The International road racing year got underway at the Northwest 200 this week on the Northern Irish coastline course. Tuesday evening was the first timed practice and I rode in all three classes. 600cc Supersport, 1000cc Superstock and 1000cc Superbike.
At the completion of practice I was 12th Superbike and 6th Superstock and considering I was using the track time to try some different bike settings I was happy. The Wilson Craig Racing CBR 600 was spot on from lap one in the Supersport session and I was very happy to top the time sheet and be fastest for the evening in that class.
Thursday was our second and final timed practice sessions. This session we had over one hour on each bike to finalize our race settings and secure our grid positions. I chose not to run a softer qualifying tire on the Superstock bike to test the endurance of the tire for a full race distance. My time put me 8th overall in the class, farther back than I wanted but with the times being very close it was ok.
Superbike was a very close at the top and after running as high as 3rd was happy to end the session in 5th spot on the grid with a good race set up.
After such an encouraging start on the 600 we had a minor mechanical problem that stopped me out on the track just two laps into that session. Fortunately my time from Tuesday still found me 6th on the grid.
Race day Saturday and heavy rain was the outlook for our race day weather!
Race one I was out on the 600 for the Supersport event…
After a poor start due to spinning up on the line I entered turn one in last place! After a thrilling race and for sure one of my most enjoyable racing in some time I took a strong second place. After being at the back of the field to actually lead the race many times and take a podium finish in such poor conditions I had to be happy!
Check out the link to a clip of the race!
Sadly that was our one and only race of the day due to a bomb threat causing the race paddock to be evacuated for some time… I have never known of such a thing happening in bike racing but these things can happen on this side of the world…
A great shame to spoil a fantastic event with such nonsense…
After that we took to the track again late in the afternoon for the superbike race again in wet conditions.
After a steady start I was feeling good on my CBR1000 when the red flags came out to stop the race due to a huge oil spill from a blown up engine.
I was sitting in third place at the time so it was a shame as another podium finish was looking good.
The spill was so bad that in wet conditions the road could not be safely cleaned as the oil was spread for over a kilometer of track and with the rain had spread over the whole track width.
So overall a very tiring day but we showed that the new Wilson Craig Honda team and Dunlop tire combination is working as I had hoped.
Next stop the Isle of Man TT just a week away !