September 17, 2015, by UoN E-Racing Team
Cadwell Park Update
Blog post written by the UoN E-Racing Team – Marco Degano, Jonathan Blissett, Miquel Gimeno-Fabra and Pat Wheeler.
The weekend of 11-13 September saw the team head off to Cadwell Park, Lincoln, for more racing as part of the MotoE series. It was a challenging but enjoyable few days.
The team set off early on Friday in order to do a few test laps with the rider, Daley Mathieson, and there were some final upgrades made on the bike – the upgrades meant the bike was lighter and the rider would be able to choose different throttle mappings whilst riding.
Initially there were a few issues with the bike, such as the bike being stuck in reverse whilst at full throttle. But these were soon fixed and the team joined a track day for petrol bikes up to 750cc. Friday evening saw the bike record the fastest time on track, despite the usual controler issues.
Daley’s unavailability on Saturday led to the team inviting Talan Skeels-Piggins to ride the bike – Talan is a well known Paralympic medallist whom has set up a racing team for disabled riders, enabling them to compete using adapted bikes. The team was delighted to have Talan involved – as the bike is direct drive and all controls are already on the handlebars, all that was needed was a bit of velcro and Talan was good to go!
Talan went out on the bike in the second qualifying session for the day as the weather conditions were not optimal (extremely wet!) for such test in the morning. He felt increasingly comfortable on the bike, setting the second fastest MotoE lap for the day. Being an extremely experienced rider, Talan was able to provide the team with valuable feedback on how the bike behaved. This test with Talan set a milestone for both electric bike racing and people with mobility issues.
The team also had the pleasure of meeting their main sponsors from Murata on Saturday, who saw the bike racing for the first time.
As the sun went down on Saturday evening, the team decided to have a full bike strip-down to check for electrical and mechanical issues, and to prepare the bike for the actual races on Sunday.
Daley returned on Sunday, and the bike went out again for a few minutes practice with petrol bikes – the bike dominated again, starting from the back and overtaking everyone in the first lap, until the session was cancelled because the two Zongshen bikes collided.
The feedback from Daley was extremely positive – the tweaks the team did on the controller seemed to have worked, so they started the short race with a strong 3 laps at superbike pace, setting the fastest lap for an electric bike in Cadwell Park. Unfortunately, the bike stopped for no apparent reason half-way through the last lap, forcing the team to focus all the afternoon on solving the problem.
As the team knew from the TT, the main challenge is reliability and this time it hit the team badly. They raced against the clock to address the problem and fix it. However the problem was intermittent so a diagnosis was challenging. The team got to a point where the bike seemed to be working again so they closed it and prepared for the last race of the day. However, the issue flared up again after two corners into the warm-up lap, forcing Daley to retire.
Although the bike DNF, the team returned to Nottingham, confident they can resolve the issues of the weekend. There are now only 3 weeks and 2 events until the end of the MotoE season, so the team is aware they need to win to secure the championship.
The team is thankful to Murata for coming to Cadwell and bringing some new gear and they hope that, at least, they enjoyed seeing the bike demonstrating its potential. The team also wants to thank Cummins for providing power at the event, allowing all the teams to charge their bikes in the field.
On to the next event!
Our thanks to Kerry Rawson Photography for the photos.