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Wrigley twins aim to bounce back from Supersport crashes

Grassroots | Published:

Frustrating was how the Wigleys summed up their 2018 campaign, which was once again littered with top results but also too many crashes.

Having shown they can race as quickly as anyone in the British Supersport series, the Hednesford-based twins admitted to starting the season a bit too aggressively.

Kurt, aged 22, posted fast times on a regular basis but just came up short when it came to reaching his first podium in the class.

For brother Matt, it was a season to re-acclimatise following an horrendous crash in 2017 that left him with a broken back and a long road of recovery.

But there were plenty of positives too, which included two top finishes at Silverstone for Kurt while the end of the campaign saw both riders put in much more consistent finishes and record far fewer crashes.

And with the 2019 British Superbike calendar revealing rounds one, two and three will take place at Silverstone, Donington Park and Outlon Park – easily the most local tracks for any Midland-based riders – the twins are hoping for a positive opening to their campaigns, regardless of what classes they enter.

"It's highly likely we will end up doing the same series again but it won't be until the new year until we can confirm that," said Kurt.

"We've also got aspiration to have a go a being a wildcard in some of the other classes, but that will be determined by how much money we have.

"We would both like to have a go at the main British Superbike class but we have to be realistic too and work out what's feasible.

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"It would mean buying a superbike and working on it ourselves and we don't necessarily know what route to take at the moment but it's still the very early stages of the closed season."

The only thing for certain at the moment is a trip to Spain in March to go testing and get back up to speed, ready for the campaign ahead.

"Because the championship is starting later this year, around the third week in April rather than the first, it gives us a bit more time to get everything ready," said Kurt.

"The calendar is also interesting because a lot of our 'local' rounds are at the start.

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"We tend to perform well at Donington Park and Silverstone and it's always good to get a bit of a confidence booster early in the season.

"There are also two rounds at Donington and only one at Brands Hatch, in Kent, so that's good too because our record at Brands isn't great.

"Despite there being more local rounds, it won't really affect the budget too much because we still have to travel to Assen in Holland, which is a very expensive weekend.

"We like the circuit but didn't go well last year because Matt had two big crashes and I suffered with a clutch problem in the first race, which meant I started at the back of the grid, and then I was taken out in the second. It was definitely not a round to remember for several reasons.

"We did have some excellent rounds and results though, particularly at Silverstone where I came away with a sixth and seventh.

"I also qualified sixth too, which put me on the second row. We tend to both go quite well in the damper conditions for some reasons.

"I was also going well at the first round and had stuck in the third fastest lap of the race but it was after starting too far back to do much because we'd made the wrong tyre choice early on.

"We have not got any new bikes, we haven't got that privilege, so basically we'll just be refreshing the bikes we used last year."

The team is currently in negotiations with sponsors but Kurt believes things are already starting to fall into place for next year.

"I enjoy racing in supersport and I don't feel like we've finished with it yet but it was such a frustrating year," he said.

"We had such high expectations for our second year in the class and I think we were both just pushing a bit too hard.

"I suffered a lot of late crashes, sometimes on the final lap. We just need to focus a bit more on consistency, which we did towards the end of the season.

"The first half of the season we were a bit hot headed and the more we pushed, the more it seemed to have the opposite affect.

"We ended up getting off to a bad start despite having the pace and setting some quick laps. I've had a lot to reflect on."

Despite the crashes and the frustration, both were able to make progress during the year, particularly Matt who was happy to get back out on a bike again properly having had such a lengthy spell out injured.

"The difference between Matt when he first went testing to the end of the season was huge. He had made so much progress," said Kurt.

"He had another big crash half way through the season but came back well. We'll spend a lot of time on track together in Spain and we do help other as much as possible."

Talented teenager Josh Hiatt, 15, from Heath Hayes, will also be back racing with the Wigleys team having also made good progress during his first-ever stint in the BSB, riding in the British Motostar series, in the standard class.

"We'll be a three-rider team again," said Kurt. "It worked out well last year and we were all pleased with Josh's progress."

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