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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
this weekend at croft was just yet another frustrating weekend racing of achieving not very much.

in free practice martin was straight on pace and going well but had complained of a headache before going out, no one thought much of this as we all get headaches, he came in from practice without saying much to the team and went back to his caravan to try and get rid of this headache, but suspension was good and his times were an improvement on his times from last year so the continual increase with pace is still happening.

Howie was not doing so well finding it really hard to get a set up that worked, we would cure one problem to be faced with yet another which would mean undoing the work that had just been done, frustrating for howie and also for wurz (suspension man). after free practice and with his times well down we all discussed the problems and decided to make a few changes and hope for the best.

first qualifying comes and martin is once again improving and improving managing to post 4th place :) outstanding, his first front row position in the championship, this place held untill the last lap where he dropped to 5th but the time was impressive and we still had another session to go

howie yet again was really having difficulty getting the bike to do what he wanted it to do reporting that it was trying to highside him everywhere and that no matter what we did it just didn't seem to make any real big difference, so with qualifying over and howie down in 25th we headed back to the awning to try and find out what else was happening with the bike, frustration was high with everyone as we just couldn't understand the sudden lack of grip and control. after much thinking and discussion we pulled the shock out and had it checked over and serviced and boy did it need it....................for the second time this season , so with confidence up again on might well have been happening we set about making all the changes and prepping the bikes for the next day.

martin on the other hand even though he put in a blistering time over a second faster than last year was not looking well, complaining of an increased headache and generally not looking at all healthy he went back to his caravan and was not seen untill 2pm the following day :( we checked up on him from time to time and he basically slept for an entire day.

by second qualifying howie was determinded to get his times up and was pushing hard and although we had cured many of the problems he faced and now actually had some adjustements grip and drive was still an issue on a few corners for him, with a tyre change towards the end of the session he started creeping his times down and knocked half a second off in 2 laps before the chequered flag came out, still low down in 25th but feeling better on the bike.

martin went out looking very pale but amazingly was almost straight back to his pace within a few laps but by lap 4 had pulled in exhausted and unable to finish the session, he was so weak that he could barely open a bottle of water and we were getting quite concerned now.

this weekend there was one extra free practice session at the end of the day and we opted to do this with howie to try to cure this grip problem. with more setting vhanges he matched his qualifying time on his first flying lap and looked set to be getting somewhere for the first time all weekend untill one of the corners he had been struggling with all weekend bit back and he highsided the bike the back end just spun round with no warning and it was a devastating blow to a hard weekend for him, the crash has resulted in some smashed knuckles for him which sees him miss the next round at cadwell but he'll be back for donington. he put his heart and soul into trying to make that bike work and unfortunatly it bit back on the one place he had been saving highsides on all weekend, it looked to be a flyer of a lap aswell as he was visibly faster faster into and out of a few bends before gravity took over

martin however was unable to start the race due to not being well enough, had he of started would have been a reckless and dangerous decision by either the team or rider as the likelyhood of passing out could have been very high, which during a race is not really the wisest thign to happen. we have no idea exactly what illness he has/had but even by last night on the way home he was still very pale and not really with it at all, again this was a devastating blow to what could of been his best ever grid position and race. even by missing most of 2nd qualifying he only dropped to 9th and i'm sure that his times would have got quicker keeping him on at least the 2nd row.

the riders rode their hearts out against very tough conditions for them both, martin with not feeling 100% and howie with a bike not doing what he wanted it to do or what we tried to make it do, croft looks like being a track that we need to work on with him and the bike to find that set up that works......................it just wasn't meant to be our weekend but yet again has increased the knowledge on these MV's in their first season here and shown us just how wrong it can all go when lady luck can't find your awning we're a bit down hearted but we're by no means out, the riders are continuing to get faster, martin especially given that he has stepped up to this championship from the cup in what is possibly the hardest and most competitive year for the championship ever and is rising to the challenge very nicely.

cheers to all the team and the riders for working so very hard to keep moral up and keep moving forward against the odds.

cheers


chris
X-bikes MV Agusta
 

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Thanks for the report Chris, what a shite weekend :)
 
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