Mick’s PCRA Rd6 2014 Race Report

This was my first race meeting back after missing most of the season as a result of dropping a valve on the ZX6R earlier in the year, so I was keen to get back on track and see how well the replacement motor would go. There were a few delays in the morning with fog and then a rider down in one of the sessions that required a helicopter pickup, so it was late morning before we even got out for qualifying.

My first couple of laps were a bit sketchy and the front end of the 6 was feeling like it was bouncing around everywhere, but I knew I was still off the pace and that I hadn’t changed anything with the settings, so I bit the bullet and took a punt on pushing it harder to see if that would improve things. Fortunately it did and I started to settle into a nice rhythm and feel more comfortable on the bike. After a good number of laps I was confident I had a reasonable qualifying time without breaking any records.

Unfortunately it appeared there were problems with the timing loops and no times were recorded for most of the qualifying sessions, so they had to revert to another system to work out grid positions based on championship points. As I’d missed most of the season, this meant that I was starting down in 26th on the grid, so there was a lot of ground to make up. Nelso was beside me on 27th and Gos was a couple of rows in front. I needed a good start, but only got an average one, also dodging a stalled rider on the grid, so had to slowly work my way back up through the field in the following 5 laps. There were a few interesting moments with some unorthodox lines being taken by some of the other riders, and a moment tipping into turn 4 just after I passed Gos which felt like I’d run over something (but can’t see anything on the videos which is weird). I’d worked my way up to 13th and I managed to pull a gap on the other riders after the first two laps, then put my head down and tried to chase down the lead group. I caught them on the final lap and finished in 13th and 3rd in class by less than a second. Apparently I also got the fastest laptime of a 1:06.8 but my Racechrono didn’t agree so I’m not sure about that one.

The second race was cut down to 4 laps and again the pressure was on for a good start. In retrospect realised I needed to adjust my clutch after putting the other motor in as the friction point was too far out and this caused slipping problems the following day, but at the time I thought it was just me being shit. So not a great start and again some sketchy passing required to dispatch some of the slower riders. One 750 rider in particular seemed to not like my attempted pass between T4 and T5 and he almost took my front wheel out trying to cut me off. Trying to pass him again down into T8 and we came up on a slower lapped rider, so that blew that chance. I still finished tenth overall and second in class though, but my times were still as fast as the front runners were doing, so it was a bit frustrating to be stuck back in all the traffic.

The final race was now cut down to 3 laps, so not a lot of time to do anything other than finish. I had a bit of a run in with the same 750 rider that had given me problems in the previous race, the worst of which was in the final lap on T9 he decided to change lines to try to pass another rider (unsuccessfully) and parked it on the entry, stuffing my faster run and making me drop two places by the finish line. Again the frustration was knowing I was lapping faster but having too much traffic to deal with to capitalise on it, but that’s racing and at the end of the day I wasn’t fighting for the championship and it didn’t have a huge impact on the final results. It’s also a huge motivation to improve my starts and push harder in the races.

So the final result of the day, which we didn’t find out till the next day after the hardworking officials stayed back late in the night to work them out, was that I ended up with 2nd in PM F2 behind Wade Lewis in 1st and in front of Grahame Percy in 3rd. Definitely better than I thought it was going to be after not knowing what the actual finishing positions were in class on the day, so I was pretty happy with that.

So up next is the 1 Hour report.