Saturday 18 July 2015

Southern 100

Upon arrival on The Island we set about fitting some new throttle bodies to the Supertwin to increase power. To get these set up properly we went to see Slick Performance who ran the bike up on his Dyno. Whilst this was being done we had to source a new rear wet tyre as forecast wasn’t looking grand for practice.

Sure enough practice was a very wet affair, but after Tandragee earlier in the year was quite comfortable in the tricky conditions, ending practice 8th fastest on the 400. Sadly the weather deteriorated and cancelled after the 400’s, so no 650 practice.

Tuesday dawned and the weather hadn’t improved, so we changed wheels yet again, in fairness we are getting quite good at this now.

Practice was wet and after leaving the holding area and the back end tried to come around and meet the front, I remembered I had a new tyre on the back, so took it easy for a couple of laps.

On the fourth lap my exhaust came loose and started making a real racket. This happened on the approach to Cross Four Ways, where I knew Ian, a marshal I know, was watching, so wondered if he loosened it, as he like the sound of it with no can on.

When I checked the practice times, it became apparent that I hadn’t qualified the 650, and no amount of pleading would change the organisers minds. So we packed up the 650 and that was that for it’s week.

Better news on the 400 though, and I qualified 13th fastest for our first race on Wednesday evening.  

The lights went out for the first race and the bike directly in front of me snapped his chain and shot it out the back like a spear. I went to the right to avoid it and so did the rider to my left, which nearly ran me onto the grass, losing any advantage of starting from 13th.

After regaining my composure I set off after the others but soon realised I was going to have to treat this race a practice session, being the first time out in the dry. I just couldn’t get any rhythm and was mucking up gear changes all over the place, so just tried to work out where I was going wrong. It came as no surprise after the race that I’d not got anywhere near my previous personal best lap, so headed home and hope for a better day on Thursday.

Thursday was another dry hot day so did a couple of little jobs and got the bike checked over before the race.

I got a much better start, and had nothing thrown at me this time, so got my head down and went for it. I felt much more with it and had several good dices, including waving to Jez Hill as he bogged down whilst trying to overtake me. It was like a red rag to a bull and he was soon passed. After this I had a good race with Chris McGann on a 125. Due to the way a 125 makes it’s power I could overtake him on the fast bits but he could carry much more corner speed, so just waited for him to come passed at every corner, which he did, but was good fun.

I finished a respectable 15th and found out that I’d gone two seconds quicker than I had done before around the Billown Circuit, which was a good way to end what had been a frustrating week.

 Hope you enjoy these cracking photo's from John at Manannan Images, many thanks John

Another finishers medal to add to the collection

It’s only a few days and we are back over to Northern Ireland for the race of legends at Armoy, all being well.

So until then, take care and speak soon

Skerries Report

Hi all

Apologies for the delay in updating site but it’s been a busy old couple of weeks.

First off we were over to Skerries, so after a day of tinkering we set off South from our Northern Ireland base.

We awoke to a slightly damp Friday morning, however it soon dried and I was out for practice on the 400. It was the first time I’ve really been out on the 400 due to various problems, both mechanical and weather, and it felt really good.

So good in fact I knocked 3 seconds of my fastest ever time around the circuit, so was really pleased with that.

Sadly practice came to a halt after an accident, which cost Dr John Hinds his life.

Dr. John was a travelling Doctor who attended road race meetings both North and South and was certainly no slouch when it came to riding a bike.  Luckily I never met him in a professional capacity, but know others who have, and wouldn’t be here today if it were not for him. He will be greatly missed and was very upsetting to hear this terrible news.

Saturday was again another lovely day and the practice sessions missed on Friday were first out. As I’d qualified I didn’t bother taking my 650 out as time was tight to get all those out that hadn’t practiced.

My first race was on the 650 and got an ok start. John McCann, my race buddy got a better start but I managed to get passed him into the second corner. I then set off after the next rider and got passed him, which I then did to the next rider also.

The bike felt really good and to be able to pass then move to the next person and pass them was a very good feeling. John commented after that even if the race was 20 laps long there was no way he would catch me as I appeared to be on a mission.

Next up was the 400 and this also went well, improving my personal best by a further 2 seconds faster, so 5 seconds faster in total, than last year. It was commented on that you could see, even from trackside, that the 400 power had improved. 

It was back to the 650 for the last race of the day and once again went well. Sadly I haven’t seen any times for the 650 race as not enough timing sheets were printed, so will have to wait for the website to be updated.

For those who have seen photo’s of my bike at Skerries you may well have seen a new sponsor on the fairing. This is Moto Merchants in Armagh, run by my good friend John McCann, so many thanks to John for his support.

With Skerries all done and dusted it was off to The Isle Of Man for the Southern 100.