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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-18-2007, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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STP Racing Diary

One of the regular contributors siad it might be interesting to see a race report from one of the teams doing the BSB Superstock Championship with an MV Agusta. Along with Chris from X-Bikes we have a pair of 312's that we have been campaigning all year. Unlike Chris we have bought a level of bad luck to racing that seems to have started at a very low point, and continued to spiral downwards.

I will provide our Snetterton report as a taster, if this proves interesting I'll dig the others out and post them up.

To provide a background and context, we run 3 bikes, the MV Agusta with regular rider Victor "The Vicar" Cox, an R1 for Matt Whitman who was runner up last year in the Virgin Mobile R6 Cup, and another R1 for Rod Lynn doing the Superstock Cup.

Victor had broken his wrist horribly at Oulton a week or two before so my old friend Warwick Nowland was drafted in to help out.

"Like everyone else I was looking forward to Snetterton with great anticipation. Although Victor was unfortunately crocked following his Oulton crash, all the other signs were good. Matt was buzzing after his fantastic ride at Oulton and then we had the prospect of Warwick on the MV Agusta. In fact I was so excited I got there a day early (Thursday) and helped get the wigwam sorted.
Steve, Steve, Stewy and Kevin (does that sound like the Trumpton Fire Brigade?) [these guys are the engineering team] had the bikes running nicely and so it was off for the Free Practice session. As usual the top 2 or 3 guys were straight on the pace and doing 1 minute 8 seconds straight away. For us to make any impact it's clear that we need to be arriving at the circuit with the bikes capable from this first session of getting straight onto it. But then we know this.

Matt was like a greased weasel and he posted the 7th quickest time so he had lost nothing since Oulton and clearly was brimming with confidence. In fact we saw him smile once so that is an indication of how cheerful he was. Warwick was taking a slightly more cautious approach, this being the first real dry session he's had on the bike, plus he hasn't been to the circuit since 05. Posting a 1' 10.714" on the 14th lap in this session he was confident there was more to come later in the day. So Free Practice ended with Warwick in a decent enough 20th place.

Some adjustments were made to both bikes during the interval before they went out for the first official qualifying session.

Everyone went to the chicane just before the start while I wandered off to the main back straight to see where Warwick was braking, the paperwork showed the bike was 10mph down on top speed which indicated he was braking early for the corner.

After just 4 laps the session was halted with a red flag incident, and somehow I just had this feeling that it was Warwick as he didn't come round for the 5th lap with the other riders. After a short while of suspense it came over the loudspeakers that Warwick was down at the chicane. Bugger, another broken bike and a waste of valuable track time.

Meanwhile Matt was riding like a God and finished the session in 8th place, provisionally on the second row and his best qualifying this season. Warwick had posted a 1' 10.677" before he crashed on his 4th lap which was a bit quicker than he went in the morning session after 14 laps so that initially looked promising.

When I got back and found that Warwick had highsided right in front of everyone including the anxious and tearful Kris [Warwicks wife], and he had gone to the medical centre. I was still not really prepared for what happened next. I arrived at the medical centre just after the x-ray had been taken, and Warwick told me he'd broken his wrist. A million things pass through your mind at that moment, the worst one being what on earth am I going to tell Jon [Jon Strike is the team owner]. You can't turn the clock back or change anything, so you take comfort from the fact that nobody was seriously hurt and in a few weeks time we can pick ourselves up and move on.

I did try and persuade the Doctor to just give Warwick some tablets for the broken wrist so he could get back out and finish qualifying and race tomorrow. He seemed a bit reluctant and Warwick was shaking his head in disbelief at my perfectly reasonable request, but he politely declined my idea of tablets. So I immediately suggested that we give injections a go thinking that Warwick could just ride through the pain and start the healing process on Monday. Again, the Doctor was very polite and patiently explained to me that dislodging the bones would take much longer to heal. What finally stopped me coming up with another idea was that the Doctor could see me trying to get Warwick back on the bike, so he quickly slapped a plaster on his arm. That was it, game over, with a plaster cast on there was no way he could ride.

What was worse it that it was still only Friday, we had the rest of the weekend to get through yet. I made a very short call to Jon and trudged back to the awning.

All credit to Warwick, despite braking his wrist and no doubt aching a bit he stayed on all weekend to help and support, although he did sneak off without helping to take the awning down.

We had to wait until one o'clock before the second qualifying session but everyone came out to support Matt. Once again he rode like the wind and looked very spectacular backing the Yamaha into the first chicane. At the end of the session Matt had once again improved his times over this session to a fantastic 1' 08.694" just over half a second off pole position. Very well done Matt.

Jon had purchased a space heater to warm the awning up of an evening, but it wasn't a little humble heater, this thing looked like a full sized ride on steam engine. The children couldn't help themselves of course and it ended up with a full set of racing decals, trick wheels, a race seat, fairing and handlebars. Even the guy from MCN was impressed.

Sunday morning started bright and clear with the warm up session kicking off at 09.00. 4 laps in and Matt had a big off at the first corner, but not before setting the 7th quickest time of the session. With the bike back in the garage it was all hands to the pump getting it repaired for the race at lunch time. To their great credit the bike was bandaged up and caressed back into life. Once again we all tramped off to the infamous chicane to watch. Strange thing though, we didn't see Matt on the sighting lap, after all the qualifying effort and the work by Kev and the team to repair it, something mechanical cried enough and poor Matt never got the start. What a shame.

So it was Rod's turn to show the others how it should be done and after a race long struggle he did his best time on lap nine, Once more Rod is chipping big lumps off his time every session he goes out which again underlines the need to practice there beforehand. Interestingly Rod's 1' 10.9" in the race would have made him quickest in the Free Practice session at the beginning of the weekend.

So there we go, another weekend that has left us older, and perhaps a little wiser. Roll on Mondello."

There you go, a typical weekend at the races.

Bob


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-18-2007, 10:38 AM
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Thank You for giving us such an in depth look into a BSB Team race weekend. My gosh, You get really not ballybrushed this Season. As the Italian MV Agusta Teams aren't as fortunate this Season in WSTK and CIV SBK / STK. Hey things can only get better and I press my thumbs for You for the next rounds.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-18-2007, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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And this was one of our better meetings!!


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-18-2007, 11:11 AM
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Thanks for the report.

We ALL love this stuff; PLEASE keep the chronicles coming.

Peter
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-18-2007, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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No, no I couldn't possibly do any more.

All right then.

This was from the very first round at Brands Hatch. A couple of things to bear in mind though, it is ironic British self mocking humour which might not translate well. This was done with tongue in cheek. Also bear in mind that after some strong top 10 finishes on an old R1 last year we thought we were going to be right in the groove from the off.

Brands Hatch - 7, 8 and 9 April 2007 -

Well that was a weekend we won't forget in a hurry.

We had every possible emotion going (except jealousy). There was great happiness at being at the first round of the new season, we looked like a major player with the new awning, the display boards, the chrome furniture, the team clothing and of course the new bikes with their new paint.

Then we had the double whammy of despair when Victor came round Druids with the MV sounding like a box of spanners, followed half a minute later by the session being red flagged when Matt turned the Yamaha into a space craft.

Then we had anxiety trying to find out how Matt was before to our great relief the ambulance dropped him off with nothing more than a suspected broken ankle. At least we had nice surroundings of the new comfortable awning to sit around worried in.

But despair was not far away when Matt's bike came back to the garage in a hearse. The race engineers did a fantastic job on both bikes, particularly on Matt's breathing a new life into something that looked very sorry indeed.

A mention for Rod as well, he did a great job in qualifying 25th out of 55 in his very first 'Senior' ride. Well done mate, we were all very happy for you.

From anxiety to relief and back to despair again when the MV was stripped only to establish we didn't have the parts to replace the damaged bit. Then it was back to great joy again when superhero Mitch Mosley of Red Dog Motorcycles came to the rescue with a part taken from his own motorcycle.

Then we had a drink and forgot why we were ever there in the first place.

Starting from 28th (Matt) and 37th (Victor) on the grid we'd resigned ourselves to the fact that today we were unlikely to strike gold.

Good news greeted race day and thus great joy was experienced when Matt hobbled in with nothing more than a sprained ankle after all. He could get his boot on and as such we were all happy again.

Even morning Warm Up passed without incident and so a plateau of happiness was maintained.

Then we began to feel the tension as 3 o'clock came round and the Superstock Championship called.

Like football, racing is a funny old game. Victor made a flying start as Matt tried to join him 3 rows back after what he described as a sluggish getaway. No kidding. As things progressed both our gallant jockeys managed to overtake a few riders (to our great and emotional joy/surprise). In fact Victor had managed to work his way up 12 places to 25th when he and the MV took an excursion into a place not known to get the best from the bike. Great despair was experienced as he dragged the bike from the kitty litter and back onto the track.

Matt went steadily on his way up to a creditable 19th at the end. A good start might have seen Matt putting up a decent fight for points.

For Victor things got a little better for a while but in his attempt to get back from the brink he went into Druids too quickly and he was into the kitty litter again. So that was sad.

But on our roller coaster of a day, I was standing next to Jon the boss when the bikes came back from Park Ferme and we couldn't find any damage to the MV, what joy. Normally Victor brings a broken bike back after a little off, this time he crashed out twice with 20,000 people watching and the TV on him, and the bike was undamaged, more joy.

Rod managed to achieve a very rare thing. A lesson learnt. Making changes to the bike after morning warm up should be against the rules because they never ever work. And today was another example of this rule being proved right again. Rod decided after sleeping on it overnight, that the gearing wasn't quite right, warm up only confirmed his suspicions. So he changed the sprockets with the inevitable result, he chose the wrong ones. What this did was help Rod work his way steadily back down the leader board which was a great shame after a most creditable couple of days of practice and qualifying. Sadness was the resulting emotion.

So there it was, an emotional time was had (enjoyed) by all.

Roll on Thruxton with all it's surprises.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-18-2007, 12:50 PM
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yep good stuff bob!!! keep em coming youll get a good audience here
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-18-2007, 02:43 PM
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Thanks Bob, what an enjoyable read,

Iv'e been there with the warm up thing, ''well do this to fix that, and changing this will sort the other problem out''.....................just never works

(This reply has not been checked for punctuation, grammar, or spelling mistakes and is devoid of any big long cleverwords or condescending manner)


MV's all gone now, still have a soft spot for MV's, waiting for MV to tick all my boxes again.
Previously (and about 40 others)748SP, S4, S4R, 98R1, 2000 F4, F41000S, F41000R, 08R1, 09R1, S1000RR, RSV4 Factory aPRC in Garage now
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