Bradley Ward Digs Deep To Secure Two Solid Superbike Finishes At Road America
Bradley Ward leaves MotoAmerica’s second visit in a month to Road America in Wisconsin thirteenth position overall in the 2020 MotoAmerica Superbike standings after finishing fourteenth and twelfth in the weekend’s two twelve lap races.
In contention for the top ten in the opening encounter, the #57 suffered a shredded rear sprocket after clipping the outside kerb at Canada Corner. Despite a valiant effort to nurse his FLY Racing ADR Motorsports Kawasaki ZX-10R home, the British rider was forced to pull in with a lap to go, the vibrations making it impossible for him to continue. He was classified P14 under the regulations so bagged two points for his efforts.
Sadly, in Sunday’s second race Bradley was unable to show his true potential after an off-track excursion in the opening laps saw him plummet backwards through the pack. Working his way steadily back into contention, he crossed the line twelfth adding another four points to his season tally.
“The opening day didn’t go to plan. Conditions were perfect but I was only able to complete two and a half laps and coming out of Turn 2, I changed from second to third gear and the bike locked up. I ran straight on and was able to keep it upright through the gravel. Initially I thought the chain had come off, so I pulled the clutch in managed to get it stopped. The chain was still there and there was no noise from the motor, but it was clear after further inspection that we needed to swap engines. Then the rain came so we just did three laps to make sure everything was ok and parked it. FP3 went a lot better. We had a new motor and new tyres and improved my lap time considerably considering I had lost most of day one and had little track time. Race 1 was at the back of the grid because they took the times from Q1 which is when the motor let go which meant I was second to last! I made a reasonable start and was dicing with Michael Gilbert, Corey Alexander, Max Flinders and Wyman (Travis). I was in eleventh, holding my own and feeling pretty good to be fair when coming out of Canada Corner I clipped a kerb after the bike slid sideways and the chain jumped the sprocket which completely wrecked it. All of the teeth started dropping off. I had to nurse the bike home, but it became unrideable, so I pulled in with a lap to go. Luckily, I was still classified as a finisher so scored a couple of points, but it wasn’t the best way to end the first race. A good sleep and I was raring to go for Race 2. I had to start at the back again, but I made a good start and was running tenth or eleventh and lining up to pass Max Flinders down into Turn 5. I was going 5-6mph faster than I would usually as I was in the slipstream and ran out of road on the brakes. I was dead last but managed to pick my way back through the pack to twelfth. Not a great weekend overall, it was pretty tough. We learned a lot and I went quicker than I had before so it’s steps in the right direction even though it’s not where we should be. I’m taking the positives and already looking forward to the next round in Atlanta.”