Got a bit mixed up with Alex and James Webb at the start and that let Jeremy get away. I had some real hair'm scare'm moments trying to chase him down. One big near do over the mountain don't know how I saved it. But I did, shook 'the kids' off and chased Jeremy over the line to finish 2nd. Again.
Was leading the race from Jeremy when it was stopped due to Tillotson. For the five lap restart I was determined to get to the front again. Unfortunately it all went wrong when the gear lever broke off! I tried to reach down and select gears with my hand but then I kept knocking the kill switch with my head so I had to call it a day gifting the championship overall to Jeremy.
As luck would have it rain was intermittent all morning. So for qualifying the track was wet with a dry line just starting. Jeremy was a bit hesitant at the start giving me pole for quite a lot of the session. But then off course he found his feet and pushed me into 2nd on the grid by 0.168sec. James Webb completes the front row, Guy Martin is 8th and Glen is 18th.
Got another couple of Harley newbies. Guy Martin and 'Dangerous' Bruce Wilson. I did not finish practice as the bike sprung an oil leak after 8 laps Jeremy finished up fastest, James Webb 2nd and then me. Off now to find the oil leak.
... gets another new pilot. Phil has put Glen English on the other bike for this weekend. Two cloud bursts so far today with bright sunshine in between. Untimed practice is at twenty minutes at 5.30pm.
I was leading the race in the rain and slipped off on some oil. Both me and the bike were fine I was even planning to get back on. Then David Legalle came sliding towards us at speed and unable to avoid it, totalled the bike. It just exploded on impact. Luckily David is okay though.
There are 40 competitors from 8 different countries. One German competitor Andreas Woditsch is riding a regular SZR and has expressed an interest to ride Gordon in one of the races tomorrow. So he might get a run out after all.
No. That spring wasn't any better. I just can't make the most of my strengths out on track, late braking, entry to and corner speed. With the smaller bikes this is what you have to capitalise on. Valter has put in a blistering pole time of 1.35.7. I am a couple of seconds back on the second row in 7th. Not sure what to try next. Nothing tomorrow and straight in to the first race Sunday at 9am. I'm praying for rain...
As we are trying to develop the bike as best we can I thought we should try a different spring for comparison. I was a bit disappointed though it didn't work the way I wanted and although we tried different settings I just couldn't make it work. Valter is fastest as expected but then Henk, Stefan and I are all within 0.5 second of him. Making another spring change for the next session. Fingers crossed.
The weather was mixed again. I went out on wets alongside Valter Bartolini we both shook our heads at the first corner as it was dry so only did one lap and came in to change to slicks. Tried lots of things in the session to get the feel of the bike. Ended up at the top of the sheet with a 1.40.8 with Valter and Stefan next. A couple of things to change now before the two qualifying sessions tomorrow.
It's wet, I don't like the handle bar position, the seat angle is all wrong, I can't get down behind the screen and there is something peculiar happening with the throttle position sensor. However, I quite like it and even though it's only practice and not everyone was out, we set the pole time by over 4 seconds from Stefan Meiners. More practice in about three hours.
Jeremy and I were swapping front places at the start. Lea lost his gear lever, Alex crashed and Dijon popped his motor. Tried really hard to get the better of Jeremy setting the fastest lap but he took the win.
The rain started mid superbike race. It was so wet that we were postponed to last race of the day giving the track chance to dry as we have a single tyre rule with no wets. Running out of time the race was reduced to six laps with two warm ups so we could see where the water was. Dijon got a flyer and passed me and Jeremy but did not last long. Then Lea passed us both and ran wide. After an excursion on the grass I got past Jeremy and made a dash for the line on the last lap only to realise I had made the basic mistake of getting the laps wrong and there was another to go! Jeremy took the win. Another race tomorrow.
Sarah popped by after qualifying to try out an XR1200 for size. The session had been fun with me and Jeremy swapping pole position throughout. We finished up the only two in the 38s but he pipped me to the top spot and the last couple of minutes. Carl unfortunately crashed at Sheene's, he is okay but there is some work to do to the bike. Alex Gault did not manage to get out. Dijon is in 3rd with Lea behind him. No warm up tomorrow straight in to the race about 5pm.
2017 is now upon us; all things considered, like most people I'm really feeling 'the pinch' and will have to seriously think about the time I take away from work. As I freely admit, I'm just a truck driver who is quite good on a bike, so to compete in anything this year I will need to secure financial support to help me through the season.
If anyone can make a contribution, no matter how small, it'll be greatly appreciated.
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I've enjoyed 35 continuous years in motorcycle racing having ridden something competitively every season since 1982; picking up 6 separate British Championship titles: 1988 British JuniorStock Champion, 1992 British Supersport 400cc Champion, 1995 British Supersport 600cc Champion, 2004 British Supermono Champion - watercooled. British Historic GP Championship 2014 & 2015.
On the roads I've won the Macau Grand Prix on a ROC 500 and the North West 200 Supersport 600cc race. I'm the last Briton to have won the Imola 200.