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T P
24.04.2006, 11:22 AM
Helooooo DuN'ers! I thought you might like to read my Brands report. Some positive news for a change :D

:beer: :beer: :beer: :fart:

Get yourself a cup of tea Ö

First up I have a few people to thank for making this all possible. Thanks go to Grahame Butcher who was unfortunately let down by suppliers at the last minute with my bike so unfortunately it wasnít ready. If Grahame didnít make his extremely generous offer last year then I wouldnít have been racing at all this year, and he got me out there at Cadwell and has given me a load of other help. Iím amazed and I really donít deserve that but I thank you all the same. And to Ali (and Saraa!(sp)) for lending me his bike for the race. We worked out a deal for me to ride his bike on Saturday before the race when I thought I wasnít going to get out there at all. Ali came through with the goods and I stayed at his place and had a lovely meal that he and Saraa whipped up. Superb hospitality Ė highly recommended! I also had another benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous etc but I canít write my report without giving them some thanks, it was the final piece in the puzzle that allowed me to get out there Ė another amazing act of generosity in a string of them that I truly am not worthy of. Just to support my hobby! Itís quite a humbling feeling to have such support and people who just want to see you do well. Without these people I wouldnít have been racing at all this year so for that I really am truly grateful.

Enough soppy crap Ö Iíve been over here too long, Iím going soft!

So, Ali and I left to darkened skies and rain and I must admit I wasnít feeling very good about the day. All I wanted to do was finish; to be honest I didnít even care where I finished so long as I did. After the debacle that was scrutineering and getting my tickets etc I rode Aliís bike from the scrute bay to the tent in the pitlane with Grahame etc. Iíve been riding since very early last year with race shift and Ali rides with road shift. Aliís bike felt completely alien to me so I wasnít looking forward to getting it out on track Ö. So Grahame swapped over the shift pattern and it was a lot better. I didnít know what was going to happen in qualifying so I just went out with a plan of getting a feel for the conditions and bringing the bike back in one piece. I went out and rode around and started to get a feel for it. I didnít want to push at all so when I came in I was very surprised to be 6th in combined times and 4th in Class A. Front row?! WTF!!! The bike was starting to make sense to me so I was looking forward to race 1 and seeing if I could keep the bike in the top ten whilst guaranteeing a finish.

I was feeling pleased to qualify 4th for both Cadwell and Brands (itís certainly a different sensation starting with no-one else in front of you!). 6th was my best qualifying result last year so didnít quite make it to the front row.

Race 1

Got an indifferent start and had to avoid Antonye slewing sideways off the line once his rear wheel touched the white line (I think) so I went into turn 1 about 8th or 9th I think. And that bloody ginger tennis ball head had ANOTHER blinding start and went past as well. It was a bit of a weird race for me. After breaking my ankle at Brands last year and crashing at Cadwell I could do with a couple of finishes. Riding someone elseís bike and knowing how much I was risking certainly focuses the mind as well! I decided to push a little and see what happened. I took 3 or 4 places back on the brakes into Druids and managed to settle into a good pace just behind the front pack. I had a gap to the next guy behind me but I started being quite inconsistent and dropped through the pack a bit. When Tim and Glenn came through I gave myself a slap and went with them. I knew I could go quicker but itís a fine balance, the conditions werenít ideal so I knew it was easy to make a mistake. I had a small front end tuck when I touched the white line in Surteeís when I was peeling in right on Timís tail so I had a look behind and knew I was safe in the spot I was in so I decided to just bring it in. I wasnít sure where I finished and Kyleís unfortunate retirement promoted me to a 7th place finish. In terms of the race and everything else it was an average performance but I finished and got some good points so I was quite happy. I didnít see the front two battling but I was really impressed with the way Antonye rode his way to a nice finish Ė he was looking very smooth. Also well done to GTH for his first podium!

After finding myself losing concentration a few times I decided to have a little kip between races and have a chocolate bar before race 2!

Race 2

I got a much better start but so had Antonye, he moved over early to squeeze me but I had slightly better drive and managed to get into turn 1 in 2nd place! HELP! Nose bleed! WTF am I doing up here?! I was feeling better and concentrated better and stayed in 2nd for about a lap and a half before Antonye came past Ė again looking as smooth as you like. The three of us were fairly close for the next few laps and I was just waiting for Andy Johnson to come through. Aliís bike seems to be having a few gear selection problems which only seemed to affect me when I wanted to go down to gears for Paddock Hill. It was a bit of a pain and I free-wheeled through there on one lap which was a completely unnerving experience in those conditions. I threw myself off the bike as much as I dared and tried to hold it as upright as I could! Andy finally went underneath me into Paddock and I knew he was running a pace I couldnít keep but I tried to get him to tow me back onto Antonye which seemed to work for a bit but I lost the front again exiting surteeís, this time on the exit, but this one was a little bigger and my right foot came off the peg and hit the rear brake lever which locked that up as well but actually seemed to correct me a bit although I had to put my foot down to keep it altogether, trust a bloody Ducati rear brake to work when you donít really want it too! I was closing in but after that moment I had a look behind and there was clear air for as far as I could see so I thought Iíd bring it home. I thought I could have had 3rd but actually looking at the times Antonye put his head down for the last two laps and put on a pace I couldnít match anyway so 4th it was. 4th place and I was completely stoked! My best finish so far and I could hardly bloody see! I had to hold my visor open with my left hand down each straight to clear it for the other bits of track!

Another brilliant ride from Antonye and I was really happy for him to be on the podium.

Then off for a very civilised meal with Ali and Saraa again before driving home to watch both the WSB races!

I'd also like to thank everyone who came to watch in really poor spectating conditions (apart from those in hospitality! I hope you saw my finger pointing at the end of race 1) and those who helped out during the day with paddock stands etc. Bruce and Richard in particular.

Also my boys. My 5yo son Bede for jumping up on Ali's bike and showing me what to do. He'll be the 2016 DD Class A champion ;) And Byron for being a star after he's seen Dad crash at the last two rounds I've managed.

Roll on Assen when MY bike will be ready! Three different tracks, three different bikes!

Jasper
24.04.2006, 06:27 PM
Well,just staying on is something of an improvement!!!Well done mate!