I was really up for this one i was 3rd in the F600 points and i knew i had to step it up if i wanted to be a contender for the title.
I had got a new rear shock for this meeting as i’d ran on the standard rear shock the first time i’d raced the Triumph and struggled with it quite badly. Anyway i set the shock up and went to Donnington on Tuesday with my good pal Brian Nicholson who showed me round Donnington and got me stickin in some times good enough to make the BSS grid. This gave me a lot of confidence going into Sunday’s meet at Mallory. Although i did have a problem with my bike it was like it wasn’t fueling properly and after letting Brian ride the 675 he totally agreed so we were off to Triggs on the Friday to try and sort it. Unfortuanatly i don’t think its a fueling problem and it’s only noticeable down low but it’s bogging down really badly out of slow corners and it’s hard to get on the gas but we will have it sorted for the next meet!
Other than the above i’d been lucky enough to pick up some help for this meeting with Pete Norman buying me a tires and also Paul Treen motors paying my entry so i really wanted to do well as they had been so generous to help. …no pressure then with my other 12 mates or so coming to watch as well!
Practice went Ok i was bedding in brake pads as mine were well worn they felt Ok but not quite right but i thought nothing of it.
Race 1 F600 - Finished 3rd
Went out for race 1 and got a good start from my 3rd placed grid slot. I went into Gerrades slotting into 2nd place behind Paul Hughes. I was hounding Hughes through the opening lap when Lee Statham shot through but i responded immediately and stuck it back past him at the hairpin. I was pressuring Paul Hughes at the front and i knew i’d got Statham, Price and Niblett behind me charging hard. Paul in front seemed to be making little mistakes and lost the front at the hairpin right infront of me gifting me the lead. I got my head down and led for a couple of laps and nearly highsided myself out the hairpin after the motor bogged and then powered itself into life like a 500GP bike but we got away with it. Then a lap or so later an on form Michael Price came charging through. I used him to tag onto and really tried hard to stay with him but a few back markers got in the way and he was on it and pulling a gap. I then held 2nd for much of the race until i caught a LOT of back markers out the hairpin and had no choice but to Q up into the bus stop when Lee came round the outside as i tried to stop hitting a lapper up the arse! I was really annoyed and gave chase to Statham and i seemed to be faster than he was catching him on the exit of gerrades quite easily every lap. However although staying with him i was struggling to stop. Those pads weren’t working to good and my right forearm was really pumped up and i was really really struggling to use the throttle and brake at all. I was on Lee’s pace and having a good fight but i ran out of time and Lee’s years of race craft and experience got the better of me and i ended up 3rd but i beat Michael Niblett so i was chuffed with that. After looking at the time sheets i had set my best ever lap with a 56.4 so i was really really pleased with that as i’d aimed to hit the 56’s and didn’t expect to be that far into them so soon.
I then got back to the paddock and I got told by Paul Treen who had paid my entry that my discs had warped. Sure enough they had and thats the reason i was struggling to stop so much and why my arm was now rock solid and 3 times the size!
This led to a big problem as i only had one set of discs ( i know!). So i was rushing around trying to find a road bike to ‘‘borrow’’ a front wheel out of when Matt Woolridge came to the rescue! It meant a trip to Nuneaton to pick his wheel up and spare discs but it was well worth it as it got me out in the 2nd race. I was worried i wasn’t going to get to race but we just managed it in time!
Race 2 F600 Finished 3rd
On the warm up lap and sighting lap i was braking hard and heavy trying to get the new discs work with my old and worn pads and they were just beginning to bite Ok at the end of the warm up lap. I knew there was a brake there at least! Got to the line and the lights went red and out, i got one of my best ever starts and got the holeshot into gerrades but on the exit i got a little to enthusiastic and span the rear up and it went sideways and chucked me out the seat flat out in 5th!!! Luckily i came back down in the seat and still leading but it was a big warning! I led for at least a few laps and then Michael Niblett came through on the entrance to edwinas. I felt Ok but not totally happy with myself or riding making a few silly errors like the one down the elbow where Lee Statham nipped through for 2nd. I rode round in 3rd and the race was stopped due to a big off at the esses. I did another 56 in the 2nd race but not as fast as the first but only me and Niblett were in the 56’s in race 2.
All in all a good days racing. I think i am now up to 2nd in the F600 series and hopefully i’ll be winning again soon. I’m hoping to get a quickshifter sorted for the next meeting as i’ve realised i’m one of the only guys not running one at the front. Also going to have the flat spot cured. I’m really getting used to the 675 now and i’m glad i rolled the dice a bit and bought one.
Big thanks go out to Paul Treen and Pete Norman for the help with my funds this weekend due to me being poor and broke! Big thanks to Brian Nicholson for his words of advice and expertise with bike setup and also tuition and help on Tuesday that got me so confident. Also a massive thanks to Matt Woolridge for lending me his discs as it’s kept me in the hunt for the title
Hopefully some pics will come to light shortly!