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Mondello Park BSB review - Sendo Ducati Dienza

Pic: Chris Martin

By Carly Rathmell
May 31 2004

The Sendo Ducati Dienza Performance Team suffered a mixed weekend’s racing at round five of the Think! British Superbike Championships, Mondello Park, Southern Ireland at the weekend.

Dean Thomas, who is now lying sixth in the championship standings, suffered varied fortunes at the Irish Circuit, but he still managed to gain another place in the championship tables.

The team knew that this would be one of the most difficult tracks to set up Dean’s 998 F02 Ducati, and all they were hoping for was a handful of good results. A very technical, yet extremely bumpy circuit is not greatly suited to the style of the Ducati, as it is a very stop-start track.

Many different changes and setting were tried in the three practice sessions on the Friday and slowly, throughout the day, things improved drastically and Dean steadily moved up the timing tables. More gearing changes overnight and Dean was aiming for a second row start for the races on Sunday. Once again Dean mastered his qualifying set up and once again put the Sendo team on the front row of the grid. Qualifying in third position Dean surprised himself. Sitting on pole position for a while, it was Michael Rutter and John Reynolds who put a stop to Dean gaining his first pole position of the season.

Still very content with being on the front row. it was important for him to gain a strong start in the races as, with the track being so tight and narrow, there are very few passing places. In glorious sunshine the weather conditions were good and the track temperatures were high. As the lights went green Dean was forced back a few places but settled himself into fifth position as they crossed the line on the first lap. Japanese GP star Yukio Kagayama was creeping ever closer to Dean, and made a clean manoeuvre on him on lap eight. Race leader Michael Rutter crashed out on his Honda and gifted Dean another place. Dean fought his own and brought home the first Ducati in the pack, which was his main aim, gaining a healthy eleven points in the process.

Race two, however, was very short lived. After making some positive changes for the second race, Dean was eager to test out the new settings. This wasn’t to be as Yamaha rider Kieran Clarke came from nowhere and was heading for the same racing line as Dean into the first corner. The two collided and, unfortunately, it was Dean that came off worst. Forcing him to sit up, but clipping Gary Mason’s Yamaha in the process, sent Dean sliding down the tarmac and that was his race over.

Commenting, Dean said, “I was happy with my first race result as we were not expecting much from this circuit. It’s a tough track and all the Ducatis seemed to struggle here. I wanted to try and get a good start and stay with the front runners but I knew they would be on the pace. It was a tough race and I was struggling with tyres towards the end of it. As for race two, it was just a racing incident. If Gary hadn’t have been to my left I would have been able to rescue it but as it was the first lap everyone is fighting for the same piece of tarmac. It’s a very narrow corner and everyone piles on top of each other looking for the best route. It’s a shame really as we made a lot of changes to the bike and I was looking forward to testing them out. I’m nineteen points behind Sean Emmett in the championship now, and I want to remain consistent at the rest of the rounds.”

Dean’s next race is Thruxton on the 6th June 2004.

Race one result:
1 Scott Smart, 30.33.487
2 John Reynolds, 30.33.489
3 Glen Richards, 30.42.745
4 Yukio Kagayama, 30.48.722
5 Dean Thomas, 30.52.232
6 Sean Emmett, 30.54.590
7 James Buckingham, 31.16.179
8 Craig Coxhell, 31.16.824
9 James Haydon, 31.23.406
10 Kieran Clarke, 31.24.287

Race two result:
1 Michael Rutter, 30.33.011
2 John Reynolds, 30.34.310
3 Scott Smart, 30.38.577
4 Glen Richards, 30.43.294
5 Yukio Kagayama, 30.50.140
6 Tommy Hill, 30.55.748
7 Sean Emmett, 31.02.215
8 Kieran Clarke, 31.09.901
9 Craig Coxhell, 31.17.142
10 James Buckingham, 31.22.087

Championship standings:
1 John Reynolds, 207
2 Michael Rutter, 174
3 Yukio Kagayama, 152
4 Scott Smart, 130
5 Sean Emmett, 105
6 Dean Thomas, 84
7 Glen Richards, 78

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