84. Edwards, pole with a 1: 32.59 on a factory Honda with Michelin qualifying tyre
Race one: Finished third, 6.1s behind race winner Edwards.
Race two: finished first, 0.8s ahead of Chris Walker after race-long leader Pierfrancesco Chili suffered a huge slide at the Esses (now know as Foggy Esses) and ended up third.
From Donington, GSE racing went to Brands in August where Hodgson finished first and second. And they returned to the Kentish venue in October where Hodgson finished fourth in race one but was a DNF in race two. The following year the team moved to WSB full time.
Wright says that’s not going to happen in 2010 because the GSR Racing has a two-year plan to race the Airwaves Yamahas in BSB.
However, we all watch with bated breath to see if Wright’s work ethic pans out in 2009 and Leon Camier or James Ellison can emulate Hodgson’s 2000 race-winning success.