STP report from Knockhill -
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-19-2007, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
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STP report from Knockhill

Having put a couple of these up and found that at least 2 people read them, I'm motivated to slowly bring things up to date. As before I need to put some things into context so that it makes sense.

The "Vicar" is Victor Cox who rode the MV until breaking his wrist badly at Oulton Park. Chris Burns did 2 years in MotoGP with the WCM team, Warwick Nowland is double world endurance champion who broke his left wrist on the MV at Snetterton. Rod is Rod Lynn riding and R1 in the Superstock Cup with us and Matt is Matt Whitman on an R1, Matt is a good young rider who was runner up in last years Virgin Mobile Cup. My role in the team is head of the BBQ.

Knockhill - 29 and 30 June, 1 July 2007 -

Knockhill, just the very word brings a shiver to my spine. I think it's possible that one of my ancestors might have been brutally murdered there and my genetic make up is stimulated into the fear reaction even now. Apart from that though I was looking forward to the nine hour drive in the rain to get there.

I have previously mentioned that this racing thing is an emotional roller coaster and this weekend was no different.

Friday, left home bright and early and exactly 127 miles up the road the pleasant Steve from West Coast Superbikes rang to confirm arrangements for the weekend. Steve owns the only MV Agusta dealership in Scotland and we'd invited him and his team along for the entertainment. This was when I first realised that I had left his passes at home, durr. So that was bad.

Nothing much else happened and I duly arrived at the circuit just after six in the evening. Free Practice (again I ask why they call it free?) had taken place and things were looking promising, which is good.

We had along the experienced Chris Burns this weekend, riding for the injured 'Vicar' who had taken the trouble to turn up for the team knowing he couldn't ride. Chris had put the bike in 7th place 0.5 seconds off pole. However he was less than happy and demanded a number of radical changes to the bike for qualifying. Matt was struggling to get a good feel for the bike but was getting steadily quicker.

At least the weather had held out and as midnight arrived it was still bright and dry. Sorry that should be light and dry, Knockhill doesn't really get dark, and then it gets light again!! So I thought I'd get the camera out and knock off some pictures for the web site. It was then that I discovered that I had driven 532 miles without the memory card in the camera. Not pleased.

Rod was out for his free practice at 5:30, this was his first visit so it was a question of familiarisation, ending up on a 55.0 for 31st position. Pretty good in the circumstances. Rod is another rider who just gets quicker all weekend.

As luck would have it Saturday morning turned out bright and dry with a nice dry track. I was beginning the get more than just a bit nervous at the prospect of getting a front row qualifying position. The time came and out they went.

Chris seems to bully his way out of pit lane rather like Steve Brogan does and was one of the first riders through to the hairpin. Everything was looking good and Chris was gradually building up the pace when the MV cut out, it restarted but clearly there was a problem so back into the pits. A quick once over failed to identify an obvious problem like a missing wheel and tyre or anything like that so he set off again only for the problem to repeat itself. And really that was it for morning qualifying, ending up a rather disappointing 27th. Still, if the problem could be diagnosed and fixed we have the second qualifying session in the afternoon to make amends.

Matt was looking really good on a circuit that he quite likes and moved from a gloomy 28th in Free Practice to 20th and over 1.1 seconds quicker and only 1.04 seconds off pole. Yes, one second covered the top twenty. Good work Matt.

Remember that I left my passes at home, so I went over to the BSB office hoping that they could see the problem in a sympathetic light and replace them for this event for me. Not a chance, they were not prepared to listen to any pleadings at all, if I wanted to get the team guests in their answer was to buy some more tickets. You can only hope that one day we will be asked a favour from them, and I wonder what response they will get. So much for goodwill.

Rod managed to go a second quicker in qualifying and moved nowhere which is frustrating for him, but early days yet.

Knockhill could not have been less kind to us. It stayed dry for the rest of the morning and well into the afternoon. About an hour before we were due to go out the wind got up and the dreaded clouds, big nasty dark ones started moving in. Edinborough vanished and you just knew what was going to happen next. And it did, for the next two days pretty much. 45 minutes before our critical qualifying session it rained, and rained, and rained.

For those that had a decent qualifying time in the dry session the wet qualifying in the afternoon was just practice. Having said that it was fantastic to see the MV get the fastest time of the session by over four tenths proving that the bike is now becoming truly competitive. The forecast was rain for the rest of the weekend so at least we knew that Chris and the MV would be a real threat in the race. A special mention to Kev and Steve for locating that little electrical problem and getting the bike out on time.

In Rod's second session he had the benefit of the rain like the rest of us, encouragingly though he was 24th quickest which was looking good again for the race tomorrow morning.

Saturday evening was interesting with a delightful visitor challenging Victor to some topless arm wrestling. Just for the record Victor lost due to some cunning tactics by his opponent, the distraction of breasts that close to him drained all the blood from his arms. Top girl, you are very welcome to come back to our awning whenever you want.

Sunday morning and it was still raining. Once more we were first out for the warm up session which once again saw the MV and Chris right up there finishing a close second to wet weather specialist Kenny Gilbertson. Once again Matt was showing consistent improvement on the Yamaha and was 14th in the session.

Rod had a stunning ride, from a grid position of 31st coming through to an amazing 19th by the end. For Rod at least it had to be considered a pretty decent weekend and very well done to him.

Chris thought it was a bit of a challenge to come from 27th on the grid to win the race starting just after midday. I felt our best chances were if the track stayed wet, but guess what happened? Unbelievably the track started to show a dry line, and once they hade done their sighting lap it was decided to keep the wet front in but stick the dry tyre in the rear. I didn't know this and thought Chris and Matt were out on wets all round.

The lights went out and by the time they all came round the hairpin at the end of the first lap, it started raining. Why, we had dry tyres in and it was officially a wet race. Instead of our two lads having made a great start they were pretty much exactly where they qualified, on the wrong tyres.

As it happened the race was red flagged after two laps as the conditions had rapidly become too dangerous to race in. Back in pit lane the rain bounced several inches off the ground for over an hour making racing impossible. It would ease off a bit then start again, dreadful.

Eventually the race organisers decided to scrap our race until later in the day, and to fit in with TV Schedules the Superbikes went out at the first safe opportunity. Then we heard that the Superstock Cup and the R6 Virgin Media races had been cancelled and we were re-scheduled to go out at the end of the day.

So we should have been racing at 12:10 and because of the delays had been told to expect to go at 17:50. So we waited and watched, and got wetter while waiting. Close to the time to think about getting ready to go we were finally told our race had been cancelled too. This was a fiasco and a disaster for us.

Knockhill, still makes me shudder.


We do these tongue in cheek reports anyway so copying them to here is no problem. It would be nice to get some feedback about whether you want me to continue.

Regards to all.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-19-2007, 05:26 PM
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yes why not!!!!has a member of your website ive read em all b4 like!!!!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-19-2007, 06:44 PM
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Yes, please continue

(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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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
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Vic took the number 1 bike out for a test at Castle Combe during the week. This is the first time he's ridden since his crash at Oulton earlier in the year. Somone sent me somae pictures which I've put up in my photo album if they are of any interest.

All things being equal Vic will ride the bike at the Castle Combe meeting in a weeks time, it's their biggest meeting of the year and he generally goes very well there.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 08:10 AM
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Thanks for the report Bob , almost had to put my brolly up halfway through.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 08:14 AM
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Yes Bob please continue ! It is a delight to read Your Stories ! Even if the Circumstances are not as great. But You have a nice writing Style and even when I do not have time, I'm glued to Your Stories. And further thank You for Your Photo's, I love Your british humor comments to the Photo's !
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-20-2007, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Looking at the stats in the My Photo Album section I can see that people really like the bike pictures rather than the people images. For now I've posted up some pictures of the bikes that I wouldn't normally have used, and next time I'm right up close I'll get some proper close ups. Hope you like these.

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