Almeria 25/26/27 March 2014
The first day was spent just re-learning the track and learning how to ride it on a 600, I'd ridden here last in 2011 on my Honda Fireblade. We didn't make many changes to the bike and I just went and rode all day learning. I had been put in group B but had no one else to learn from so we decided on day 2 to ask to be moved up into group A with the Stock 1000's and Superbikes as I felt I needed to tag onto another rider so I can learn better lines and get dragged along. I was very happy with the first day as my times were good and I was happy with the bike, looking forward to day 2...
Focused and BSB were nice enough to let me move up into the Group A and straight away I was quicker chasing the 1000's, we made a few changes like playing with tyre pressures and the Maxton suspension. Day 2 was another brilliant day as my times dropped considerably and also Steve Plater was nice enough to take me around in the car at lunch time to help me in some areas. Overall a brilliant day.
The final day we spent trying different settings on the front of the bike and in our last session we put on a new set of Pirelli tyres and I posted my best lap time of the 3 days and I was happy about how the days had all gone and I'm now feeling even more confident for the first round at Brands Hatch!
Big Thanks to Mark Hanna and Road and Race Performance also Paul Davies and Beverley Richardson, Dad, Maxton suspension, Oxford Products, Unipart, Muc Off, Purbrook Garage, Futuremoto, TCX and Furygan.
NGRRC Brands 14/15/16 March 2014
Friday was my first time on the Road and Racing Kawasaki and my first impressions were it’s a very good bike and it was love at first sight! Almost straight away I got into my stride on the bike and by the afternoon I felt I was going well! Mark Hanna and I made a few changes but the day was just for me to get on the new Kawasaki and get some laps under my belt. Also I had never used Maxton suspension and I clicked with it straight away on the base settings and found the Maxton to be very suiting!
A qualifying race for the 600’s was first on the agenda and I started 25th just in front of Freddie Sheene. I managed to get through the field with elbows out and finished the race in 1st putting me on pole for the 600 championship race.
Next up was the Open 15minute qualifying and the team gave me a new tyre and a few suspension changes and off I went and qualified 2nd just behind Johnathan Howarth on a Kawasaki 1000, I was buzzing I beat Peter Baker who qualified 3rd on his 1000.
The championship 600 race was next and I started from pole and got a good start and pulled a gap from the other guys and finished 1st by this time I was very happy and the bike was beginning to feel my own and we had started to find a good setting with the Maxton and 9.5kg spring.
Final race of the day was the Open which I started 2nd on the grid I got and average start and was 3rd out of turn one, I managed to stay with the 1000s for 2 laps or so then they began pulling a gap and I finished 3rd in the race and I came back to Mark with a few more suggestions for tomorrow! Overall today was a good day and the bike was feeling awesome!
For Sunday we changed the rear Maxton spring from a 9.5kg to a 8.5kg and used first practice to try it and after the session I said that it was a lot better and felt I had more rear grip.
First up was a qualifying 600 race again and started 25th again, previous to our race a sidecar had dumped oil from the start of druids to graham hill which was a nuisance. I got a good start in the race and on the way round druids a rider crashed on the oil and nearly took me out! I ended up having to stop and go again starting nearly last! I managed to get back into my stride straight away and won the race!
Second race was the Open and I started 2nd on the grid I got a really good start and lead the first lap then got passed along cooper straight by Baker, next lap I stuffed it up the inside of Baker and sat him up saying ‘yes!’ I’m still here on my 600, but sure enough he got me back along cooper straight with his 200bhp and I finished the race 0.2 behind Baker. I was happy after that race but felt we could have had a stronger bike with a 9kg spring which we didn’t have.
Finally the final 600 race was up and I started pole and won the race! Not much to say as I was on my own out front and enjoying the Kawasaki.
The weekend was a successful one and big thanks to Mark Hanna for building me such a great bike and working with me to make it suit my style and help me get the best out of it! Also thanks to Maxton, Oxford Products, Unipart, Purbrook Garage and Paul Davies for all their help so far! Now I’m looking forward to Almeria and the first round of BSB!