News 26 Nov 2022

Electronics adjustment aids McConnell in sizeable Saturday step

727 Moto rider improves to P5 in ASBK timed practice this morning.

Image: Foremost Media.

Longtime international Billy McConnell made a sizeable step forward this morning in timed practice at The Bend to finish P5 and fourth-tenths from the lead, stating an electronics adjustment aided in his improvement.

McConnell has spent an extensive tenure racing in the United Kingdom, most recently competing in the British Superbikes National Superstock category this year with C&L Fairburn Properties/Jackson Racing Honda and achieving four race wins on his way to second in the championship.

The 35-year-old notably won the BSB Supersport Championship in 2014 and it is understood the opportunity to line-up with 727 Moto Racing for the final two rounds of ASBK came about through discussions with technical expert Stewart Winton while he was overseas helping Markus Chiodo.

He completed Phillip Island with a best race result of P14 in race two, and was 11th at the conclusion of free practice at The Bend, notching a 1m52.594s to ultimately finish 1.625s from pace-sitter Cru Halliday on Friday.

However, some electronic adjustments to the Motec system used in the 727 Moto bikes ahead of timed practice this morning aided McConnell to complete timed practice in P5, improving to a 1m51.647s to finish just .400s from Herfoss’ benchmark.

“Jed [Metcher] and I have been working really hard on the electronics side of things, we’ve been struggling with the speed of the bike and we are not sure if it’s a Motec thing or… the YEC bikes seem to be really fast down the straight,” McConnell said to CycleOnline.

“301[kph] I think [Arthur] Sissis bike was down the straight, we’re 288 and 284. In that one I was given some more power in the electronics, just really turned the traction control right down, and obviously, I had to use two of the soft tyres.”

With the imminent threat of rain, McConnell’s choice to use a second rear tyre from the allocation in timed practice could prove beneficial, with wet weather tyres not counted as part of the allocation.

Alongside the electronics adjustment, the number nine continues to adapt to Yamaha R1, having ridden a Honda through BSB Superstock this year.

Thanks to finishing inside the top nine in timed practice, McConnell will transfer directly to qualifying two which is set to commence at 3:25 pm.