A win for an MV at Castle Combe - MVAgusta.net
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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A win for an MV at Castle Combe

I often talk about racing as being an emotional thing. It’s hard to really quantify it because it is different for all of us and is more subtle than just being happy or sad. But once again we had an emotional weekend, this time at Castle Combe.



This is an annual event which in the past has been graced by some of the BSB Superbike teams although sadly they were not present this year. Having said that their were one or two regular BSB riders and the very best from the Club scene present to try and take Victors title from him. Last year Victor won the Fowlers Superbike National Grand Prix title and was here to defend it, this time on the MV Agusta F4 312R of STP Racing. There are two races and the accumulated times decide the winner.



This was the first competitive outing for Vic since his Oulton crash, and his first ride since the loss of his very close friend Ollie Bridewell in an accident at Mallory Park a little over one week ago. It was going to be painful whatever the outcome.



Victor wasn’t due to go out on track until 17:00, so we had plenty of time to get set up and everything sorted.



We know Vic is quick at the track, his history here proves that, but we had never run the MV here before, and we didn’t know the strength of the opposition either. What we also struggled with was that it wasn’t raining. It’s been so long since we had a bike on the track in the dry we were a bit bemused by it all. We think the last dry weekend could have been Thruxton back in April (this year). The Free Practice session went like a dream and Vic ended up quickest by a decent margin, over 1.3 seconds in fact. This puts a great deal of pressure on now because the expectations rise exponentially when things are going well.



We were next due out at track at 08:45 Sunday morning for qualifying, that’s right, the same 08:45 that happens every day before we get up!



Things returned to normal overnight as it started to rain at about eight in the evening and was still chucking it down when we all crawled off to bed. The morning dawned dark and nasty, big horrid clouds, and no wind. Their were big puddles everywhere and it looked like a typical race meeting for us. Then, it started to get unpredictable. The rain had stopped in the early hours, the cloud was now thinning at about 08:00 hours the sun started to appear. Would we run dry tyres or wets? In the end we went for wets but with a dry rear in the warmer which we would throw in if we needed to.



As our class was the first out on track we were the explorers, and it was patchy and marginal for wet tyres. In the pit lane some of the riders started putting full slicks in and I must confess to getting concerned. Not to worry though, at the end of the damp session Vic was on Pole by three tenths. Let me just repeat that, an MV Agusta was on Pole for the race due to start at 13:20.



The first race looked like it was going to be in dry conditions and so the bike was returned to the dry settings from the Free Practice session of Saturday evening. With nothing else left to do we just became more and more anxious.



13:20 arrived and Vic went out to take his Pole position on the grid. After the warm up lap we were ready for the lights. Off they went and the MV lurched and pitched off the line straight back into about 12th place. By the end of the second lap Vic had gone up to 4th place and each lap after he picked up another place, taking the lead on the 6th lap. He and fellow BSB rider Nick Pusey on an R1 began to pull away together leaving the pack behind. This was pretty exciting stuff and we thought the win was ours. Stewy was the team boss for the day, and he was skulking around like an expectant father, pacing up and down with all the worries of the world on his shoulders. He looked good with it though!! On the last lap however Nick Pusey mugged Vic and we were relegated to 2nd place. Over the Line Victor trailed home three tenths down. What a disappointment after all the expectations from the free practice and qualifying sessions. Nothing must be taken for granted. After the podium celebrations it was back for a debrief.



Victor was not happy at all, his wrist was really sore after lap 8 and the bike set-up was miles away from what he wanted. The gearing was also wrong, in fact nothing was right and he was fairly depressed. Now if I had come second I would have been pretty damned happy. But as I have no ability I guess that would be acceptable. For Vic however coming second was a reason to consider throwing himself onto a sword. Steve Ellis the head engineer for the day calmly led the debrief, worked out what all the problems were and set about making the changes to the bike. Vic also wanted the clutch looked at but we didn’t have time to deal with that. Steve felt that Victor would love or hate the new settings as they were quite radically different from the first race, it was a gamble in the search for the win, but something had to be done for the 15 lapper at 16:00. The other point about this was of course the additional 5 laps to do, Victor was finished after 10 laps with his wrist in real trouble, getting to the end of a 15 lap race was going to be tough.



Half an hour before we were due out, our race was called so it was a mad panic to get ready in time, and then we just had to sit on the start line for 10 minutes.



This time we started in the finishing order from the first race which meant second place on the grid. It might as well have been 4th row because Victor managed to get another wretched start and went backwards no doubt to other peoples delight. We were the biggest team there, and to get humiliated is what would have seemed like good sport to most people.



So Victor started the process of pulling back all the places he lost at the start which made for really good racing. Like in the last race he managed to get past everyone and took the lead on lap 6 and pulled a great margin of over 3 seconds in 4 laps. Guess what happened next? The Pace Car came out and his lead dropped to nothing over the next 3 laps while the debris was cleared up. Then we were told that there was to be an extra 2 laps added to the race duration, oh no, we had put fuel in for 15 laps and now it was to be an eighteen lap race. Plus of course no gap over the second placed Nick Pusey again. The only good thing about the Pace Car was it gave Vic time to relax his wrist before the sprint for the last 5 laps.



When the Pace Car pulled off the circuit Victor led the field round, with Pusey ominously close this time. In fact Victor couldn’t shake him off at all and a repeat of the first race looked inevitable. For 4 laps the two of them circulated together with all of us thinking that Pusey would pass Victor to take the honours. Good job Victor wasn’t thinking that though. On the last lap Victor did a block move where Pusey had come by in the first race and this did just enough to make Pusey back off enough. When they came back into site Victor was 10 bike lengths ahead as they went into the final chicane, eight bike lengths ahead as they came round the last corner, and .75 of a second ahead over the line. Victor had won the race, but more importantly also won the Fowlers Superbike Grand National as well, on the MV Agusta.



Naturally being reserved British people, we clapped politely and shook hands with all sorts of people. Well we did that but only after making more noise than a hovering Harrier jet, yes we were a bit pleased and relieved.



We know it wasn’t a win at the top level with all the Championship contenders there, but it wasn’t racing at the bottom of the food chain either, not by a long way. It was a rehabilitation ride for Victor and it was a confidence booster for the team who have worked so hard and been dogged by such bad luck this year.



For the team it was a great weekend, but for Victor it was a real time for growing up, reflection and evaluation. His career will continue and we hope it grows from strength to strength just as it should. For Victors friend Ollie of course this won’t happen. We saw a lot of Ollie at race weekends, he was always very approachable and happy to talk with anyone. He always had a big smile on his face and he just loved doing what he did and he was such a good natured young lad. Victor wanted to win this for Ollie and he did just that.



[font='Calibri','sans-serif']While this win was a great boost for the team, a really nice win for MV Agusta, and a personal triumph for Victor, we would like to dedicate this weekend to the memory of a lovely young lad, Ollie Bridewell.[/font]


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 07:28 AM
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excellent news , a morale booster to go into the brands wildcard ride well done the stp team n vic!!!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 07:55 AM
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Fantastic news for MV and a great writeup.
News of Ollies passing made it to OZ, RIP mate.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Happy man



Victor the victor, a happy smiling 21 year old. I bet he is smiling too having had the chance to cane the nuts off the bike for 15 laps, and someone else paid for the fuel. Would make even me happy too.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 09:36 AM
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Awesome news!!!

Congrats for Victor and the STP Team
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 09:51 AM
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Good stuff Bob congratulations

(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 #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 12:11 PM
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Bob – That’s some outstanding racing, and an outstanding write-up. You’ve captured the energy and excitement you all must have felt. You guys who get to do this on a regular basis make it pretty hard for me to sit on my ass here in this office all day long. Our warmest congratulations to you and the rest of the team, and a special “thanks” to Vicar for showing his stuff. It will be interesting to see him continue to improve.

Now, all you need is a “Miss STP” contest. I can make arrangement to travel to the U.K. to be a part of the judging. In fact, my specialty is evaluating the “talent” portion of the competition.

Andy C.

'00 YAM R1
'06 MV Brutale S
'08 MV 312R
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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Victor is still only just 21, and still growing. He's nearly eight feet tall now which is why he makes the bike look so little. I think it was in 2000 that he was the British Mini-Moto Champion (he was a bit big for a mini-moto really) before moving on to proper two wheelers. His best result was a win at the Brands Hatch GP circuit in the Virgin Mobile R6 Cup which is a very prestigious event here in the UK. Just to put that win in perspective he beat Tommy Hill (Superbike rider currently with Virgin Yamaha) and Cal Crutchlow (now with Rizla Suzuki and the reigning British Supersport Champion) so we know that on his day he is very capable.

We have the bike featured in a Photo Shoot for Fast Bikes magazine, unfortunately the naked lady in the pictures does obscure some of the nicer points of the bike so you will just have to use your imagination.

Also, another organisation I believe an Internet based bike magazine superbike-news.com has been in touch to ask if they can supply two of their models at Brands Hatch for a photo shoot. If you want to pop round and organise that for us that would take a bit of strain off us. The models come from this organisation http://www.grid-girls.co.uk/Agency/G...SBNGallery.htm. As I say if you can help out that would be great.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 01:46 PM
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You’re killing me. Let me make sure that I've got this straight – they called you and asked if it were okay to send models? As in, "Is it alright if we send a couple of scantily-clad, nubile young ladies around to do pretty much anything you say so long as it gets their photos in the magazine"?

There is something deeply and profoundly unfair in this situation.

In any event, I discussed your offer with my Social Coordinator. Strangely, she was less enthusiastic than I had thought that she might be (must be that Baptist upbringing). But then, she’s always missed the big picture.

However, I think that I have found a solution. I only need to convince her that I would be performing a public service (Baptist’s are big on that sort of thing).

So, if you could kindly ask the girls to send me a personal invitation to participate in the photo shoot as Worldwide Artistic Neo-Kinetic Empowerment Resource (WANKER), with their conviction that I am uniquely qualified to conceive of a variety of dramatic, creative and evocative poses chosen to convey the proper sense of gravity, majesty and prestige to this portentous event, I’m a shoo-in. She might even buy the ticket.

Afterwards, we can drink ourselves stupid (less of a journey for me, though).

Andy C.

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'08 MV 312R
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-31-2007, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, you got it right, they called us. However they do think we are Team Troy Bayliss, that is because Warwick Nowland took the call and he comes from 'stralier', calls himself Troy most of the time. Always works.

It is a tough job though and we put out heart and soul into it, there are things that just have to be done whether you like it or not. Some women fail to understand the social interaction that takes at a race circuit, it's not all bikes and oily fingernails any more, no sir.

Talking of drinking yourself stupid, I do that BEFORE writing these posts as a rule.

I just hope Chris from X-Bikes doesn't read this, we could be in for a very long thread.

Cheers

Bob


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