Test Is A Success for Opus Kawasaki and James East

Opus Racing – James East
Cartagena Test 20-24th Feb

James on the Opus Kawasaki for the first time in Spain

Track activity kicked off for James East and Opus Racing in Spain with a 4 day test at the tricky Cartagena Circuit near Murcia.

Day 1 – Acquaintance
The aim of the game for day one was to have a shake down. The winter is a long time to be away from riding a 190BHP beast, so I did many laps just adjusting myself with the machine and the speed and finding my way around the technical circuit. I had visited Circuito De Cartagena once before in 2007 on a GP125 so suddenly the track felt very different.
Riding position was the only real change we made on day 1, such as handle bars, foot pegs etc.

Day 2 – New Components
We picked the pace up a little on day 2, and I started to get a feel for the KTech Suspension. I had not used this product before having used Bitubo previously on my 2013 ZX10.
The bike still felt familiar of course as it was a Kawasaki still, but the characteristics were very different once we found some speed and I started to notice the suspensions weak and plus points in comparison to what I was used to.
We made some damping changes to cope with the pace but overall I was pleased with the motorcycle underneath me, and the people around me who were working calm and professionally. Shaun – The team Co Coordinator, was working with me and adjusting the suspension accordingly whilst Jason, the team operative and Chef! would see me in to the garage and work the stands and warmers etc We are currently still looking for a technician to accompany us in the season.

Day 3 Pace finds changes, changes find pace.
Again the track experience allowed us to pick up the pace. I got to feel the bike on new tyres which let us show some good lap times. Now the grand old technical set up situation was being applied, the faster we went, the more finely tuned the suspension damping settings would need to be. Springs were changed and we also found the general riding position was to low so this was noted for future reference.

Day 4 Success
By the last day I was very happy with my motorbike. I had got used to the Ktech characteristics and could meet apex’s, control the bike consistently on a used tyre and generally ride fast. We used the last of the tyre allocation we brought with us, and finished with smiles as we had succeeded as a team.

I’m now looking forward to further testing in the UK, but more importantly Round 1 at Brands Hatch, the feeling I have for our expectations is nothing short of great. The podium beckons.

Walters Medical Confirm Personal Sponsorship Support With East For 2014

Hertfordshire based Walters Medical confirm they will support James as personal sponsors for his 2014 National Superstock 1000 title challenge.
After backing James in the latter part of the 2013 season, the unique medical supply specialists are excited to be involved for the coming season, as is James is to carry the brand name -
James East – “I am elated, grateful and humbled that the Walters Medical team will support me again for 2014. This season looks to be my most exciting season yet. I feel I have found the class for me on the 1000cc machine and having learnt so much is 2013, my first year, I will be proud to fly the Walters Medical banner, and to have them involved throughout the season with the success I know we can achieve. Thank you to Walters once more”.

http://www.waltersmedical.co.uk/

Walters Medical Supporting James East 2014

James East Moves To Brabus Kawasaki

East in Superstock action at Knockhill 2013

James East will compete with the Opus/Brabus Kawasaki team in the National 1000 Superstock Championship for 2014.

The Cheshire based team approached James in December and came to an arrangement to compete on a new Kawasaki ZX10R with a view of pushing to take the championship. Testing will commence in the late part of February in Cartagena and James is now on the search for a race technician to accompany him and the team over the 12 rounds. Any interested inquirers can contact him on the details below.

James – “ I am very excited to get the 2014 season underway. I found the class for me on the 1000cc machine in 2013 with Idaq and I want to continue the momentum to be a contender for the title this year. Superbike is where I want to be, so I will be working hard to pull in the results for the Brabus Kawasaki Team and to give me the best chance of making the step up. “

07783337702

james.east56@live.co.uk

www.jameseast.com

Round 12 Brands Hatch GP – 10th

Back to Brands Hatch for the last round of the season and wet weather is on the cards.
After I lead the race for the first 6 laps earlier on in the year on the GP circuit until I was forced to retire I was confident I could fight again in the dry for a win.

Picture By Paul Egan

Free Practice
I’d say the track was 80% dry, but much of the back of the circuit was wet, as to not risk a crash I took it easy and got aquainted with the circuit again. 11th – 1:31:254.

Qualifying
1:28.905 I qualified 7th putting my fastest time in on the last lap of the session. When I came in for the new tyre I was held in pitlane as there was a suspected oil leak from my bike. This was contained and I had 2 laps to put the time in. It wasn’t good enough for pole but would put us in a good position for the race.

Qualifying 2
Q2 was wet but drying and no one improved. I took it steady in this session as to not risk a crash before the race.

Warm Up
I went out to confirm the bike was ready and to do a practice start in the wet as it would be my first wet race, the start was good and I was confident for the race.

Race

I got a good launch but quickly realised that my set up was wrong when pushing on in the full wet. The bike was to hard and finding grip was a real balancing act. I dropped back to tenth but I am very happy with the way I rode, I kept my cool and rode my own race. 100% effort was put in to stay on the bike and hold my position and I finished the race in 10th position.
2013 has been a successful year for me, I think it’s clear I have found the class for me on the 1000cc machine, which has increased my confidence in working towards competing in superbike. Despite some unfortunate and unlucky set backs through out the year we have achieved some good results, especially for mine and Idaq’s first season. I believe I have learnt the fundamentals of how to be competitive on the 1000cc machine in 2013 and I am looking forward to working towards how I am going to take the title in 2014. I want to thank Mark and Sarah Roebuck for believing in me coming in to this season and giving me the opportunity, Colin for his advice and direction from Cadwell Park onwards, Dave my Mechanic for his tireless efforts and PCR for their input working on the motorcycles away from the meetings. Also a big thanks to my Dad for his input and always believing in me and standing by my decisions and my personal sponsors for without their support the season would not have been possible. Homechoice Carpets-Leeds – GHM Services – ToiletSpares.co.uk – Cougar Leathers – Bikers Division Ltd – Daytona Boots – R&G Racing – Samco Sport By Racebikebitz Ltd – Paul ‘Noddy’ Brown – Walters Medical

Silverstone RD 11 National Superstock – Bad Luck sums up the weekend

 Silverstone was an enjoyable weekend up until race day. Qualifying didn’t go my way with 13th place but I learnt an important lesson in the fact that effort isn’t always simple or physical action, espeically not on the 1000.
I made it hard work for my self on track with pushing my braking markers back on my strong areas and this effected my lap time. In the race I made an average start but made up for it in the first turns. Later on in the lap I quickly came to realise that the level of grip I had at the rear of the bike was unpredictable, I was having moments. On lap 6 Whilst in 11th the bike stepped out suddenly and I highsided, we’re still reviewing the bike and data to find out exactly what happened. I will take a number of things from this meeting, I will be focused on using the session’s to their fullest in the future and will stick to my markers. Silverstone gave me clarity that you can earn a faster lap and race time from precisely building on what you know you are capable, and that is with every aspect of your corner entry, apex and exit. It can’t be achieved by simple physical efforts promoting only one of these at a time.
I’m looking forward to Brands Hatch GP now, it is the last round and I am going to be working hard to make sure I get my best result yet.
Thank you to my personal sponsors
Homechoice Carpets-Leeds – GHM Services – ToiletSpares.co.uk – Cougar Leathers – Bikers Division Ltd – Daytona Boots – R&G Racing – Samco Sport By Racebikebitz Ltd – Paul ‘Noddy’ Brown – Walters Medical
Thank you to my mechanic Dave for all his efforts, Colin for his advise, Mark and Sarah for the opportunity, PCR and everyone in the team.

3 weekends 3 Races – Cadwell, Silverstone Test – Donington Park Round Up

James East Round 9 National 1000 Superstock Cadwell Park

After a successful test the week before Round 9 at Cadwell Park I was really looking forward to this race. I had followed superbikes in testing and set fast lap times so the podium was my goal.

Free Practice
We didn’t enter the track due to wet and drying conditions, we felt there was no need to take a risk on a track which would be dry for the rest of the weekend.

Qualifying 1
Light rain was falling on a dry track so I quickly put in a respectable time of 1:31:7 on lap 3 before returning to the pits shortly after due to a damp track.
The session finished with me in 1st in group A by 0.9 and 7th overall as the track was dry for longer in the group B letting others better my time.

Qualifying 2
I got down to a time of 1:30:9 which I wasn’t happy with. I rushed the session and didn’t find the space I needed to do the times I thought I was capable of. This put me 8th on the grid but I knew I could improve.

Warm up
I tried some different lines in warm up which made it easier to get through the last sector, this made me feel better for the race.

Race
I got a great start from 8th and was up to 6th. Lap 2 I moved up to the leading group and fought off Simon Andrews to hold my position. I knew the front runners had more pace so I needed to move through to see if I could match this and stay in touch so I committed to a move on Lee Jackson at Turn 3 ‘Charlie’s but he closed the door which left me no room. I just avoided tripping over the bike but this put me on the grass. I rejoined in 18th and got up to 11th before the red flag came out for another incident.

I made a mistake, you make decisions and I made the wrong one. In the last 3 rounds I will be showing more patience and working to turn my pace in to results we are capable of and put us on the podium. Idaq Motorsport and PCR did a great job so thank you to them and all of my personal sponsors.

Silverstone 200
We entered the Silverstone 200 meeting supporting MotoGP as a test for the National Superstock round there later on in the season.
We had warm weather and sunshine for the full meeting and my first ride at Silverstone on the Kawasaki ZX10R.

Photograph By Paul Egan

As many laps as possible were needed to learn the long flat Arena GP circuit so the aim of the game for every session was to stay out for as long as possible and make any changes needed after the session.
We quickly got to pace and was in to the 2:11’s from the first session.

Qualifying
We made some changes for the better with the bike to make it turn faster and qualified well amongst the array of bike including superbikes on the 4th row with a low 2:11.

Race 1
I did a 2:10:9 on lap 4 but came in to some trouble when tipping in to the ultra fast maggots corner at 160mph I got stuck in to a fake neutral between 5th and 4th, the bike came around on me and forces me forward into the gravel. I had to lay the bike down before I hit the barrier.

Race 2
We had made some changes again which made the bike turn better and hold a line again. I did a 2:10:5 on lap 2 but on lap 3 another rider crashed in front of me at the Vale chicane and I had nowhere to go, hitting the bike and was thrown from mine.

‘We had some bad luck but we will have good pace come round 11 to push for the podium. Thank you to my personal sponsors and WaltersMedical for coming on board for this round’.

 

Donington Park
Friday was as wet as it gets, and the forecast showed rain throughout the weekend. I just did a few laps in this session to make sure the bike was straight from the Silverstone off. The bike was prepared and was running perfectly.

Qualifying 1 It was wet again. This was the first time I had ridden the bike competitively in the wet and we quickly found that the setup we predicted didn’t work. I couldn’t turn the bike and had next to no grip.
Unfortunately the slick Donington surface caught me out on the exit of the old hairpin and I had a high side. The bike was relatively un damaged but later we would realise the bike had an engine problem from the crash and we would need a new engine, which we were unable to source so I was forced to sit out the rest of the weekend.

‘I was obviously devastated with having to sit out this round. We were generating really good momentum in the season and recently have experienced some bad luck and knock backs however I will not let it affect my actions for the final two rounds of the season at Silverstone and Brands Hatch GP. Consistency will allow us to be on the podium as my pace is fast enough. I will need to qualify well and ride patient and precise races of which I know I am capable of. I’ve got 3 weeks now to prepare for Silverstone and I will arrive there ready. Thank you to my family, my personal sponsors, my team and everyone for their support.’

Thank you to my personal sponsors.
Homechoice Carpets-Leeds – GHM Services – ToiletSpares.co.uk – Cougar Leathers – Bikers Division Ltd – Daytona Boots – R&G Racing – Samco Sport By Racebikebitz Ltd – Paul ‘Noddy’ Brown – Walters Medical

Pre Cadwell Park – Test and Thoughts in preperation

Following a brilliant test on Wednesday 14th August at Cadwell Park we will be at the cicuit this bank holiday weekend from Friday to Monday 23rd to the 26th of August 2013.

Picture By Bike Sport Photography

We had a successful test where we worked hard all day to generate as much feel as we could from the bike. We achieved this, I could turn fast and meet apex’s and finished the day on a 1:30:8 which would of been good enough for 3rd on the front row of the grid for the race in 2012. More importantly this was achieved on tyres that had done 25 laps or more so the pace is consistant and strong.
I want to win, I think we deserve it and I want it more than anybody so I’m going to take it.
Thanks to PCR Performance for preparing the bike and the whole entire Idaq Motorsport Team for collectively making such a great package.
Also thank you to my personal sponsors. Lets get on the podium.
Homechoice Carpets-Leeds – Idaq.com – GHM Services – ToiletSpares.co.uk -Cougar Leathers – Bikers Division Ltd – Daytona Boots – R&G Racing – Samco Sport By Racebikebitz Ltd – Paul ‘Noddy’ Brown

Unlucky Oulton Park for East and IDAQ

James East – Idaq Kawasaki – National Superstock – Round 8 – Oulton Park
Back to Oulton Park for round 8 and under turbulent skies. The rain would hold off but an unlucky finish for me.

Free Practice
1:40:439 2nd in group A. 8th overall.
Free Practice at Oulton Park quickly made me realise this is still a learning year for me. Even though we used the settings from round one, my riding showed has changed and these settings no longer gave me the turning I needed.
We would change the ride height of the bike and damping sessions after this. Ready for qualifying.

Qualifying 1
1:39:307 2nd Group A. 8th overall.
I improved by over a second but lacked the feel from the front end I needed to drop my times further. We would trawl the data further after this session and come to a conclusion for QP2.

Qualifying 2
1:39:199 Group A 5th. 14th Overall.
I simply didn’t get my qualifying lap in. It seemed every lap I entered I either came across someone or had a moment. I improved but only slightly.
We improved the bike which was good as I knew I could push through from my qualifying position. Also after the session we quickly found some issue on the data from the point I was letting off the brake and found a solution for this in warm up so I was confident for the race.

Race
I got a great start, launched well and moved to the right of the track and went up the inside of many people.
I had a bit of a dice on the first lap with Lee Johnston but got back past at lodge and made my way forward to the leading group in 9th position.
I made a mistake at Dears leap which sent me into a wheelie on to the start finish straight. This lost me about .8 of a second and a missed gear on the same lap put me about a second off of Daniel Johnson in front, but on the same lap at Lodge my bike cut out completely and I coasted in to pitlane.

Some wires for the ignition switch had worn and become bare. We believe that this must of surged and blew the ignition fuse turning the bike off as if you turned the key off.

I was gutted as this was yet another non score which wasn’t my fault. However I don’t think I rode well enough in the race either. I showed my inexperience and I need to work on my positioning on the bike which is exactly what I will do at our next test at Cadwell Park on Wednesday 14th August.

Either way my team worked tirelessly all weekend so I want to thank them for their efforts as well as Dave for putting in the hours for me.


Thanks go out to James’s personal sponsors.

Homechoice Carpets-Leeds – Idaq.com – GHM Services – ToiletSpares.co.uk -Cougar Leathers – Bikers Division Ltd – Daytona Boots – R&G Racing – Samco Sport By Racebikebitz Ltd – Paul ‘Noddy’ Brown

East is ready to push for wins from Brands Hatch GP Performance

James East – Idaq Motorsport
National Superstock 1000 Round 7 Brands Hatch GP

The tipping point.

I was ready to push for a podium at my favourite track and this would happen in the glorious sunshine at the Brands Hatch GP circuit

Free Practice
I took it easy in this session as due to residential ruling everyone would practice on the Indy circuit. My time of 47.732 was good enough for 7th overall.

Qualifying 1
I hit the GP circuit for the first time but the session was next to pointless for me. Every lap I entered it started raining so spent much of the session in the pits. With the promise of fine weather later on, the session wasn’t worth risking in the ‘iffy’ conditions.

Qualifying2

Weather reports were correct and we had sunshine for this session. The difficulty with this session was the volume of riders on track. 49 Riders were all trying to put a fast time in and I found it difficult finding space. I tried a few settings in this session as we had only had 3 laps on the GP track previously in QP1.
With 5 minutes to go I asked Dave to put the bike back to a setting I knew I could go fast on. First flying lap I went from 12th to 8th and the last flying lap of the session I did a 1:28:969 to put me 4th. I didn’t think the time was good enough when I looked at the Aim Dash but was relieved it was good enough for a front row when they told me in parc ferme.

Warm Up
We changed the gearbox selector forks over night as there was significant wear on them which made me miss a few gears in QP2 and the gearbox felt good in warm up, a broken tyre warmer meant I went out on a cold rear tyre which didn’t help matters, Dave had to guess the cold pressure which ended up rising higher than expected so I was sliding around a lot and backed it off to take it easy.

Race
I was so focused prior to the race, I told myself ‘You will not get a bad start’. It was a good start and I was in third in to paddock hill bend. Tommy Aquino pushed too hard into Druids and ran wide allowing me through to 2nd behind Adam Jenkinson.
I got great drive out of Surtees and rushed up on Jenkinson going down Pilgrims Drop making the pass into Hawthorns. I haven’t seen the brake pressure on the data for the over take but I’m sure it will be high, I came from about 3 bike lengths back to make the pass for the lead and just about held a fast line.
From here I just settled in to a steady rhythm and was still learning. My pace was good enough to keep the people behind me at bay in the low 1:29’s. I kept at this pace for the first four laps then on lap 5 I felt good to push on. I pulled a tenth or 2 to create a little bit of a gap but the whole time I kept having little moments of missing gears. On lap 6 the gearbox locked on the exit of Surtees and thankfully didn’t end up in an accident when Joe Burns hit my back wheel and rearset.

The bike went back in to gear but the rear set was bent and I was really struggling to get it in to gear. I would have to retire when the gearbox stopped selecting all together.

I am still gutted as I felt I had the pace in me to win the race, I felt really good out front seeing clear track ahead of me.
What I have taken from the Brands Hatch is confirmation that I am comfortable with the 1000cc stock machine and I will be able to push for race wins in future rounds.
I will be pushing for a front row qualifying position at Oulton Park and then get to the front early on to pull a gap. I really want to win. I want to be a superbike rider and work to win in that category to, so it’s now time to prove I am capable.

Thank you to everyone who is making it possible for me to be competing. And thank you to my Dad for always supporting me.

Thanks go out to James’s Personal Sponsors
Homechoice Carpets-Leeds – Idaq.com – GHM Services – ToiletSpares.co.uk -Cougar Leathers – Bikers Division Ltd – Daytona Boots – R&G Racing – Samco Sport By Racebikebitz Ltd – Paul ‘Noddy’ Brown

Easty finishes 6th achieving his best result of 2013 so far and looks to improve in the 2nd half of the season

James East  National Superstock 1000 2013
Round 6 Snetterton

Increasing temperatures throughout the weekend made it fantastic conditions for the British Superbike Championship at Snetterton and with this round being the last of the first half of the season it was time for me to bring together all I’ve learnt so far this season to see what was now needed to push for podiums in the 2nd half of the season

Free Practice
I felt comfortable straight away as we had tested at Snetterton the Tuesday before. I improved straight away from our test time by 0.4 with a 1:52:641 which put me 3rd overall on a crowded track of 52 riders.

Qualifying 1
We pushed a bit harder in this session and I ended the session in 5th place and improved by 3 tenths.
I found the bike to be sat a little low once we pushed in to the low 1:52’s so made some changes but wasn’t completely satisfied. The qualifying time was 1:52:354.

Qualifying 2
In this session we put some more weight on the front of the bike and it helped me to hold a line but the rear of the bike was unpredictable and quite unstable.
I improved anyway by pushing a little harder, but not over the limit, to a time of 1:52:235, this put me 5th in session again but qualified 6th as Jimmy Storar had a faster time from the first qualifying session.

I  was happy with the 2nd row position as this is what we set out to achieve but wasn’t satisfied with the setup, we was looking for some more grip on the side of the tyre but didn’t quite find it. Either way my confidence was up, I knew I could run the pace whether I was comfortable with the bike or not.

Warm Up
Dave and I tried a softer spring for warm up to try and generate some feel from the rear of the bike but this was unsuccessful, it made the bike softer naturally but I didn’t gain the feel I wanted. The added squat meant that in the fast corners the bike was sitting down making the front rake out a bit too far forcing me wide. It was worth a try but we would return to the qualifying set up with some slight damping changes. My practice starts were awful to, so I was concentrating on the start for the rest of the day.

Race
I got a great launch but Jimmy Storar moved over into my path making me check my throttle. I held my own though on the first lap and was in 9th.
On lap 2 I moved past Filip Backlund at the Bomb hole, it was pretty last minute but I made it stick and set off after Jimmy Storar. The gap was about a second or just over but I closed most of that in a lap. I felt really strong at the start of the race.

On lap 4, 5 and 6 we were behind the safety car after Josh Day crashed at the left after the back straight. He was fine but it spread dirt and grass across the track. This did me a favour and closed the pack up despite Hudson Kenaugh trying to play games from 5th place under the safety car.
When the race was restarted I quickly realised I was losing some drive off the turn to the other riders and I’d have to make the time up on the brakes. I stuck with them but didn’t make any sudden over takes as the front tyre was on its limit in many of the braking areas and had been giving me warnings.
On lap 8 I pushed by Jimmy Storar to move to 6th and moved up behind Lee Johnston who was strong on the brakes, he however lost the front and fell at the hairpin on lap 9 which moved me to 5th.
I was safe here and Initially closed up to the leaders but had warnings again from the front tyre doing so, I had to change my lines slightly braking earlier as to not lose the front which must of been scorching hot on the 49 degree track temperature.
I missed a few gears on a couple of laps coming on to the back straight which made me lose a second or so combined so I was stuck in 5th.

On the start of the last lap I thought to myself do all you need to do to keep the bike up right to the finish and was overtaken going in to turn one by Filip Backlund. I was strong into turn one and he run wide so I retook him and defended but he still made a move at the hairpin, he clearly had more grip than I did and I did everything I could to get on terms with him but at the flag I was 6th with a best time of 1:52:190.

All in All I am pleased with the result. It is the first time I’ve run at the front and my best qualifying and finish of the season so far. It also confirmed that I have learnt how to ride the bike and from now on we will push for podiums. The business plan as such which was agreed at the start of the year was to learn the bike and class as much as possible in the first half of the season then bring it all together so I could flick the competitive switch in myself to push for race wins. I think this is very possible after I turned up the pace and brought home this finish just 4 seconds off of the race win.

I can’t thank my mechanic Dave Hopkinson of Downshift England enough for his commitment and general hard work this weekend, also for Idaq Motorsport for giving me the best chance to be competitive this year in this class as well as both Pauls of PCR Performance for putting together a fantastic motorbike.

Brands Hatch GP is the next round which is my favourite track. Round 7 will be the first race of the 2nd half of the season. Here I will be pushing for a race win but will be looking to bring home valuable points no matter what. Top 10 in the championship is my goal for the season.

Thanks go out to James’s Personal Sponsors
Homechoice Carpets-Leeds – Idaq.com – GHM Services – ToiletSpares.co.uk -Cougar Leathers – Bikers Division Ltd – Daytona Boots – R&G Racing – Samco Sport By Racebikebitz Ltd – Paul ‘Noddy’ Brown