RACE Superseries Round #6. Shannonville Motorsports Park. Pro-Track Config.
I'm stiff and sore and my shoulder hurts. It's raining and ugly outside and i haven't even considered unloading the truck/trailer yet so i'll just sit on the couch and write this! ha.
This was my 2nd race weekend. After qualifying poorly at Round 3 i still managed a 4th place finish, i was hoping that if i could qualify well for this race i'd have a decent shot at a podium.
Friday morning was cool, i had an oil filter leak issue (not the first time with my bike) in the morning so i missed the two open practice sessions. I managed to get everything sorted out and made the 4 remaining novice practice sessions. My best lap on Pro Track is a 1:10.9 and my goal for the Friday was to get back into the 1:12's. The last session i had two laps in the 11's so i was happy with Friday, i was fastest in Novice practice.
Saturday morning was cool, i didn't sleep well so i didn't go out in the first novice practice session. By 10:30 it was a bit warmer and i went out for the 2nd novice practice session. I couldnt get any clean laps but the track still felt good. Lots of grip considering how cool it was. Novice Open qualifying was at 1:50 and it was still dry. I was the 2nd bike out of the pits for qualifying, so i knew i'd have some open track to play with. I got by my friend on the 1st flying lap and put my head down with some open track ahead of me. After 4 more laps i was confident i had a good run so i pulled off to check my lap timer. The previous lap was a 1:11.6 (on a Dunlop 211 front with about 250 laps on it) so i was done. Good enough for me. I ended up qualifying on pole by 1.2 seconds, so i was really happy with Saturday.
Sunday morning was cool and wet. It was cool and wet all day. Again, i did not go out in the first Novice practice session but softened up the suspension a bit and went out at about 10:00. My rains were starting to look a little worn so i didnt want to spend a lot of time on the track. I just went out there for 5 laps to see what the track was like and then came back in. I was running in the 1:22's and was 3rd fastest in that session. I had about 5 hours off before my race so i got out of my leathers and watched some racing. About half an hour before my race i started getting ready, i was a little nervous about starting at the front, without someone in front of me i wasn't sure what kind of pace i needed to ride. Hopefully getting signals at pit wall would be enough for me not to push it too hard. I heard the call out for Novice Open over the P.A. system, off came the warmers and i headed up to pit lane. I wanted a fairly quick sighting lap to see how grip was, it was more wet for the race than it was for morning practice. The sighting lap seemed fine, grip seemed ok and before i knew it was coming into Allens.. oh boy!! Came around Nelson's and found my grid spot on the inside of row 1. It was pretty weird being there with no one in front of me. The flagging marshal walked off the track and revs went up, Fluffy at about 6000rpm ready to go. I think my heart stopped beating for those few seconds while i was watching the light. Red goes to green and off i went! I had a decent start and got the hole shot into turn 1. Got through 1 and through 2, even weirder than being on the grid with no one in front of me was coming through 2 and seeing no one ahead of me through turns 3, 4 and 5 and onto the back straight. The 1st lap went well and i had a decent lead for the first time by the start/finish. 2nd lap off the back straight into fabi 1 i had a big rear end slide, eek! ok i have to slow it down a bit. Then right after that coming through the chicane, i guess its a notoriously slippery spot, in the blink of an eye Fluffy was sideways, oh f**k!, the back end stepped out BIG TIME then hooked and i was off the bike! right, left, right, left i can feel my feet and legs hitting various hard parts. I wanged my right shin off the clip on and then as quickly as it started it was over and i was back in the seat and my feet back on the pegs. wow, where did that come from!? came into Allens and still had brakes, came through Nelson onto the front straight and saw a bunch of thumbs-up from people on the wall. hahaha thanks, i didn't mean to do that!!! after that it seemed like i couldn't get on the gas anywhere (after seeing pics i think my chain is too tight) maybe just in my head but i felt like i was skating through 1 and 2, through Fabi 1 and through Nelsons onto the front straight. i was just hoping i could park-and-fly through the rest of the race and hold off the 2nd and 3rd place guys that i knew were pretty quick. for the next 2 laps, i came by the start/finish i got the hand signals that they were catching me. on the 4th of 6 laps a rider went down in Fabi 1 and was in an impact areal, i got the red flag coming into the hair pin and shut it down. pulled off into the fabi pits and came back around to pit lane via the access road. i got some congratulations and pats on the back for the highside save while we waited for a decision on the race. As i'd hoped, since the race was more than half over they called it and our positions as of the 4th lap were the final. I did manage to hold off the 2nd and 3rd place guys and got the win. It didn't go as i'd hoped but the end result was great!
Next year in Amateur Superbike!