Well it’s been a while since I’ve written anything for the team website, mostly because I’ve not been
on a race bike in over a year, 14 months to be exact! And it hadn’t ended well then, with 2 crashes
from podium positions at Thundersport GB causing 2 written off helmets, a set of leathers, a sad
looking bike and a rather nasty scar to tell the tale.
So it was with mixed feelings that I arrived at Almeria in southern Spain for 4 days on track with
Focused Events. Iv never ridden outside of the UK and hadn’t so much as even YouTube the track, to
add to all this I was on a new bike, a Triumph 675 id recently picked up when I decided it was time to
make the move to a new class from a relatively successful few years on the Minitwin.
The day on track wasn’t the easiest, I missed the first session as tyres were fitted late and didn’t
want to rush anything but when I eventually made it on track the bike felt very alien. I wasn’t sure if
it was my lack of time on a bike, the new bikes setup or just the class of bike change that was causing
this but I knew changes needed to be made.
Over the next day and a half I changed the setup of the bike quite radically til I got the bike
somewhere near where I was comfortable with it. This included shortening the shock lowering the
pegs, adding foam to the seat to raise my seat position, pushing the bars out fitting a new higher
screen, softening the front suspension and raising the rear preload 8mm, to name just a few things.
A long process but this is exactly what we go testing for and I am only start to push when I feel
comfortable on a bike. Ending the second day with a best time of 1.59.6 and not that many laps
under my belt due to the number of changes made.
Day 3 started with the plan of just getting out there and learning the track now I was happier with
the bike and that’s what I did, completing all 5 sessions and quickly dropping my best time to a
1.54.0 and consistent 1.55’s despite pretty bad traffic all day, sometimes managing 1.55’s while
passing as many as 5 bikes a lap! The only slight hitch to the day was a high speed off track excursion
heading on to the back strait after headshake coming out the last corner while passing a moto 3
bike, with GPS reading 105mph it was an eye opener for sure!
With a some fresh, well fresh’er rubber fitted and a bit of advice on lines from a good mate and BSB
stock rider Chrissy Rouse for the last day I was looking to take a good bit more time off the lap time,
targeting breaking into the 49’s, on the last day but the weather thought different. We woke up to
overcast and rain, more like British than Spanish weather which was a shame but brought an end to
an enjoyable few days back on a race bike and showing I hadn’t forgotten completely how to ride.
Unfortunately the rain also meant that the ‘Race 4 Fun’ race that fellow B&B Racing rider James
Dunne was cancelled, which I know he was looking forward too after a tough few days on his new
Fireblade, James had qualified a credible 20th of 27 with a 1.59.8 and hoping to improve on this
Stay Tuned for more testing news and hopefully a bit more racing from me this season!
Ali Rouse #16