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Ousted Rogers seeking return for Portimao

Fraser Rogers had to contend with watching the action in Imola from the sidelines but is hopeful of a deal for the next meeting
Young World Supersport hopeful Fraser Rogers is hopeful of a deal that will see him return to the World Superbike paddock in time for the Portuguese round of the series in Portimão.

With a catalogue of funding issues hampering his season with the Czech Com Plus SMS outfit, the 18-year old was informed via email the week before the seventh round of the series that his services were no longer required.

Having already made travel arrangements to attend the Misano World Circuit, Rogers was present with his manager throughout the weekend to try and arrange a deal for the rest of 2014.

“It's hard, especially seeing someone else riding my bike when you're standing on the sidelines,” he told Crash.net. “There's nothing I could do. The team said they had run out of money and they wanted rid of me so that's the way it goes. Hopefully I'll be back in Portimão with something a bit better.”

The Czech team had appealed for additional funds as early as April, as they doubted whether they could make it through the season. But Rogers said the timing of the decision came as a surprise, leaving a bad taste.

“I think it was inevitable and always going to happen but not this soon. I thought we were going to get to Portimão and then have a look at it there. I had my flights booked, everything else booked and my boss emailed me on Monday saying, 'Your services are no longer required.' I'm here anyway to have a look around with my manager to see what we can do. We have a few things lined up which could be quite good.”

His first full season on a 600, Rogers began 2014 in promising fashion by scoring one world championship point for 15th place at the first round of the season at Phillip Island. Since then he hadn't registered more but he feels progress was being made, especially at the previous round in Sepang.

“It's hard because every single session and every race I learnt more about the bike,” he said. “And we were having problems with the bike throughout the season so I wasn't getting as many laps as I needed compared to the other guys. But in Sepang we got through the problems and until I crashed I was good for a top 13 finish in the race. I put together my sector times again for the race and we had a good lap time. It's a shame I crashed and that we have to leave it this way.”

Like many aspiring British racers Rogers cut his teeth racing in the 125/Moto3 class. Despite having a one-off outing at the final round of the 2013 World Supersport series at Jerez, he was more or less new to the machine, a process that needed time to adjust.

“They're a lot bigger, a lot heavier,” he said of the 600. “They're like riding a tractor! They just bend and flex and do things I'm not used to. Also the tyres are a lot different to the Dunlops I used to use. My plan this year was just to learn and then have a crack at it next year. Things haven't turned out that way.

Rogers now has several potential options that could see him return in two weeks at Portimão. After spending five months adapting to life in the world championship he is determined to stay there, at least until the end of the season.

“I'm looking to other classes as well [as Supersport]. Stock 1000 or EVO so we'll just have to see what the best offer is and where we have to go. The main focus is to stay in the world championship. I would maybe even look to Moto2 and see what's available there.

“I'm not a massive fan of racing in England but obviously if the right thing came up there like in British Supersport or Superbike then I'd have to seriously consider it. But for now the focus is to stay in the world championship.”

“Hopefully I can get a bike [for Portimao]. Everyone I speak to says the track is awesome so I really want to go there. It's the track I was most looking forward to this year and we'll see what we can do.”

by Neil Morrison


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James Ellison, Bogdanka PTR Honda, WSS 2011, Donington Park [pic credit: Wendy Salisbury Photography]

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