Well after my trip to The Clasic TT it was off to Ireland for Killalane, one of my favourite circuits.
Weather was due to be good all weekend, which was just as well as we had to sit in the paddock for 7 hours before my practice sessions started. When I say started, I had 3 one after the other. Not sure why it was arranged like this as most of the guys in the three classes race in all 3 so why not spread them about?
First off was the 400. How different it was to riding the 888 a couple of weeks before. I only had to think about a corner and I was laid over, it was so light.
My racing at The Classic did me good as felt a lot more confident on corners which wasn’t keen on at Killalane before, which felt really good, and on my 400 knocked 3 seconds a lap off last years times.
Next up was the SV. Since I last rode her I replaced the throttle with a quicker action one. To start with I didn’t get on with it as it didn’t seem to shut off very well, I thought it was just me to start with so forced myself to shut the throttle rather than let it shut.
Practice went well on the SV and rode around one guy on a corner, only to then miss my braking point which caused me to run straight on.
I rode round to the holding area after the second practice for a quick splash of petrol, only to be told that it had been delayed until 10am the next day, which was a blessing as wanted to change the gearing on the SV before I went out again.
Sunday morning dawned glorious, so was a bit confused as to what the delay was for our practice session to start.
Turns out that the fire brigade decided to test a hydrant next to the circuit, spraying water all over the corner. Race officials decided they couldn’t put anything on it, so let it dry out naturally, and we would just have to be careful on this flat out kink. Not sure who the brains were that decided to do this test just before roads close and must have been an annoyance to the club who have to have roads open by a certain time, and the 30 minute delay didn’t help.
Practice went well but still couldn’t get on with the new throttle. When I looked the throttle rubber had settled on the tube and was now rubbing against the brake protector. I loosed the protector and throttle wasn’t sticking, so a cheap and easy fix.
I was out on the 400 first and had a good dice with Yvonne and Davy Black until I messed up a couple of corners and lost the tow, which allowed them to pull away from me.
Next up was Supertwin, and gave John McCann stick as he’d qualified 3rd on the grid, and wasn’t sure if he’d still talk to the little people, like me who started 12th?
I got a good start and, overtook a few and was soon on Johns tail. I could see where John was quicker and where I was likely to be able to overtake him.
Around the back of the circuit is a section which looks bad every time you approach it, but when you know it, it’s pretty much flat out. I could see this would be my best bet to get passed John.
I got a good drive out of the last corner in this section and eased past John on the brakes, which felt good.
I then passed, and was repassed by another guy on the last lap, but sadly I couldn’t get passed before the finish flag was shown.
Still I was happy to see that I had finished 9th, so a good race.
I later spoke to John who said he’d lost his mojo and just wasn’t in to the race, which was a shame.
Still we had one race left together, so hoped it would return for him.
John was again ahead of me on the grid but I soon found myself behind him and another guy, and what a race we had.
We were all of the same ability, so were going into corners 3 abreast at some points and as the race went on the defensive lines became more extreme going into corners, so that no one could sneak up the inside.
I could see John had his mojo back and he got quicker each lap through the back section, which like most of the circuit is one line only. I think all three of us had a turn at leading our group at some stage, so made for a great battle, and was a great race to end my season on.
So that’s another season done and dusted for me. I can’t believe how quick this year has gone, can’t believe it was 5 months ago that I first rode my SV.
Have to say I’ve had a great time, with some great racing and meeting new friends, sad times too with the loss of Noel at Tandragee.
I have started to look at what I want to do next year and at the moment I will try and get more power out of the SV and 400, so there will still be updates as to how I’m doing with that.
Now I’m back home I hope to get some pictures from Classic TT up on the site, do apologise but haven’t been around to sort this yet.
I’d like to thank all those that have helped during the year. Special thanks go to Stafford and Liz for lending me the Ducati for The Classic TT and to Steve who has been a great help as always, wouldn’t be able to do it without him.
So until next time, many thanks for reading and your continued interest and support.