Tom Bramich - 2019 WorldSSP300 Season Blog - Introduction
In Australia a young racer dreams of the big breaks that can take them onto the international circuit. In 2019 one of our athletes is grabbing that chance by the throttle and riding a Kawasaki Ninja 400 on the international stage in the World Supersport300 Championship.
Tom Bramich is riding for Carl Cox - RT Motorsports by SKM - Kawasaki Team. When he is in Australia, Tom is putting in laps on a Ninja 400 at local track. Through the year, Tom will keep adding to this blog and give an insight into the life of a young Australian racer taking on the WorldSSP300 Championship.
Seventh post - September 2019:
After our 10th place finish in Donington, our season best result we headed into a two month long summer break. What felt like an internity I’m finally back in Europe ready to tackle the last rounds of the championship.
During the summer break it was important for me to get as much bike time as possible so a last minute decision made with my team and sponsors lead me back to Australia to ride my Kawasaki Australia Ninja 400, as much as possible while also riding dirt track and Ohvale GP bikes. My 400 is equipt with the same Ktech suspension that my race bike in Europe utilises. With the help of Trevor Manley I was able to post some really fast lap times and have a really good feeling with the bike.
Other than riding motorbikes during the break I trained everyday either mountain bike riding, running or going to the gym. I feel as this is an important aspect physically and mentally to prepare for the final few rounds.
Last Thursday and Friday our team tested in Portimao, the next track on the calendar. It was an important test to learn the track and to get a good feeling with the motorbike before heading into the race weekend. For me personally, the test wasn’t amazing but a good place to start to build and improve on going into the race weekend. We head back to portimao from the 6-8th September, so I will be doing my best and hopefully fighting for championship points.
Chat soon, Tom.
Sixth post - July 2019:
Hi Kawasaki Fan’s
Since last time we’ve had two more races in the World Supersport 300 Championship at Misano and then two weeks later in Donington. Misano would have to be one of my favourite tracks on the calendar, not only is the race track unreal but the town and beachy vibe is really cool and makes the race weekend feel more relaxed, almost like a holiday! It was really cool to have my Grandparents, Mum and Brother come to this round also adding to the excitement. With Misano being so close to Valentino Rossi’s home town of Tavullia we couldn’t resist going to see the 46 town, something truly special. With VR46 owning restaurants, gelatti stores, merchandise stores and the famous ranch plus more, the town really is booming because of Vale. But more importantly our weekend in Misano was full of highs and lows, after qualifying a season best of 8th position in wet conditions we were all really excited to go racing the following day. Unfortunately on the opening lap I made a mistake and crashed out of 5th place, but I couldn’t rejoin as my bike collected 4 other riders and was totalled in the crash. This wasn’t in the script, but another lesson learnt and more experience gained for the future.
Lucky just two weeks later we were on track at Donington Park, a makeshift home round for me with lots of friends and family coming out to watch. Through my coaching at the Ron Haslam Race School I had done a few laps at Donington, so I knew what lines I should be on, but racing at 100% is completely different to coaching students at 80km/h. The weekend as a whole was solid, always being in the top 25 in all conditions. From practice we tried something completely different in terms of setup on the Kawasaki Ninja 400, and I immediately felt much better on it. We’ve been missing grip and feeling since the start of the year, but I feel like we found the direction we need to follow this weekend. The Qualifying was once again wet, but after a small mistake early in the session I only had two laps to set my time, ending P8 in my group and P20 overall. Sunday was dry and after finishing warm up in P10 I was confident we could fight for points in the race. After a conservative start in the race, I built into my rhythm and crossed the line in 10th, our first points scoring finish and first race fighting in the group. I’m happy with the progress and improvements, but I want more! The team will work harder than ever during this break to improve the bike and I’ll be training hard to improve myself.
The next round is the first weekend in September in Portimao. Thanks for your support, and I’ll touch base soon..
Fifth post - June 2019:
The past month has been a crazy busy one, lots of riding and training consuming most of my time, just the way I like it. The weather in England has been getting better and better, so spending time outside has been much more enjoyable, making running, mountain bike riding and other outdoor activities much more fun.
In between Imola WorldSBK and Jerez we managed to sneak in an IDM German Championship race in at Lausitring. I really enjoyed the IDM round, and Germany as a country is great, one of my favourites so far. Kawasaki has a very good showing in the IDM, with lots of Ninja 400’s in the Supersport 300 class. We used this event as a test to gain more experience on the Ninja 400 as I really haven’t had much time to just ride, as race weekends in the WSS are just so jam packed.
My preparation for the Jerez race has been the best one yet, now I know what to expect I can better mentally prepare along with dieting and training of course. We had been to Jerez before the race, however lots of technical regulations had changed between our test and there race at this track, so we practically started again...In the qualifying I managed to qualify directly into the main race for the first time this year, and improvement we were all relieved and happy with. Only 2.4 seconds covered the field, so it’s extremely competitive. The lap record was bettered by 2.7 seconds, while I was also under the record by 0.9 in qualifying. The races were crazy and fast like always in WSS300, with just 12 seconds covering the 36 riders from flag to flag. While we satisfied fighting for the top 20 and ending the races in P26 and P24, we are happy with the improvements we are making race by race. Every time we go out on track we’re gaining experience against the competitors and with our bike, while closing the gap to the front guys. We’ve halved the gap to the leaders from previous races, now my laptime being only 1.4 slower than the fastest time of the race. The team is working great, and we’re getting more and more comfortable.
The best news is that we’ve got another two races in succession with Misano in 9 days and then Donington 2 weeks after that. Better get back into training, I’ll let you know how the next two races go, but you can be sure we’ll be giving 110%
Fourth post - April 2019:
The last round in Assen didn’t end how we wanted it to with a DNF in the race, after starting 31st and crashing out of 22nd after a lap and a half. Compared to Aragon, we’ve taken loads of positives from Assen after finally gelling with the bike before I crashed trying an over ambitious pass. The team have been exceptional, with no expense spared on my Ninja 400 and their efforts in helping me learn and succeed has been unbelievable. I’ve never been in such a professional environment before where the mechanics clean the bike completely after every session, the clutch is checked after every practice start, brake pads every day and new engine oil every night. My bike is always meticulous with my mechanic Johannes having an eye for detail.
I’m back home in Holywell, North Wales at the moment, and I’ve got my head down training and preparing the best I can for Imola in two weeks time. We’ve been doing a lot of high intensity muscle endurance training lately, using rowing machines, treadmills and skiergs; all the fun stuff! I’m also in the process of saving up to buy a mini supermoto to train on go kart tracks between races, as I need to get better at chicanes and slow corners. In any case, I feel better prepared physically and mentally this time, I know what to expect and hopefully I can learn Imola fast and be on the pace faster. We feel as if we’re always one session behind where we need to be, so we’re going to be working hard to change that around in Italy.
Anyway, we’re ready to go, I’ve had my bags packed since we got home from Assen and I can’t wait! Chat after Imola…
Third post - April 2019:
It’s been a crazy month here in Europe, testing in Misano, Aragon, Jerez and Portimao. It was really exciting to be able to finally ride my bike, meet the team and ride on these famous tracks. Testing has been a really beneficial period, allowing me to become more accustom to the Kawasaki Ninja 400 and learn 4 new tracks.
I’ve loved everything about racing in Europe so far, the flying, driving and taking in the sights on the way to the track, hotels, camper vans and more! The food and way of life is very different to what I’m used to, but it’s all new to me so it’s exciting. My favourite country so far has been Italy, the food and racing culture is awesome!
My favourite track so far has been Jerez, I really enjoyed the layout and my laptimes were quite fast.
The past weekend was my first race in the World Championship. I knew it was going to be hard, but it was even tougher than I anticipated. We had some problems on the Friday that probably hindered us a little bit for the qualifying. I missed out on qualifying for the main race by 0.2 seconds, so I had to enter the last chance qualifying race. It was very tough, but I was happy to have made it through to the main race on Sunday. I was disappointed with the Sunday race, I gave it my all but it wasn’t enough. I really think a better qualifying position could see me in the main group, fighting for some points. I’m relieved to have got my first race out of the way, I now know what to expect and how I need to attack the weekend. It’s tougher than I ever imagined, but if it were easy then everyone would be doing it...
We are on our way to Assen now, my second race of the season this coming weekend. I’m really looking forward to learning another new track, and hopefully I can fight for better positions! I’m loving every second of this challenge, and I can’t wait to ride again
Second post - March 2019:
After an exciting round 1 at Phillip Island. Here are some updates Last weekend was at the first round of the World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island and wow what amazing racing in both the World and ASBK races. Phillip Island turned the weather on, and the best riders in the world got to race the best circuit in the world. The expo had a great display of all things motorcycling, but the Ninja 400 just kept calling my name…
I'm now travelling to Holywell, North Wales to continue to develop my skills with BSB Kawasaki rider Ben Currie. It’s very different to Australia here, but the hills and countryside are just perfect for plenty of running and cycling training sessions. There’s a big mountain bike community in Wales, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into that.
Only 14 days until I'm is back on track in Misano followed by Aragon, Jerez and Portimao, and I;m super excited for the season to start in April.
First post - February 2019:
Hi everyone, my name is Tom Bramich, I’m 22 years old and this year I’ll be racing a Ninja 400 in the World Supersport 300 class for the Carl Cox - RT Motorsports by SKM - Kawasaki Team. I’ve rode motor bikes since age 3 and I started racing in 2012. I won the Australian Moto3 Championship in 2015 and last year I won the Australian Supersport 300 Championship.
I recently picked up a Kawasaki Ninja 400 to train on before I head off to Europe at the end of next month and wow what a bike! Instantly I felt right at home on the bike, getting faster and even more comfortable every lap. I was blown away with how smooth the throttle connection was immediately, allowing very precise throttle application. Secondly, the gear box is faultless, shifting up and down the gears effortlessly. The slipper clutch is something I definitely have to get used to, as I’m in the habit of feeding the clutch out to modulate the engine braking rather than letting the slipper clutch do it for me. With more time on the bike and more focus on setting the suspension to my liking, I’m excited to see where me and the bike end up.
We headed to Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on the 2/3 February to do some testing. Now I have spent some time on this Ninja 400, I’m really excited to develop the bike more to how I like and learn even more about what the Ninja 400 is capable of.
I will share how the testing went and what comes next for the season in my next update.
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