Four from four sees Shaw secure CB500 Sportsman title
‘All the hard work paid off’ for new Thundersport GB champion Matt Shaw after he secured his title at the final round.
And he claimed the CB500 Sportsman championship in some style too, winning the final four races in his class at Snetterton in Norfolk.
After joining his brother Will in the Thundersport format for the first time this year, having both sealed East Midlands Racing Association titles in 2017, the Telford twins, aged 31, quickly set about making their marks.
Matt, 31, said: “I ended the season with four wins from four this weekend, which secured my championship.
“I’m so happy and relieved it’s over. It’s been a long season of mostly ups and some downs, but it’s been well worth it.
“I have loved competing on my Honda CB500 in the ultra-competitive Thundersport GB and showed in the end the hard work had paid off.
“I just need to say some important thank yous, firstly to mum and dad, and my wife, who have been there for us 110 per cent.
“Then, on behalf of Will and me, we both would like to say a huge thanks to our sponsors, friends and family who have been kind enough to donate money.
“It’s been a big help and we couldn’t have done it without Autocraft Telford accident repair centre, Martin Hughes Transport, AP Automotive, Adult and Child Foot Health Clinic, Fieldingcoaching.Com, Harley Jane Photography and Kenny Haywood.”
Matt had got a decent start and was up to fourth during race one on Saturday.
By the back straight he was up to third and put in consistently-fast laps to pull away from the chasing group, finishing with another podium overall and also winning the sportsman class.
Race two was similar, except Matt towed another rider and, working as a team, they pulled away.
“One of the leaders ran out of petrol, which jumped me up a place to another third overall while also winning my class,” said Matt.
“It meant I ended the first day with two wins in class and had a lead of 25 points.”
Heading into the final races of the season, Matt found himself in a battle with three riders during the third race.
“I sat at the back of the group to see what was going on,” he said.
“After making it to the front of the pack, I finished seventh but still won my class, and then added a fourth win in the final race.”
Will, however, also came away with positives but admitted he was also ‘glad to get the weekend finished’ after finishing third overall in the Elite 600 class championship.
“It was another circuit we were unfamiliar with and I was hoping for a great round to finish the season – but this wasn’t to be,” he said.
“I got a decent start for Saturday’s race, fourth overall, and I was right on the back of the two lads I was battling with for the championship with.
“On the third lap I made a mistake at the hairpin. Picking the throttle up early, I caused a high-side and came down hard.
“A great team effort got the bike back out for Sunday and after a morning warm-up everything was okay to go.”
Unfortunately, his bike died mid-corner and then kept blowing a fuse. The team knew the bike was shorting out but they could not find out where.
“The wiring loom suddenly started to smoke, which was not ideal but led us straight to the problem,” said Matt.
“We got it fixed but missed the first race on Sunday. I knew I just had to get a finish in the final one to secure third in the championship, which is what I did. I didn’t really enjoy the race and was just glad to get the weekend finished.”
But Will’s bad luck did not stop there as, while sat on the bike in parc ferme, it suddenly blew a coolant hose off and scolded his leg, causing it to blister.
“I still went away from the weekend positive, although I crashed out of a decent position,” he said. “I have exceeded my expectations. There have been highs and lows but all round it’s been a good season.”
Shrewsbury’s Jon Wright was not able to race the final Thundersport round due to work commitments.
“Unfortunately, as it was double points, I dropped from third to fourth place overall in the championship standings,” he said.
“It has been a solid starter season on the Yamaha R1 and my lap times have been quicker in the second half of the season than previous years. We managed to get a couple of outright race wins at Cadwell and Brands in wet conditions, which is pleasing.
“The frontrunning pair of bikes set a phenomenal dry race pace and we’ve not been able to stay with them, so that’s been frustrating. It would require a greater investment of time and money, neither of which I can afford.”