The weekend started off as a hectic one, with still having to work the Friday and not being able to make the test day, I was starting to find myself getting apprehensive as i waited for my partner Harriet to pick me up, then kindly drive some 288 miles to Anglesey.
We arrived at the circuit at close to midnight, unloaded the bike and then proceeded to set up the tent and try and get some sleep before the following days events.
I awoke at 06:30 as i had to see NGRRC race secretary Denise in the race office as I was a late entry, pick up my transponder and then it was back to the garage to take the bike down to scruteneering. The R1 passed but sadly my gloves didn’t as a hole had appeared in one of the fingers, but luckily i had been reminded by Harriet to pack a spare pair.
My team mate Benedict kindly showed me the map of the circuit and talked me through the layout, and advised a good racing line. And with that, I went out for practice and within 2 laps as I was tipping it in to Church, I had someone else collide with the left hand side of the R1 damaging the seat unit but i managed to keep the bike upright.
After a brief pause I continued practice and as I came around the hairpin at Rocket I tucked the front and felt the bike slide away from me. So that was it, bike down in practice and I thought the worst.
It was then back into the garage after the scrutineers assessed the damage on the bike and see what needed be done. Harriet came in to her own at this point and took control of the situation and proceeded to strip the bike. (did I mention that Harriet is also a mechanic?) The damage assessment was as follows, front brake lever, right hand clipon, right hand rear set and brake pedal and the clutch cover that had started to leak oil, and the exhaust had taken a hit as well.
We fitted a new clipon, and in Simons box of spares we managed to find a brake pedal that would fit the Gilles rearsets, and a brake lever.
The clutch cover was another problem in itself. Where I had gone down, the casing had worn away by the clutch arm and damaged the seal. But with a bit of chemical metal and some gasket sealer, we had it repaired. We ran the bike up to temperature and it held up and didn’t leak so that was the bike good to go and I got out in the championship race in the afternoon.
Race 12 Simon Consulting Powerbikes
As I missed the qualifying race I started from the back of the grid. I managed to get the drive down the straight but had a bad line in to the first corner and soon found myself at the back again but managing to keep on to the pack getting the tow round the circuit from a GSXR1000 in front of me, but after about four laps as we were going into turn one i managed to get the drive out the corner and get round the outside, setting myself up for the next corner, the Banking, and setting my sights on a BMW HP4 in front. I finished the race in 15th place, but still scoring myself a point.
As I missed my Qualifying race that morning due to my crash in practice, I was kindly allowed to Race in the Newcomers open the final race of the day.
Again i started from the back of the grid but quickly made my way through the pack and enjoying a few battles with other riders. I came 14th in the race overall but the main effort was to gain more track time and get my lines better.
I only managed two laps in practice as i was concerned about how much life I had left in my tyres as the rear was starting to let go the previous day. But felt confident in myself and the bike.
I qualified 12th on the grid and as soon as the lights went off i gave it all i could down the straight into turn one, I got swallowed up in the masses and dropped back into 14th place but stuck to the back of the pack giving the R1 all i could knowing that the rear tyre was on it’s last legs and had a few moments when the rear was stepping out and I couldn’t put the power down as early as I would have liked to due to this, but I held on and my hard work paid off as after the third lap i managed to do the same as I had the day before and overtake on turn one by taking a slightly wider line and block passing on the way in to the banking. I rode as hard as I could and managed to get a 1.19.00 for my efforts and took seven seconds off my lap times from the start of the weekends, which to me was as good as a race win and finished 11th overall scoring another 5 points.
The weekends racing as a whole was a success and i would like to thank all those in team Black + Blue Racing, Gear 4 Gears Whitton, Marc Hale for his help and advice and of course my partner Harriet, whom if it wasn’t for her the weekend wouldn’t have been possible and for her support and encouragement on and off the track.