Two-time Stock 1000 Champion Andrew Lee’s debut in the HONOS Superbike Series just got even more dramatic. After going eighth-fastest overall in Friday’s combined qualifying sessions and putting himself among the nine-fastest Superbike riders to be eligible for Saturday’s Superpole, his Superbike Unlimited Franklin Armory Kawasaki was declared illegal for MotoAmerica competition.
“It’s a firmware issue,” said Freddy Carswell, owner of Superbike Unlimited. “The MoTec ECU on the bike is not homologated for use on a Kawasaki in MotoAmerica Superbike.”
The team was informed of the technical issue at the end of the day on Friday, and along with the ECU, the bike’s aftermarket transmission is also illegal.
“We fried the transmission on this bike a while ago, and we were not able to get a stock replacement,” Carswell said. “So, we installed an aftermarket transmission, and I guess that is also against the MotoAmerica Superbike rules.”
Thankfully for Lee, David Anthony, who is team owner of FLY Street Racing ADR Motorsports and also a HONOS Superbike rider, has offered his “B” bike to Lee for the remainder of this weekend.
“Dave will race his ‘A’ bike, and I’ll be aboard his ‘B’ bike,” Lee said.
Incidentally, the bike Lee is now aboard is a GSX-R1000 instead of a Kawasaki ZX-10RR like the one he started out the weekend riding.
“I’ve never even ridden a Suzuki before,” Lee added.
Due to the situation, Lee’s laptimes from Friday were disallowed and he has to use Saturday morning’s HONOS Superbike Free Practice 3 to qualify. By rule, he will not be eligible to compete in Superpole despite whatever laptimes he turns, but he will be able to qualify for both of this weekend’s races, albeit somewhere near, or at, the back of the grid.
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