I am back from Donington Park races this weekend and I am happy to report I have got my season off to a start at long last! The new engine behaved itself and no nasty noises or bits tried to escape out of it, so all in all a positive. I did have one issue which recured a couple of times with the gear selector. First off the c clip that holds the selector made a break for freedom after a couple of laps of practice, and making the selector swing out of the way, just when I was trying to select down from flat out in 6th on the straight to turn into Goddards, we where using the National Circuit by the way, which I much prefer. So a quick fixing on of another (Thanks Kev) and all is good… for a few laps. I struggle to get it to come back after selecting, and it does hamper my first race, the Street Stocks, the only dry one of the day for me. I believe it’s too tight and set about it with some oil and the like, when Kev comes over and notices a bolt interfering with it, this is because I haven’t tightened it up enough and it must have buzzed itself loose. Job done, fixed now, yes?… Well no, I put it too low for my foot. Off the practice start for the Open 600 Qualifiers I manage to go from 1st to neutral as I don’t get enough pressure on the peg to slot in a gear, and being up in 17 on a full grid this was less than ideal or nerve calming. I know how to cure it and it is a 2 mins of a job when I get back. I get through the race but struggle to get a good feel for it, so that I have to be VERY positive about gear changes, still no major dramas. The engine is in need of a bit of a session on the dyno just to iron out some of flat spots and hopefully a little more power 🙂 But all in all I can’t complain about the bike, it felt better and less snatchy off the low revs too, which I never thought was a problem until now. The main problem remains though… the rider. As I am not doing Castle Combe I will try and find a day to do my training day with Spike Edwards, hopefully we can find a track and day that suits us both. I have about given up on EasyTracks.
The racing itself was awesome. The weather was rubbish, but every race I had a little battle and that’s what it’s all about for me. My times, I didn’t even look at. I was second to last (8th and only by 0.14s another 100m to the line and I would have had 7th) and last in the Street Stocks, which was 5th as people kept throwing themselves on the floor (Get well soon Rob), but don’t care (well maybe a bit) as I was so rusty it was painful at times. I did however qualify for the Open 600 A Final, which is a first and beat Justin Colins,, a regular sharp end of the grid (I presume he had a problem of some sort but a scalp is a scalp 🙂 )to get there in a most entertaining battle in the 600 Qualifying Race Heat B. It is a shame that isn’t on camera as the battery ran out going in to the latter stages.
More to come, including videos. I’ll write a proper report tonight…. promise and everything.
Cheers to Kerry Rawson (www.kerryrawson.com) for the photo of me in my new leathers 🙂