Here is the latest news from some of EBC’s assisted motorcycle racing teams who compete worldwide:
This month’s feature includes race reports from Michael Tustin & TeamMTR, Royal Air Force Classic Racing Team, Eddie Laycock, Maria Costello MBE, Leon Jeacock, Telford Racing and George Stanley:
Michael Tustin & TeamMTR Ducati
Here is the latest race news from Michael Tustin and TeamMTR who has competed at Brands Hatch Brands Hatch and Thruxton for Rounds Six and Seven of the Ducati TriOptions Cup. Michael Tustin has GPFAX brake pads on his DUCATI PANIGALE 959 for top performance on the track.
TeamMTR Race report follows:
Welcome to TeamMTR’s latest race report. After Round Five at Snetterton back in July, Mike and the team have travelled back down to Brands Hatch and Thruxton for Rounds Six and Seven of the Ducati TriOptions Cup.
Brands Hatch GP
After the team’s last outing at Snetterton, both Mike and the team were eager to get back on track and try to find some pace similar to the start of the season. The Brands Hatch GP circuit is one of the fastest tracks on the calendar, but not a circuit that the team had raced at beforehand. As usual, this meant Friday practice was essential to get a good setup and learn as much about the track as possible.
Unfortunately, after only four laps Mike suffered the first break down of the year, causing the team to withdraw from the 20min session earlier than anticipated. The team made some quick and efficient repairs to the bike allowing Mike to get out on circuit for that afternoon’s qualifying session.
Mike managed to qualify in 18th which wasn’t too bad considering the lack of laps he had done beforehand. The team were confident of a solid push through the field for Saturdays Race One.
As the riders went out on track all 56 riders were on dry tyres. The forecast predicted rain was imminent and while sat on the grid, the heavens opened. The team were quick on their feet and managed to get the wet tyres and setup completed on the grid with more than enough time to spare. As the race wore on, the rain got more severe and the correct call was made to finish the race early, completing only five laps of a scheduled 10. Mike managed to move up the field to finish 17th. This was a slightly disappointing result as both Mike and the team were hoping for more in some testing race conditions.
After the torrential rain from Saturday’s Race One, the team were greeted with bright blue skies for Sunday’s Race Two. All the Ducati riders were treated to a morning warmup, allowing Mike to grab some ever more valuable laps around the GP Circuit.
After morning warmup Mike finished the session in 12th, right back where the team believe him to be. Needless to say, Mike was looking forward to the race at 5.30pm after finding much more confidence in the bike and the circuit.
Mike moved up the grid and was due to start in 17th. However, Mike was caught up in a huge accident on the warmup lap involving four riders in total. This caused Mike to miss the race due to bike damage and resulted in £1000’s worth of repairs before the next meeting at Thruxton. Thankfully Mike was uninjured in the accident. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for two of the other competitors who were involved.
After the disaster of Brands Hatch GP, the team headed to Hampshire for Round Seven of the championship, only two weeks after Brands Hatch GP. After only receiving some parts from the crash the evening the team left for Thruxton, there was no way of checking the bike prior to the event, so the team went to Thruxton not really knowing if everything was correct after such a heavy impact.
Thruxton being another circuit that Mike has had little experience with, the team knew the task ahead of the weekend would be tough. A much more positive Friday free practice showed the bike was fine after the crash and Mike was able to push straight from the off. Although Mike finished the session in 19th, the team were extremely satisfied with the pace, with only four seconds covering the top 25 places showing that Mike was well in touch of the riders ahead.
After qualifying in a rather disappointing 20th, Mike was confident of running the pace of the top 15, and hopeful of getting back into the points. This was not to be the case as Mike just couldn’t get anywhere near the pace of the riders ahead, languishing down in 20th for much of the race.
After the frustration of Race One Mike was extremely disappointed that he couldn’t ride the bike how he wanted.
Starting from 21st on the grid the front forks were a big gamble for Mike to make, but the team knew that the recent results hadn’t been good enough so something had to be done to help try and bridge the gap.
A good start allowed Mike to make some places up on the first lap. After two laps it was clear to see that Mike was much more confident in the bike and moving up the field lap after lap. With only eight laps in the race (being cut short due to an earlier accident), Mike was riding over 2.5 seconds a lap faster than he’d been all weekend, highlighting the fact the front forks seem to have made an immediate impact on the handling of the bike.
By the end of the race Mike finished 14th and back in the points, while also lapping faster than the two riders ahead of him. For Mike, this was a welcome return to the points and in the team’s eyes, where he should regularly be. To see such an improvement overnight simply from a set of forks was clear to see for everyone involved. This also highlights the problems that the team were having at previous meetings with bike setup and confidence in the bike itself.
After a few very difficult rounds with no points scored at Snetterton and Brands Hatch GP, it was a welcome return to points scoring at Thruxton. The team have decided to purchase some uprated forks as that seems to be the missing key to Mikes problems, and the team are extremely confident of pushing on now at the last two meetings of the year at Silverstone and Assen.
Our next race meeting will be at the famous Silverstone GP on 8/9/10th September, with our race being shown live on British Eurosport on 10th September.
Once again, a huge thank you for being part of TeamMTR’s debut season in the Ducati TriOptions Cup.
Ducati TriOptions Cup – 14th
EMRA Superstock – 4th
Royal Air Force Classic Racing Team
Here is the latest news from the Royal Air Force Classic Racing Team who competed in Donington Park at the Classic Motorcycle Race Meeting which took place on 4th – 8th August 2017.
Here is their race report:
Race report: Donington park 2017
Firmly established as one of THE classic motorcycle race meetings in the world it was time to head up to Donington Park for the highlight of the racing calendar. The three day Classic Motorcycle Festival is the largest and most popular classic motorcycle race event in the UK. Along with varied stands, clubs and exotic motorcycles on display, the racing would continue with the addition of the last leg of the FEM Europe Championship blending in with the CRMC’s own racing program.
If that didn’t make this a big enough event, the Team were turning up with the Witham Group’s superb hospitality lorry and RAF recruiting would be joining them complete with their recruitment tent, various interesting stands and a sponsored MX5.
After months of planning, the Thursday night before racing finally arrived. With the RAF camp set up, bikes prepped and BBQ on, they were ready for an exciting weekend.
Post Classic 125
#14 Sgt Andy Green
Practice was the first time I had ridden the Honda MT125 this year due to not being able to get on the little thing. The bike ran OK, it just needs a few more horse power to be competitive. This was however not a great start to the weekend, the 125 burnt the front of the piston in race one on lap four.
A spare piston was found and installed, thanks to Gav and Roy who spent a fair few hours with wet and dry paper plus a honing tool, managed to remove all of the alloy off the wall of the cylinder.
During Saturday morning’s short practice, the bike seemed good, but also noisy. When I got back to the paddock I realised that the baffle tube had blown itself out of the exhaust. Lucky for me, Symon had a spare couple of exhausts as they were not the most reliable parts of the bike. Roy set about fitting the replacement exhaust, he was doing a grand job when things took a turn for the better when a trackside marshal turned up on a push bike with the exhaust end. When questioned he also noted that a baffle tube was in the marshal hut. Result, one complete exhaust again …
Race two was a little rushed to get ready for as the exhaust was still going on when the call to the holding area was made. It then started raining heavily, previous experience has taught me that when Jerry Lodge the MT master doesn’t go out then take note. I stayed well and truly hidden under the cover of the awning! Keeping my leathers dry.
Race three was dry, starting from 33rd on the grid, good progress was made and I came home 11th in class. A lot of effort was put into the ride, the tyres were letting go on the faster corners but they were breaking evenly and didn’t upset the balance of the bike so I was able to get it home.
The final race was a simple affair, again having to start from 33rd meant a hard struggle was required to get up with the rest of the grid. The tyres again let go on the first lap which had me take stock and just get the bike over the line without incident to end the weekend.
I have had many a great year racing the little Honda MT125 but this year the bike has been a pain all season and Donington was no exception. Having had the gearbox in pieces Friday and Saturday night due to it holding 4th gear for no more than two seconds at a time, it finished one of four races and has been relegated to the “corner of shame” in the garage.
40 years of the MT125
A feature of this year’s Donington Park Classic Motorcycle Festival was a special race to celebrate 40 years of the Honda MT125 in racing which also coincided with Donington Park’s own age since reopening in ’77.
The fourth outing on the MT125 was for the feature race of the MT125’s 40th anniversary. The call to the holding area was made. When starting the bike it developed a fuel overflow problem, most probably a sticking float. I stopped the bike and ripped the carb off whilst Steve ran to fetch a suitable screwdriver to remove the float bowl. Upon inspection nothing appeared out of the norm. Quickly re-assembling the carb and refitting resulted in the problem being fixed. When upon arrival to the holding area, the grid had already set off on the siting lap.
I was allowed to start from the pit lane. Sitting there watching the grid ride past and off down the track made me realise I had my work cut out, already 150 yards behind before I got to Redgate Corner. However head down and cracking on, I soon made up a few places and got a good run out of the old hairpin. Taking every corner on the edge of the tyre, I managed to catch and pass the legendary Charlie Williams on a very fast MT125 on loan from Jerry Lodge. Once past him I then set my sights on my team mate Symon. In keeping with last year’s battles on the little bikes, we found ourselves finding each other on track as I managed to nip on the inside at Coppice due to Symon running a couple of feet wide to the line I was using.
Right I’m through, all was going well until he out braked me into the right left that is Roberts and onto the start finish straight. Whilst Symon decided to defend his line, it allowed myself a slightly better exit speed which brought us perfectly inline along the start finish straight and over the line onto the last lap. Whilst on the start finish straight we went into race-a-mate mode which involved a brushing of fairings and a little elbow nudge along with a grin. Being on the outside I had a longer part of track to brake into which I used to my advantage by waiting for Symon to move half a bike length back before I decided to brake and turn across to block his entry into Redgate. I then didn’t look back [well maybe a little] as I knew he would be right behind and he has a reputation to enjoy the odd lunge, and not just in the gym! I thought I had better aim for best corner speed to help defend any challenge. I didn’t see him again and was safe over the line in 11th. I later found out that he “allegedly” had seized on the last lap.
I was looking forward to this race, a grid full of Honda MT125s comprising regular and invited riders. Although cured for three laps of the previous race, the jumping out of gear issue was back but on a far less frequent occasion. The first couple of laps were excellent with a stream of 36 battling bikes using orthodox and unorthodox overtaking techniques.
A couple of missed gears later and the unmistakeable blue bike of Andy appears under my right elbow. He was riding really well, obviously Clair the Physio’s work had done wonders. Unfortunately the fun did not last as my bike, along with a few others, became a victim of a drastic change in atmospherics and it seized. After pushing it back to the Paddock (again) it was excused the last race of the day. Looking on the bright side, it saved me from being beaten by an RAF rider, which was a distinct possibility the way Andy was riding.
Post Classic (500 air cooled)
I entered the 500 Air Cooled Class to get more track time but started to regret a little when I saw I was out with the 1300cc bikes on my little 250.
Both Race One and Two were DNS but going into Race Three I was given a starting place of 7th. The timing system didn’t register me again but I think I finished about half way down the grid.
Race Four went well considering the competition out on track and I managed an 18th overall but a more than respectable 6th in class.
I have yet to get this bike to go round corners, the shock I sent for overhaul in March was finally back but I was still waiting the uprated spring, so I had to use my old, undersprung spring which has been the route of most of the problems. The bike was horrible in practice and I qualified about 30th. Fitting a thinner back tyre helped a little and I wobbled round for the first race. The second race was in torrential rain, but I really enjoyed it. The soft suspension and thinner rear tyre cut through the water and I carved through the pack, finishing 3rd with the fastest lap time. The next race was dry and back to the “bouncing bike” with a DNF in the last race due to a faulty gear linkage. Overall, disappointing.
Post Classic (250 Air Cooled)
Possibly the most important part of Donington Park’s CRMC meet was the practice. This was because practice was also qualifying for your grid position for the whole weekend. This was complicated by a failure of the timing system during practice which meant half the riders failed to record a time so the CRMC had to best guess for the first race where some riders would have qualified.
For all the riders without previous experience of this track it meant they were not only trying to figure the track out but also try their best to not have a terrible starting place for the weekend without falling off in the process. A very tall order for some.
After arriving to the holding area I was awarded a starting place of 28th place on the grid. The majority of the team were in front and gave me something to aim for. I was hoping to get a good clear lap to put a solid time in for the grid position in the next race. The race got underway, not a great start and the bike was over geared, however I managed a good lap and also caught Jim Dickinson, finishing a second behind him.
With so many guys not getting qualifying times due to problems with the timing kit, I found myself with a major advantage starting high up on the grid. I ended up in a bit of space and had time to get used to the track. Little did I know Green was hot on my tail after cutting through the main pack.
DNS due to a broken clutch. Not a great start.
#51 Ridley #56 Flynn
Race One saw Ridley lined up alongside Flynn but Ridley did not get a great start so Flynn pulled away fairly quickly. Ridley managed to catch up with Flynn after the first couple of laps as Flynn became “involved” with some other racers and partly because he was slower than Ridley through Craner Curves and the Old Hairpin. Some close racing ensued with several change of places between, but some poor gear changes/choices and a trip across the grass at Redgate for Ridley meant that Flynn finished 2.5 seconds behind.
With a slow start and a gearbox getting worse, I tried to stay with Dickinson but I had no chance with the bike changing gear by itself a few times per lap. After finishing I proceeded to spend the rest of Friday night striping the gearbox. Massive thanks to Dicko and Roy!
Rudd’s little Suzuki felt intimidated by all the manly Yamahas in the RAFMSA Gazebos so it refused to come out and play all weekend. Each race a different part of the engine decided to pack up.
Practice had been a real baptism of fire as I tried to make good progress whilst figuring out where to go at the same time. This meant Race One left me still a little unsure of the track. I had decided to try my best to stick with the fast pack this time so I made sure my start was a good one.
I launched off well and was quickly on Dickinson’s tail into Redgate. The corner was a sea of machines and I was carrying a lot more speed into the corner than they were but no way to get past. As I crept wide to avoid the gaggle of machines the pack pulled away leaving me to my own race again.
Off the pace I let various faster machines slip by me as I decided it might be a good idea to learn the track a bit before riding into a wall again. Catching Green after his excursion over Roberts kept me amused early on along with Dave Bond. By the end of racing I had made a few places and had built quite a bit of confidence in the track. My gearbox however was starting to get back to its old tricks again which was not welcome at all.
Starting from the second row of the grid I got a flyer of a start and was first out of the first corner (Redgate). I was still in front second time round but knew I wasn’t alone, pulling out of the “Old Hairpin” and up the hill on the 2nd lap I was struck by a familiar Yamaha RD trait of a missed gear, this dropped me instantly to 5th.
The riders were so close behind that my sudden loss of drive meant that severe avoidance actions had to be carried out by the bikes behind and they all “bumped into” at least one other rider, whilst remaining at full throttle. Luckily everybody got away with it, but I could not keep with the leaders and finished 3rd.
Starting this time from 9th, I had an uneventful race and got stuck in no-mans land being five seconds behind the place in front but three seconds clear of the next person behind, having time to look over my shoulder to see if anyone was catching to see if things would liven up. Nothing materialised sadly.
Feeling like I had a good flow going, I was feeling like my riding was beginning to come together. My start wasn’t bad and I slotted in behind Green and a European rider. Early on I lost “a tonne” of time after getting caught in traffic through the Essess with Bond, however, I hunted Bondy and his X7 down, feeling like I was on a bit of a mission finishing in front of him.
A disappointment with regards to qualifying, as I had no registered time due to faulty timing equipment and no lap time from the first race. This resulted in a start from 41st place at the back of the grid. I made good progress through the field and managed to catch Gav, but he made me work for it. I took a detour off track due to braking too late to get passed him. We swapped places 3 or 4 times but I managed to get the place just on the last corner.
#51 Ridley #56 Flynn
Race Two was similar to the first, with a poor start for Ridley leading to close racing amongst Flynn and some other competitors, however they felt quicker and now knew the circuit better. Ridley was pushed wide at Redgate by one of the European entrants which meant another off track adventure across the grass but after rejoining he was able to pass Flynn on the outside of the Old Hairpin and make it stick to see the chequered flag half a second ahead of him and with a much improved best lap, things were looking up.
With the gearbox sort of sorted I had a better Race Two start and after a rather harsh move on Dickinson I managed to get in front of him at last …
Unfortunately he got back past me (cleanly) and I got passed by another bike and couldn’t catch him back up.
After reviewing some on board video from Friday I entered this race with renewed vigour. Another strong start launched me into Redgate, but again I couldn’t get through the bulk of the machines.
I pressed on, taking a few scalps, but for the most part riding solo until I was passed by an RAF rider in white leathers as I braked for Redgate. I was relieved to see it wasn’t Flynn but was Bartlett whom I had no idea I was in front of. I was even more relieved when he carried straight on to the grass allowing me whatever line I pleased up the inside of him (what a guy!).
We exchanged places a few times but a gifted pass into Roberts gave Bartlett the lead and another missed gear ensured I didn’t get it back as we crossed the line together.
Not as good a start as the first race but still stuck in with the leading pack. I was struggling to stay with the front two and the “RD missed gear syndrome” was getting more frequent, everytime it happened I slipped a little further back, finishing in 3rd. I will use the gearbox as an excuse but to be perfectly honest, I just need to ride better to keep with the front two.
The way the rest of the RAF boys are improving so much recently I will need to get my finger out just to stay in front of them. Luckily after listening to Green for the past few years I have learnt a lot of excuses to use when one of them does beat me.
Due to having a busy morning fixing the 125 and the poor weather, I was not concentrating too much. From the start I again got away ok and fell behind the breakaway group. I then had Dickinson pass me up the hill towards Mclean’s. This I never really recovered from and held that place until the end. Jim had a good ride, showing lots of promise, and improved on his lap time where I was slower on mine.
After watching a few of Heggs’ videos of how he launches his bike off the start, I changed my technique and got the bike away a bit cleaner than normal. The start was chaotic and I lost a few places before finding myself in 5th and in a bit of clear track.
As I only had to concentrate on getting round the track and not dicing with other riders I got my head down and posted my fastest lap of the weekend. I could still see Woodward in the distance over the line, giving me a glimmer of hope that I had been going not so slow (it was only a short race due to a red flag incident).
I started at the back again and with a reduced race distance it was even harder to gain places. Much as the previous race I managed to catch Gav by the last lap and was only two metres away on the last corner but I was unable to make a pass.
Rain, strong winds along with thunder and lightning made most of us retreat to the Withams hospitality trailer which they kindly donated for the event, those that weren’t stripping engines that is. After several delays due to some accidents in the wet we were lucky enough to see blue skies and a dry track for a reduced lap Race Three.
Despite the concerning sight of Rudd and his bike becoming airborne at the start I made a better get away which saw me once again behind Flynn and among some other riders with really close racing.
My inexperience showed here as I allowed myself to be squeezed out of position a couple of times but it was a really enjoyable race. Ahead of Flynn approaching Roberts on the last lap I was slowed by another rider who hurtled up the inside a little too fast and then slowed suddenly mid corner meaning I had to brake hard and it put me in the wrong gear. Flynn took the advantage of a better corner exit and out dragged me to the finish with two tenths of a second between us. Although my best lap time was no better, overall my lap times were faster than the previous race.
Frustrating again … I think I could go quicker but got stuck behind a couple of bikes.
I had no problem getting my knee down on other sports bikes but for some reason I wasn’t doing it on a Classic race bike on the track. Was I not pushing hard enough?
This did bother me as I could clearly corner faster than I was but something was getting in my way. On top of this Dickinson was very bothered about not getting his knee down so any such action would be a psychological blow well worth achieving.
A reduced lap race meant I had to get on with it quickly to make the most of the last race of the day. After some advice from other riders, I started to hold the bike in gear for 4th and 5th to prevent it from jumping out. This proved very effective allowing me to play a bit closer to the fast boys. I stayed with the faster machines through the first lap until I exited Coppice and found I had dropped a fair bit back. I was clearly too slow from Mcleans which would need work.
I pushed on, winding in a rider on a white machine (whose number I sadly forget) up to Redgate. I left my braking as late as I had dared to catch him further only to realise I was carrying a lot more speed than he was. The bike began to drift wide and I started having flash backs to Cadwell Park. Before resigning to my gravelly fate I pushed the right bar out, dropped my elbow and leaned the bike into the corner. The bike leaned in deeper as the ground rose to meet me and my out stretched knee. The familiar rumble of plastic on asphalt met my ears before I had to stand the bike back up briefly before tipping back into Crane Curves round the outside of the mystery white rider.
My confidence boosted, I continued on feeling faster and smoother till the chequered flag was picked up.
A bit of puck scraping severely dampened Dicko’s victory over me and raised my spirits to new irritating levels for everyone else. I was a touch disappointed not to see a bigger improvement in pace but it was still progress.
Similar start to the previous races but for some reason I started lapping slower than the previous races, this enabled Jerry Longland to reel me in and have a race long battle for 3rd. Sat just behind Jerry on the final straight before the finish straight, I thought I was in a good place to “out-fox” him into the final chicane and then out-drag him to the line. The only complication to this plan was a backmarker who we were going to catch just about on the right/left chicane before the finishing straight.
The backmarker was in the middle of the entry to the first righthander when Jerry went past on the left of him and I went past on the right. Unfortunately I think Jerry spooked the backmarker slightly who veered to his right away from Jerry. This just meant that we bumped legs/thighs but my extra momentum meant that I carried on and the backmarker bounced off into the gravel. I truly apologise to the backmarker for this racing incident. Dickinson was not that far behind and after examination of his on board footage I was relieved to see that although the rider took a detour through the gravel he remained upright and no real damage was done.
After seeing the physio and sorting out my gearing the bike and rider were ready to have a good inter team bit of rivalry. The flag dropped and Jerry Longland on his Suzuki X7 came past Jim and I around 40mph as we were just pulling off, that’ll be Jerry off to clerk of the course for a jump start…
I didn’t see Dickinson make his move until the entrance to McLeans Corner. This I put to bed up the hill into Coppice where I then broke away. After not riding well all weekend due to lack of track time this season, I was starting to feel a little more settled.
I managed to lap quicker and the sight of Symon amongst the group in front motivated me to push harder. Whilst that group were tripping each other up I was making progress to close them down. Symon then looked like he had out-braked himself in the right left onto the start finish straight. Turns out he had seized it up.
This put me into 3rd place for the last lap with nobody behind me that would be close enough to get close. Lesson from this was that the physical condition of being relaxed and not tired had a much bigger impact on performance than we think. Big thank you from the team to Clair Frost @CLHPhysio who is supporting the team this year for all their aches and pains when she’s isn’t doing the same with the IOM physio team.
After the high of Race Three I was looking forward to the final battle. Again, the start wasn’t my worst effort and after the traffic settled down I found myself with Graeme Acott on his Suzuki X7.
Desperate to get further ahead in the finishing order, my riding took a turn for the worst! I pulled a few unsuccesful moves and mashed a few gears at inopportune moments. Combined with Acott riding much better and taking advantage of my lack of race craft he beat me and I ended up with slower lap times than the previous race. I did however have a great battle with Acott.
Although still starting from the back I was feeling much more confident going into Race Four having just come straight in from the 500cc class. I managed to make up lots of places before the end of the first lap but found myself pretty much sat on my own again for most of the race.
The sun was shining again on Sunday morning and the race programme reinstated to a full six laps. Determined not to be beaten for a third time by Flynn and with a liberal application of ‘Speed Polish’ to the bike I made my best start yet and was only a couple of bikes behind Flynn going into the first corner and crucially ahead of the other racers which had been holding us up in the previous race.
Flynn missed a gear and visibly slowed at McLeans on lap one just as I was right behind him and that was the last I saw of him. Over the next couple of laps I caught Colin Western who managed to make his Benelli extra wide, especially where he was slower through the Cramer Curves. I passed him at Coppice only for him to retake the position shortly afterwards.
Chatting with Colin later and showing him my on bike video footage he remarked several times that he has holding me up and I could have gone quicker. He said the sight of an RAF rider in an orange novice vest passing him made him up his game, a great confidence boost. I was obviously helped massively by being so close to Colin as I improved my best lap immensely over the weekend. Best of all I was 12 seconds ahead of Flynn making it two out of the four races ahead of him and now my best results of the season in terms of beating fellow team members.
On the sighting lap the battery low light started to flash on so I knew I could have a problem … I had to retire on the first lap. Result – DNF.
The last race of the weekend started like the rest till I exited Coppice to see Dave in front of me. I dragged him down the straight, passing and braking late into Roberts to make the manoeuvre stick. I continued on, convinced he was right behind me (little did I know he had retired) and pushed on to maintain my place.
Not long after I was pushing hard down Crane Curve only for the bike to jump out of gear on the left hander. Due to the lean on the bike I couldn’t get my foot under the lever to hold it in gear so my bike started to run wide as I coasted through the corner.
Around then Bartlett passed me like his bike was on fire. Kicking the bike back into gear on the exit of the corner I decided to try to follow him hoping he would drag me along for a bit but sadly he slowed down from there, resulting in me gaining little from the experience bar enjoy watching what a good chassis can do for your riding. The rest of my race continued 100 meters or so off Bartlett flipping between enjoying the ride and disdaining my gearbox.
A few more n’ths of a second were shaved off my best time and racing was now over for the weekend.
Again I could not keep with the front two but Jerry Longland was “up for it” and we had a good battle. At the start of the penultimate lap I was leading Jerry into Redgate where there was two backmarkers, one of which was the poor sole who got tangled with Jerry and I the race before.
I gave him a wide berth this time but unfortunately compromised my exit from Redgate only to see Jerry nip up the inside, I followed him around towards the end of the lap where the atmospherics took another victim and my motor seized. The frustrating issue was that even if Jerry had beaten me, his 10 second jump start penalty would have put him back behind me.
The effort from some of the RAF riders in the setup for Donington was pretty staggering. Unfortunately for me, work commitments tightly bound the meeting resulting in me being the last to arrive and first to leave. Some of the racing was mega. I am however hopeful Bartlett will be able to get his bike sorted and the timing kit doesn’t fail next time so that we can have some more duels like Croft! Still a lot to learn, not least how to contain my enthusiasm.
If it hadn’t been for a broken clutch my qualifying times might have been better for the 250 class and results would have been better. Donington is a fast track and power is needed for it. I felt I was lacking power against many of the other bikes. My new engine should be in for Anglesey and I’m hoping to give the other RAF riders a bit more of a battle.
Overall though the pace is getting quicker every meeting and I need to up my game to keep competitive.
Looking forward to the next round.
A great weekend of racing, bike working well, more steady improvement and some close on track battles made this my favourite weekend so far. I will hopefully get to make a few tweaks to the bike before Anglesey and if the racing is as good for me as this weekend then I can’t wait.
I knocked five seconds off my time from last year so happy.
I thoroughly enjoyed Donington Park. It really is my kind of track: fast and flowing. I am already looking forward to returning next August. I really enjoyed the little racing I got to do with Bartlett and hope to be joining him and the others more in the future. Onwards to Anglesey, lets hope a track comprising mostly hairpins isn’t as terrifying as it sounds.
Thanks to all for your support, especially Withams for their hospitality trailer, complete with TV for that all important post race “de-brief” using the on-boards.
Special thanks also go to Clair Frost the Physio, her work on Andy Green not only stopped him moaning about his leg but also got him back to his old fighting ways.
The Royal Air Force Classic Race Team will next be racing on 9th – 10th September 2017 in Anglesey, North Wales.
EBC are pleased to welcome Eddie Laycock who competed in the Isle of Man TT 2017. He raced on 26th August with fantastic results. He is assisted with high performance racing motorcycle brakes that are supplied through EBC official Southern Irish distributor Timeless.
Here is a brief racing history and a few words from Eddie on the results of the Isle of Man TT:
Motorcycle racing legend Eddie Laycock was a star of the TT in the later part of the 1980s where he achieved two wins. His first win came in 1987 when he competed in the Junior 250cc race and the second in 1989 when he won the 400cc Trophy.
Before his recent return to the series this year, Eddie’s final TT appearance was in 1990 when he gained a podium finish. Dublin racer Eddie suffered poor health for several years which started in 2006, then in 2010 led to the need for his left leg and hip to be amputated. Since then he has received superb support from the Joey Dunlop Foundation which has resulted in his return to the 2017 TT.
Eddie Laycock here! Just to update you and say thanks for your support at this year’s Classic TT in the Isle of Man.
We had a great week on the island and had no problems during qualifying and on Saturday 26th August. We finished 2nd in the Lightweight Classic TT with Ian Lougher on our 2004 Yamaha TZ250, then we finished 3rd in the F2 class with Michael Sweeney on our 1992 Yamaha TZ250. Once again many thanks!
Maria Costello MBE
Maria Costello has been competing in the Isle of Man Senior Classic TT on 29th August 2017 where she achieved a fantastic fourth place finish.
Here is the full race report:
Maria Costello MBE claims fantastic fourth at Classic TT
Maria Costello MBE has continued her run of success with an impressive fourth place in the prestigious Classic Senior TT at the Bennetts Isle of Man Classic TT.
She came close to taking another Classic TT podium on the back of two podium finishes in the Cup 600 class of the British Sidecar Championship at Thruxton and a top-10 finish in the Supertwin class at the Ulster Grand Prix.
Qualifying was blighted by poor weather initially with Maria completing only five timed laps with a best of 105.29mph. Hoping to improve on that during Thursday’s session she encountered a mechanical problem that caused her to crash exiting Braddan Bridge.
The privately owned Beugger Racing Paton, a fine replica of the 1968 original and the bike on which she scored an impressive podium finish in the 2016 event, was damaged in the incident.
Thankfully the off was only small, my RST leathers, Knox gloves and Arai helmet took the impact and I received only bruising. For sure I would have liked another lap before the race but that went out the window when we set off in Friday’s final session and some other problems were revealed. That night Peter and the team changed the engine. I can’t thank them enough for all their hard work.
Race-day brought better weather. Costello launched the number-7 Paton off the line, setting off down Glencrutchery Road for four gruelling laps around the 37.73-mile mountain circuit. The standing-start lap of 108.204mph saw Maria cross the line in an impressive 3rd position, just 1.5 seconds shy of Jamie Coward’s Manx Norton in a field of 62 starters. Lap two was reeled off in a similarly impressive 108.511mph by Maria and she pitted for her sole fuel stop still in 3rd place, holding off William Dunlop by three quarters of a second.
Maria yielded 3rd place to Dunlop when she re-joined, the Ulsterman aboard his classic Honda waiting until the end of lap three for a splash and dash. Despite a sterling final lap of 108.093mph by Costello, Dunlop’s shorter stop obliged her to settle for 4th, with Dunlop just 7.5 seconds ahead – a slender margin by TT standards. Josh Brookes took his maiden Isle of Man victory on the Team Winfield Paton.
I’m so happy, of course I would have liked another podium but we’ve competed at the sharp end against incredible names in the sport and we were in contention, I’m more than delighted to finish fourth in that company.
My final highlight was the chance to take my JG Speedfit/ Cool Milk LCR sidecar around the mountain circuit. What a privilege. It’s something else on three wheels. I loved it. Now I have a tiny insight in to what they endure I think they deserve more recognition. Special thanks go to my mechanic Matt and to passenger Lee Cain for all his advice and feedback.
Most importantly I need to thank the Beugger Racing team: Peter and Barbara, Richard Bairstow and Marc Blumer for all their hard work and for yet again providing me with a competitive machine. Not forgetting the marshals, medics, race organisers and fans who all make this meeting so special.
Maria will return to racing on three wheels when she reunites with passenger Kirsty Hauxwell for the next round of the British Sidecar Championship at Assen in Holland from 29th Sept to 1st October.
Leon Jeacock – Geo E Davies Racing
Leon Jeacock has just competed in the seventh round of the Pirelli National SuperStock1000 Championship which took place at Cadwell Park on 21st – 23rd August 2017. Leon has his Suzuki superbike equipped with GPFAX brake pads.
Leon’s Race report follows:
Cadwell Park was the latest stop in the Pirelli National SuperStock1000 Championship. A technical track with a tight twisty section, a long straight and the infamous “Mountain” it is not a track for the faint hearted. It was certainly going to be a challenging, tough weekend of racing for Leon and the Geo E Davies Racing team.
The two free practice sessions were held in dry conditions and after posting a time in the top thirty in session one the team made changes to the Suzuki in preparation for the following practice laps. The adjustments made for session two proved to make a big improvement and confidence was high for Leon. Nevertheless, due to the competitive nature of the class and despite going nearly two seconds quicker he was placed 23rd.
As preparation was made for the sole qualification session of the weekend the team were hopeful of a good grid position. However, the vagaries of the British weather put pay to that as a rain shower dampened the circuit just as qualifying started. Leon put in a decent lap and finished just outside the top twenty in 22nd.
Dropping a place on the first lap in the midfield hordes Leon made up two places on lap two and then settled into a decent race pace running in a group of six riders for the majority of the 15 lap race. As the race rolled into the closing laps he made up four places in the hoisting Leon up to sixteenth place, just outside a points finish.
New Zealand based Telford Racing Team are made up rider Dillon Telford with team support from Jo Taylor. They are assisted by official EBC New Zealand Motorcycle Distributor, Nationwide Accessories who provide the team with Double-H™ sintered brake pads for all their racing endeavours.
Here is some of their news from this season’s racing event:
Dillion did exceptionally well recently when he won on the Gabro Racing Team Aprilia Tuono V4 in the Naked Class which took place at Mugello in Italy on 27th August 2017.
George Stanley Racing
George Stanley was last competing at Round Eight of the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship which took place at Thruxton on 4th – 6th August 2017.
Phil’s latest news follows:
Round 8 Thruxton
Throughout the weekend I had been improving the setting of the bike so that I could battle for the win in the race. For qualifying I managed to get 4th in the session even with the conditions and only doing one flying lap due to it raining when we were on dry tyres!
I made a good start and got up into 3rd for the first corner and then up into 2nd by the second corner. The race involved a battle between eight riders where I managed to keep myself in the top five riders at all times whilst saving my tyre to push for the last few laps but unfortunately the safety car came out.
This meant I had to push hard for the five laps remaining after the safety car went in.
I managed to get up to 2nd behind the leader and the last lap I got right on his back wheel but unfortunately I couldn’t manage to get past at the last corner! That’s racing, I’ll push hard again at Cadwell next week!
Massive thank you to EBC Brakes for providing me with the best brakes out there, couldn’t do it without their support!