Due to the devastating flooding in Bangkok, the Thailand Superbike Championship calendar was disrupted and the last race of the season was re scheduled to take place on Christmas Day. Superbike rider Ben Fortt spent the intervening time to good effect as he sharpened up his racing skills at Bira International circuit in Pattaya and once race day arrived, Ben said he was more than ready to race and could not wait to get started.
Ben’s team had spent a lot of hours preparing his Suzuki GSXR 1000cc and were now happy that both rider and bike were working together. The qualifying session went well and Ben steered himself to a 1.08 lap to put him 4th on the grid. He said that he seemed to be getting plenty of grip and remarked, “I think I have a little extra in the bag for the race.”
Ben Fortt (40) takes a left hand bend at the Bira International Circuit in Pattaya, Sunday, Dec. 25. (Photo/P Champ)
Once the red lights went out for the race, Ben got a perfect start and arrived on the first bend virtually in front, but then got bogged down and lost a few places. On about lap 6 he had reeled one bike in and out-braked him on the fast left bend and shot up his inside and then pulled away from him. He quickly caught the second place rider and pulled the exact same move on him, but with only a couple of laps remaining he had to settle for second place, 6 seconds behind the winner.
After the race Ben was delighted to find out that he had clocked the fastest lap of the race and a new personal best at Bira of 1.06 seconds. Ben remarked after the race that, “This is my best achievement to date, I can’t believe it and getting the fastest lap time is great. This is only my second race at this grade and I am on the podium. I am so looking forward to February when the Bang Saen Festival of Speed street race takes place and which I am hoping to enter.”