19/06/2017: Top 10 start for Kuba
Knockhill was a very eventful weekend to say the least, broken bikes and damaged riders keeping all the teams and BSB officials busy around the tight and twisty 1.26 mile Scottish circuit.
Throughout Friday and Saturday Kuba showed good pace finishing consistently inside the top 10 in every session. He eventually secured himself, a seasons best of 8th place on the grid for the start of Sunday’s first superbike race. However things didn’t go as smoothly for Matěj in the superstock class, after a huge high side at the chicane during qualifying ended his weekend prematurely. During the crash he took a bang to the head, so had to sit out the rest of the weekend.
Come race day Kuba was looking forward to the racing with his 3rd row start. A bad launch of the line then getting mixed up in the typical melee that is lap 1 saw Kuba end his first lap of 30 in P17, undoing all his hard work from the previous two-days in less than one minute. After regrouping he rode a determined race eventually finishing in 12th.
Lining up in 18th position for race 2 he had his work cut out around the narrow circuit to secure a credible finish. After a solid performance, he crossed the finish line in 16th missing out on points by just 0.04 of a second, ending his 100% success rate of securing points in every race this season.
Speaking to Kuba he said. “I wasn't expecting much from Knockhill, as it's not a track that suits my riding style. However, we started the weekend very well and qualified for the first race on the 3rd row. As the race got underway, I had a bad start. As it is a narrow and tight circuit, the first few corners ruined my race. I only got a few points for 12th because of the many crashes in front of me. I had a better start for race 2, but as I was all the way down on the 6th row, there wasn't much I could do, even though we had a good pace. Of course, I am disappointed but feel positive with the things we have tried on the bike and with pace we had. Now I need to concentrate on Snetterton where I want to battle for top spots! Massive thanks to all at PR Racing for their effort and hard work as we keep improving.”
Matěj’s commented on the weekend. “I’m very disappointed about my crash in qualifying, I was just getting comfortable with the Knockhill circuit and improving my lap times when my weekend ended after my crash at the chicane. I had just set my fastest lap of the weekend and was looking forward to qualifying well and having a good battle on race day. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. I must say a big thank you the Racesafe marshals and BSB medical team for looking after me.”
28/05/2017: Season best for Matej
In what was a great support race to the World Superbikes at Donington, Matěj pulled out all the stops producing his season best finishes in the Superstock 1000. The second instalment of the new split race format saw Matěj finish with a brace of top 10 finishes with P6 in race one and P8 in race two, securing valuable championship points.
After the race Matěj commented. “In the first part of the race I got a good start and felt comfortable on the bike, which was reassuring after my heavy crash in qualifying. It was a nice feeling to battle with the other riders around me and come out on top with my best finish of the season, P6! I got another good start in the second part of the race, but a mistake in the early laps saw me lose 3 places in one corner. I regrouped and pushed on but was only able to fight my way back to 8th place, which is disappointing as I feel I had the pace for more. A big thank you to the team for repairing my bike after my high side in qualifying and a faultless pit stop in-between races. We still have some progress to make, but each time I go out it feels more comfortable and that has shown in today’s results.”
Overall a positive weekend as Matěj continues to improve his feeling with the bike as well as securing his best finishes of the season, now placing him 15th in the championship. As a team we are moving in the right direction, which is a nice feeling. Now the team have a busy few days ahead as we prepare the bikes for two-days of testing, with Matej and Kuba, first to Cadwell and then Snetterton 300 for the official BSB test.
17/04/2017: Building momentum
Round two saw an outstanding performance from both the Smrz brothers as we scored points in all three of Monday’s races. Kuba felt very positive on his BMW, as the team dynamics play to his strengths. The bike continues to improve during each session based on his feedback, as shown in the lap times. However, he admits that he needs more aggression during the first few turns. Overall we are happy with the direction we are going in.
After talking to Matej he said he was again happy with the progress of his bike's set-up, as it continues to develop on each outing. His lap times were good, so the times between himself and the front runners were not so dramatic. He mentioned that he made a few mistakes during both races and we will work with him to iron them out during the official test at Oulton. Overall Matej was very happy with the bike and is looking forward to the round 3.
In summary, the team had a great weekend as we continue to build a solid foundation to our championship. Both the bikes ended the round ‘shinny side up’, so just a few tweaks before the official BSB practice later this week and then we will be preparing for our home round at Outlon Park.
30/03/2017: Build up to the 2017 BSB season
The opening round of the season was an eventful one to say the least with crashes, cancelled sessions and changeable weather conditions. Both the team and riders were left with a lot of hard work to do in order to salvage some credible finishes, but to their credit everyone stepped up to the mark and we leave Donington Park in a positive mood and look forward to Round 2 in little over 10 days.
A spill in FP1 and a cancelled qualifying session for Kuba meant he lacked valuable track time heading into Sunday’s racing. With the grid being decided using the lap times from combined free practice sessions, he started the race from the 7th row. During Sunday mornings warm up session, Kuba also fell fowl of track contamination, causing him to join the infamous Craner Club, which provided the team with a busy few hours to ensure he could take his grid slot for Race 1. Kuba showed his experience, making a good start and rode with his head to secure a 14th place finish and 2 championship points. For the 2nd BSB race of the day Kuba finished a respectable 15th, again securing championship points. He consistently improved his lap times by over 0.5 of a second thanks to some set up changes made by the team in-between races.
A crash in a wet qualifying session for Matěj left the team with an uphill battle to get his bike ready for the new 100 mile race format later in the day. Unfortunately a resulting technical problem on the sighting lap prevented him from making his Superstock debut, placing him in 40th position on the grid for Sundays 16 lap race. An impressive first lap saw Matěj carve his way through the pack and up to 25th position, before a red flag stopped the race, resulting in the shortened restart original grid positions meaning Matěj had it all to do for a second time in the same race. At the end of the 12 lap restart Matěj had worked his way up to 17th place just missing out on a points’ scoring finish by less than 1 second.
The results from the weekend may not seem the best but after the trials and tribulations that occurred over the weekend, I am proud of the effort and hard work put in by all the team members and the maturity shown by both Kuba and Matěj to bring the bikes home in tricky conditions. To end the round with valuable championship points is a good feeling!
02/03/2017: Positive start to the season
As a new format to this season, I will be writing a journal that outlines the team's activities, such as those at Almeria or during a race weekend. I hope you will find it a great addition to our other social media activities, which include our Facebook page and You Tube channel.
As many of you will know we re-signed Matej Smrz for 2017 and he will be contenting in the superstock 1000 class, a class we last raced in 2 years ago! A new addition to the team is his brother Kuba, who will race in the BSB class. We are excited about having both Smrzs in the team and after a great pre-season testing schedule; both riders are confident going in to the first round.
Our pre-season test was very good, as we finished are last test session as top BMW, so thanks to the team for all their efforts. Talking of the team, we have several new members this year. A familiar face around the paddock is Kevin Tompkin who is our new crew chief, other new team members for this season include Neal Hough and Harry Stokell, so welcome guys and good luck. Our growing team will certainly take the pressure of Joe and myself. We still have many of the old faces going into the 2017 season, Julian, Brian, Wayne and myself.
This year we are increasing our activities around social media with the help of Jo Preston, who will be posting updates as and when they happen, as well as streaming live footage from inside the garage, so you can all feel part of the team and see the action as it happens!
Here is to a great season and feel free to like our posts or ask the team questions through our Facebook or Twitter pages.
PR Racing signs Smrz brothers for 2017 BSB season
Former World Superbike rider Jakub ‘Kuba’ Smrz joins PR Racing to contend the British Superbike Championship, while younger brother, Matej will spearhead the team’s return to the National Superstock 1000cc class.
Jakub Smrz said. “I am really pleased to be joining Matej at PR Racing. Having spent a season learning the BMW, I am looking forward to sharing that knowledge with PR and growing with the team, in what will be a very competitive format. We have already met as a group last week to plan everything and PR Racing have started preparing the BMWs so we can start testing as soon as possible. I feel very good about 2017. Can't wait to get on the bike soon and go racing!"
On returning to the team, Matej said “I’m feeling confident even after my difficult start last year. Luckily in my first year in BSB I joined a great team. John with his partners have given me another opportunity to continue in 2017 and I would like to show everyone it wasn't a poor decision” He added. “Having my brother in the team after more than fifteen years is like a dream and he will be a great asset. I can gain from his experience of the BMW, as well as the circuits. We work well together and I am looking forward to the possibilities this partnership will bring.”
On signing the Czech bothers, John Jameson, Team Principal said. “Kuba is a top rider with many years’ experience at all levels. His attitude and commitment to racing is second to none and this fits PR Racing’s work ethic. It‘s a massive plus for the team to be able to work with a rider of his calibre, as we move forward and take the next step in the championship.”
“We are pleased to confirm Matej has fully recovered from injuries he sustained early last season and is back in full training. Matej like his older brother, is fully committed to racing. Bringing his race craft to the national superstock will give him a very real chance to compete at the top of what is a very demanding series.”
“PR Racing and all our partners are looking forward to 2017 with the Smrz brothers, with the promise of returning to the success we have enjoyed in the past. With the right package we know we can compete with the best BSB has to offer.”