The KMR Kawasaki with Vauxhall (Northern Ireland dealers) team recently returned a Successful Isle of Man TT campaign for KMR Kawasaki, June 2013, with all team members scoring some excellent results. Highlights included the Lightweight TT race, where Conor Cummins, Jamie Hamilton and Michael Rutter, took third, fifth and sixth places on the 650cc ER6 Kawasakis, as well as the two Supersport races where Hamilton recorded two excellent 12th place finishes.
The 3-lap Lightweight race was always the one where the team had their highest hopes with Rutter, Cummins, Hamilton and newcomer Gavin Hunt all mounted on the red, black and white machines. Despite never having seen the bike before practice week, Cummins excelled and a final lap of 117.791mph saw the local hero claim the final podium spot by just 4.2s. Hamilton and Rutter also lapped in excess of 117mph and were only a handful of seconds further back in fifth and sixth whilst Manxman Hunt put in a mature ride to finish in 14th place thus ensuring all four bikes finished inside the top 15, an excellent achievement indeed.
For Brian McCormack, practice week didn’t quite go to plan as he tipped off at Laurel Bank during Friday evening’s penultimate session but he regrouped in time for Sunday’s 6-lap Superbike race to finish in a fine 19th place, winning a bronze replica in the process on the Kawasaki ZX-10R. A day later he improved his result to 17th in the 4-lap Superstock race, adding another bronze replica to his collection, and he duly completed his hat-trick with a career-best 16th in the Senior, where he also lapped at a new personal best of 123.689mph.
The team ended their fortnight with a trip to the Billown course in the south of the island for the Post-TT meeting and Hamilton took a brace of seconds in the Supersport and Lightweight races with James Cowton and Joe Faragher taking fourth and ninth respectively in the latter.
Speaking upon his return to Northern Ireland, team owner Ryan Farquhar said; “It’s been a good fortnight for the team and I’m really pleased with all of the lads’ efforts and results, especially Jamie in his second year at the TT. He rode fantastically well in all of his races, getting some great results and increasing his lap speeds and if it wasn’t for a couple of wee problems in the Superstock and Senior races it could have been better still. Brian had a small spill in practice but he bounced back well and with three top 20 finishes, three bronze replicas and a new personal best lap, it was a strong week for him and one he should be pleased with.”
“The Lightweight race was the one where he had our highest hopes and although the bikes were down a bit on top speed – a problem we’ve since traced – it was really pleasing to see Conor, Jamie and Michael all finish inside the top six and lap in excess of 117mph. Gavin also did a great job in his first year at the TT and I thoroughly enjoyed working with all of them so I’d love to go back in 2014 with the same riders on the bikes. The race was a great advert for the class and it’s very encouraging to see some top class riders and talent emerging. I’ve said all along it’s not all about KMR and we want to see other teams and riders coming to the fore and we saw exactly that at the TT. Mechanical know-how, rather than budget, plays a huge part in the class so I take my hat off to the likes of Dean Harrison and Stewart Smith Racing and Ivan Lintin for their results.”
“I’d also like to congratulate James Hillier and the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team not just on their win in the Lightweight race but also their results all week as they did a great job. It was fantastic to see a Kawasaki team running at the front in all of the races and they deserved all the plaudits they received.”
Hamilton and Connor Behan will be back in action this weekend at the Cork road races.
Pictures by Mark Walters