Rd 6 FX-Australian Superbike Championship
Sydney Motorsport Park
15th-16th November 2013
This was the final of the FX-Superbikes Pro-Twins class and it was a different structure to our normal event in that we had to Practice and Qualify Friday and then 4 Races on Saturday and no Racing Sunday due to the cancellation of the FX 500 Superbike Endurance event. After my crash in the Bears Event 2 weeks earlier my little finger on my left hand was still recovering but very raw with no nail or skin and still ground to the bone, it was going to hurt getting it into a new glove.
What a cracker of a weekend with an outstanding result with Mick Johnson taking out the title.
Friday- Practice. After much discomfort my left hand went into the new glove, but the little finger remained straight and would not bend, also the hole in my left knee was a challenge in the leathers to actually bend. Mmmm.
Of the 4 practices I managed a total of 10 laps, starting out doing 1.43.3sec lap before getting down to 1.39.8sec lap which was very difficult with down shifts a real problem because the little finger would hit the clutch lever on the way in.
Qualifying- I knew I had to do a good job in the first 4 laps as the hand would get too sore after that. I was chasing Championship leader Simon Galloway (Cessnock M/Cs KTM RC8 1200) and holding station with him when Mario Gonzalez (Aprilia RSV4) passed us at the end of the straight putting me off line into turn one and losing some ground we also then picked up some slower riders and Simon and Mario got away, but I caught Chris Perini (Ducati 1199S Panigale who had been doing some great times of late)and chased nose to tail with Chris for the next 3 laps till my hand gave up, I headed in to see how it went and to my dismay the time was 1.39.3 and only good enough for 13th fastest (although I was quickest F2 bike) a month earlier I had Qualified 2 secs faster which would have had us 4th fastest had I been able to replicate that performance. But really we were here to wrap up the F2 Pro-Twins Championship, not Outright.
Race 1- A very thundery day broke into rain 30 mins before our first race, with wets now on the bike the rain ceased and began to dry out and by the time we hit the track for our warm up lap the track was too dry for wets so we had to return to the pits or risk a crash on our very soft wets, which wouldn’t have gone the distance. It was very disappointing to follow Paul Dutton up pit lane and watch climb off his wet bike and leave on his spare 1198S Ducati dry bike, I watched the race from the roof and cheered him on anyway as he diced for the lead with Craig Trinders RSV4 Factory Aprilia(also on his spare bike as was 3rd place Nathan Mahboub on his similar RSV4) many guys stuck it out on harder Dunlop wets but they were destroyed by races end.
Race 2– With the track now dry we started from the back of the grid and needed a great start, unfortunately they held the lights for ages and my clutch hand gave up and I crept forward and stopped as the lights went out, earning myself a 15 sec jump start penalty. I rode as hard as I could and did a great job putting on passes all over the place to finish a creditable 7th and 1st F2 bike, but was demoted back to 11th when the jump start penalty was enforced. I was happy I had managed a 1.37.7sec lap which was sensational with a damaged paw.
Race 3- We had a new Dunlop control tyre for the Pro-Twins class on the rear which was hard on the left and soft on the right but unfortunately it failed during this race and I struggled big time to steer the bike and finished a disappointing 11th but happy to have not stepped off as it was pretty scary at times.
Race 4- I didn’t get the start I hoped for and was on the back of the leading pack entering turn 9(the bike feeling heaps better with a 26 lap old Bridgestone slick on the back for this race) when Gary Peake got it way wrong on the entry and jumped off his Triumph 675, right in front of my front wheel, I only just missed him and shot off the track avoiding him losing about 400 metres to the lead pack in the commotion. But I put my head down and put in my best laps of the weekend one after the other till I caught the pack as we crossed the finish line for the finish a lowly 9th but only .5sec behind 5th place Nathan Mahboub who led the race at the start, It was a great ride really on the limit every lap with the sore left hand (and knee) and .5 sec slower than my best lap at Eastern Creek.
So it was a frustrating painful weekend, but we had done enough to claim 1st place in the Australian F2 Pro-Twins Championship. >>>>> Yahoo!
It has been a great year with Personal Best Laptimes at Every track we visited, but couldn’t have done it without Jim Pearson Transport, Hogs Breath Café, North Coast V Twins, Alan Johnston Commercial Refrigeration and Keith Muir Photography.