Fortt recovers from qualifying spill to take first in class

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In a full program of racing at the Bira International circuit last weekend, including Super cars and racing pick-ups, local Pattaya motorcycle rider Ben Fortt took part in the two day Superbike challenge series.

With qualifying on Saturday, the track had become very hazardous late on due to the amount of oil and debris deposited on its surface by the pick-ups and Supercar series contenders throughout the day.  This can be dangerous enough for a four wheeled vehicle but for a motorbike racer it makes things a little hair-raising to say the least.

Ben Fortt (right) is congratulated by Thai movie star Pete Thongjure at the Bira race circuit in Pattaya, Sunday, July 17.Ben Fortt (right) is congratulated by Thai movie star Pete Thongjure at the Bira race circuit in Pattaya, Sunday, July 17.

Ben was going really well in qualifying but suffered a very nasty crash near the end when he collided with another bike and was hit by another machine from behind as he skidded off the track.  Ben managed to get himself back on his feet and after being checked out by the very efficient ambulance crew he was just a bit bruised and was told he could still race on Sunday.

The bike did not fare as well however and sustained quite a bit of damage which necessitated the mechanics working throughout the night to have it fixed in time for Sunday’s battle.

As Ben had already put in a few good laps before his crash he still managed to qualify as the fifth fastest on the day which gave him a good starting position for the next day’s race.

By Sunday the Suzuki GSXR 1000 was still showing the scars of the previous day but fortunately these were mainly superficial and mechanically the bike was ready.  The rider himself was still feeling a bit sore but he was up for the task ahead.

Fortt steers his Suzuki GSXR 1000 through the chicane on his way to fifth place overall and first in class.Fortt steers his Suzuki GSXR 1000 through the chicane on his way to fifth place overall and first in class.

The race was over 10 laps and Ben was able to hold his starting position throughout its duration, fending off a determined late challenge by Paul Adams, also on a Suzuki 1000, to just pip him at the chequered flag.

As the race involved all grades of bikes and riders Ben finished in fifth spot overall but was ranked first in his grade which was a fine achievement.  In the pits after the race he was congratulated by Thai movie star and racing driver Pete Thongjure (as seen in the photo).