Excitement mounts! About to complete forms for Pembrey test and for Brands Hatch rounds 1&2, time to get into the garage and start seeing what the bike needs (other than a good service!).
My ACU race license and NGRRC membership arrived today… season is creeping ever closer! Getting very excited now, time to pull the cover off the race bike and get it prepared for testing. The ACU have really improved the process, by adding the ability to renew your license online. The application was simple, and the license has arrived in under a week… pretty good going! Well done ACU. And thanks also to Denise at NGRRC, who has once again been brilliantly helpful in getting my club membership renewed and my new race number allocated. I’ll be racing in 2014 as #30, and I’ll be producing revised number designs shortly. Starting to get excited now!
Ex-BSB 125 race contender Simon Low has joined B+B Racing for 2014 season. Simon will be competing in the 650cc MiniTwins championships, alongside team regular Ali. Known to the team for years, Simon will strengthen B+B’s title assault for 2014, creating a rider pairing capable of race wins throughout the season. Simon’s experience at BSB sets him up well for the rough and tumble of the club racing scene, where he will be rubbing fairings with multiple race winners in the very hard fought MiniTwin championship. Meet Simon.
Thruxton started off damp in the morning for practice, I was really eager to get on the bike to get my first feel of it, I was not sure how quick I would go on it but knew that it would be wise to start slower than normal as I have not rode a bike on track for a year and a half, let alone a 650 in the damp. To start with the bike felt ok and seemed to handle a lot better than originally thought, the only trouble being the speed of the bike, to me it seemed a lot slower than the rest of the group, I ended up getting black flagged due to smoke coming from the bike which we found later to be my boot melting to the exhaust! We managed o get out in another practice session but the bike wasn’t making any power, was running too hot and did not improve, after more fettling with the carbs and changing spark plugs there was little or no improvement, I was literally thinking just my luck! Luckily I was able to ride another bike for the last race of the day but had to start at the back of the grid in 41st, as soon as I moved from the line on the warm up lap I knew what a 650 should actually feel like – loads more torque than im used to from a 125cc bike with the same top end speed, it felt good but with no setup I had very little time to practice on the out lap to the last race of the day! from 41st I battled my way through lap by lap taking other riders and positions, the 650 felt fun to ride sliding the rear on the gas, I had to settle with an
Brands hatch race report NGRRC Round 1 &2 Friday test day Despite an early start we managed to arrive late at Brands, due to Ali’s sat nav diverting us off the M25, down the M11 and back into London, almost back where we’d started. Still, Canary Wharf looked very sci-fi in the gloomy greyness of Friday rush hour. Eventually we made it to Brands, got ourselves set up in the garage and set about changing wheels as it was not only pouring with rain, but snow was still gathered on the grass around the track. Very soon we hit our first issue: the new wheels wouldn’t go on. Turned out to to a bit of a seized rear brake caliper and a slightly mis-aligned spacer, and we soon got that sorted out with the help of all-round good guy Neil Pearson. I’ll happily admit I’m not a fan of wet riding, despite having a good few wins in the wet on the 400, I wasn’t relishing the prospect of heading out on the 600. Eventually we got the wheels in, and no sooner had I set off down the pit lane than an almighty wobble came from the front end. I pulled straight back into the pit, and we quickly realised the front wheel I’d bought was very bent indeed. So we hadn’t even done a lap and we were half way through the day and down to one front wheel. Not exactly the dream start we had been talking about on the drive down. Wheels and tyres swapped, and I ventured out onto the soggy Tarmac. Again, more problems: the ridiculously light 85 spring we’d put in the rear shock was still too stiff, giving me absolutely no confidence that the rear end would grip once I leant the
Leather patches arrived from FlexiPatch applied, now all my sponsors will be displayed in glorious colour! The patches went on easily, following the instructions provided. Roll on next race!
A soggy weekend in Brands Hatch offered every type of weather: rain, snow, and even rate glimpses of sun. Sadly every race was soaking wet, and with fallers in every session the attrition rates were high. A rough start due to some bike problems lead to us finally sorting out the suspension and yielded a 23rd on Saturday out of 38 riders, and a superb 10th on Sunday, netting Ben some points and an appearance on the championship table in 14th place! A fantastic turn around after a shaky start. Full race report will be available in Motorcycle Racer magazine, and posted here soon after! Get yourself a copy today!
Ben’s ZX6R first run of 2013 Having been laid up all winter, Mark has completed oil change, battery charge and cooling system drainage, and got the bike started and ready for Brands. Looking forward to riding it again!
They are going to look great on our leathers! We will post pics once they are done.
Great news, we’ve secured a garage space for Brands Hatch. Friend of Black + Blue Racing, and all-round good egg Jo Wingate has offered us sharing space in her garage. So that sorts out electricity and accommodation, and this weekend Ben and Mark (last year’s SS400 Champion for Black + Blue) will finalise bike prep. Lost of things to do include change gearing, charge and test battery, oil and filter change, clean and check brakes, and wire lock it all. We will keep you updated throughout the weekend. Cheers!