September 30, 2015, by UoN E-Racing Team
Pembrey Race Circuit – Back On Track!
Blog post written by the UoN E-Racing Team – Marco Degano, Jonathan Blissett, Miquel Gimeno-Fabra and Pat Wheeler.
After a challenging weekend at Cadwell Park, the PEMC Electric Motorbike Team (Marco Degano, Miquel Gimeno-Fabra and Jonathan Blissett) had a number of issues to sort out with the bike before heading off to Pembrey Race Circuit for the next MotoE event. It was disappointing to have two consecutive “Did Not Finish” (DNF) results, which saw the team drop to third in the championship. With this in mind, the team decided to have a full strip down of the bike and, after three days of diagnostics, the problem was traced to bolts missing from the motor resolver. Small changes in the position of this sensor can lead to changes in the performance of the bike – to the extent that the bike can simply stop working all together.
Having identified and fixed the problem, the team decided to have a few practice runs before the next race. With the help of No Limits track days, they headed off to Mallory Park, where the UoN-01 bike was consistently quicker than most petrol bikes. This allowed the team to test many different motor map setups, as well as different levels of engine breaking/regenerative breaking.
After a very successful session at Mallory, everything was double and triple checked again, and the bike was put together ready for racing at Pembrey. At present the rider, Daley Mathieson, can choose 4 different map setups during the race, so that battery levels can be managed better, as well as adapting the bike’s reactions depending on the track or weather conditions. The team made it to Pembrey on Friday afternoon and, as it was too late for them to join a track session, they focused on preparing the garage and giving the bike and components a final check.
The weekend weather was great and the bike went out on Saturday morning with all the other petrol bikes, taking part in a warm-up session on cold tarmac. The bike was 7th quickest overall, which was expected after such positive test circuits at Mallory Park. The team didn’t need to carry out any changes to the bike before qualifying, apart from mounting fresh rubber and adjusting the rear suspension. Later that afternoon the bike qualified in pole position with a margin of over 5 seconds – a great start, but the team were keen to see Daley make it past the finish line, given the disappointment of Cadwell Park!
With a forecast of rain for the final race event in Portugal next week, it was extremely important to leave Pembrey leading the championship. An added complication the team was mindful of was the nature of the track at Pembrey, which led to a higher battery consumption than normal. However, we’re delighted to report that Daley did an excellent job in both races at Pembrey, riding smoothly and consistently and achieveing 1min 6sec lap – very close to his own lap record. He also lapped many competitiors. Further battles for 3rd and 4th positions between the different Zongshen bikes also meant that the PEMC team’s main rivals scored less points, so UON are now finally leading the championship with a 10 point margin.
The team made it back to Nottingham and one of their first tasks was to take the batteries apart for inspection. They also adjusted the battery management system. After a swap of vans, rebuild of the bike, the team has hit the road for the 3 day drive down to Portimao, Portugal.
It was a brilliant weekend at Pembrey and the team hopes to maintain the momentum for Portimao. They also enjoyed meeting Bernadette, one more member of the Murata family, and would like to thank Murata, Microsemi and all their sponsors for making their participation in MotoE 2015 possible.
Read our tribute to Daley, who sadly died following a crash while racing for the MADMAX Race Team at the 2019 Isle of Man TT here.