FX-Superbikes RD 4
Qld Raceway, 23rd-25th August 2013
It seemed like forever since Winton and our chance to take on the best Pro-Twins racers in Australia. Queensland Raceway was our venue and it is always a horsepower track, likened to a drag strip. Our little 848 Ducati (albeit an enhanced 848) would be struggling to keep the big horsepower F1 bikes in sight but we were going to try. We had done a practice day there 5 weeks ago and we felt I could keep them honest. The bike had been at V-Twins getting checked out since then, so Squeak and I arrived at V-Twins Thursday lunchtime and together with V-Twins race mechanic Doc we wrote a fuel map on my lap top for the 848 to try over the weekend and headed off to the track. We arrived at the track, set up our pit and were back at our Motel by 9.30pm, perfect. Well nearly, but at 10.30 I thought I might just check the car was definitely locked before getting some sleep, only to find that we had been robbed, gone was my wallet, phone and worst of all my lap top, all my bike and work data for years gone to some low life who wouldn’t even know what it meant. Thanks Ipswich! Police arrived about 1am, so I got about 4 hours sleep and off to the track, after first walking the surrounding areas looking for my missing stuff- but no luck.
Friday- Despite all this we had the 848 on track and close to personal best times on well worn tyres almost immediately. So far we seemed as fast as the quickest guys last year’s champ Simon Galloway ( Cessnock M/C ‘s KTM Factory RC8 1200) and runner up Nathan Aboud (Aprilia Factory Team RSV4 Superbike) making up what we lost on the straights on the brakes, we missed the last session in favour of much needed sleep
Saturday- FX- Nationals.
Qualifying- This was the most competitive field of Pro-Twins racers for at least 10 years with anyone of 8 or 9 guys capable of winning, it was going to be tight, and it was the top 7 covered by less than 1 second and from 2nd-7th covered by .5sec. we were 7th fastest (after setting a new Personal Best for QR) in a field of 20 and fastest F2 Pro-Twins bike.
Race 1 – Got away ok and was in a battle for 5th with John Williams ( Alumalite 1198S Ducati) and Adrian Pierpoint (Aprilia RSV4 Tuono) when the race was red flagged after Jonathon Pinkney cart wheeled his RSV4 Aprilia at the end of the back straight. Upon the restart we ended up in a battle with 8 of us trying to get to the front but ended up 5th 2 secs back from winner Michael McMillan (McMillan Criminal Law RSV4 Factory Aprilia). We Were 1st F2 Pro-Twins bike.
Race 2- Off to a great start on this one and 3rd in to turn one when a barely in control Lachie Thomas (normally on his Honda Superbike, but also riding the FZ1 Yamaha Naked Bike) stuck it up the inside of me and ran me wide till I had grass for traction, this resulted in being passed by 4 more riders, finishing the 1st lap 10th. A good recovery had me back to 7th at the end only 3 tenths of a second behind 5th. But 1st F2 bike.
Race 3- I missed the start on this one but recovered well to enter into a torrid battle with Adrian and John again but also Paul Dutton (Ultra Spray Ducati 1198S) Mario Gonzalez (Aprilia RSV4). Adrian helping me out by getting way out of shape pushing the guys wide at turn 3 while I snuck up the inside, a lap latter I had squeezed past John Williams and was looking up the track as I approached the last lap and unbelievably the leading trio of Craig Trinder (Aprilia Factory Team RSV4), Simon Galloway ( Cessnock M/C’s KTM RC8) and Nathan Aboud (Aprilia Factory Team RSV4) were slowing dramatically, they had mistaken the white last lap flag for the chequered flag, unlucky because I swooped past, except Nathan heard me coming and got going cutting across my front wheel slowing my progress as he nailed the rapid Aprilia to the stops, needless to say he won the drag race over the 848 but was only .5 in front as we crossed the line for a brilliant if slightly cheeky 2nd place, and 1st F2 Pro-Twins Bike. Yea us. During the interview I invited everyone to come to Hoggies Ipswich that night which a lot of the Pro-Twins and other classes did, some unfortunately couldn’t get in, Hoggies was pumping.
Sunday- FX – Superbikes
Qualifying- Really tried so hard out on my own with only some slow traffic to get around, put in a new PB for me at QR and was 6th fastest .5 of a second again from 2nd to 7th and the top 8 covered by a second, we were fastest Ducati and 1st F2 Pro-Twins bike.
Race 1- Got away well from the 2nd row and settled into the drag race down the long back straight for the first time the little 848 screaming chasing these bigger capacity bikes, a great braking move on the outside at the end of the straight saw us swoop past several riders including Craig Trinder, coming out of turn 3 4th and chasing hard after the leading 3. A battle between Adrian Pierpoint, Nathan Aboud, Craig Trinder and myself was on for 3rd place for the next 4 laps while Simon Galloway and Michael McMillian battled just in front for the lead. Unfortunately the race was red flagged when Jason Martin and Cameron Barnes came together in a nasty crash at turn 6 on there Triumph 675s.
From the restart the bike was a little slow which I put down to it being too hot while we got stuck on the grid awaiting the start, but on the start of the 2nd lap the 848 went onto one cylinder and started smoking and ground to a halt our weekend finished, a real shame as we were really in with a chance of winning.