Stu Goodson #36 Golden Era Superbike
Saturday GE SBK Race 1
After a fairly decent morning qualifying on a damp but drying track I managed to post a time that saw me start the race from the middle of row 4 in 11thplace. I had a good start making up a few places in difficult wet conditions battling for a podium place with one of my rivals in my class throughout the whole race, I couldn’t match his top speed down the two long straights but made up for it under braking and faster corner speed so we were constantly swapping positions until finally he tried out braking me on the penultimate lap causing him to run on at the end of the back straight and then had to re-join the circuit, this opened up the gap in my favour. He subsequently crashed on the last lap trying to catch me handing me a well earnt 3rdplace in my class and my first trophy of the 2019 season. Overall I finished 9th. Well happy!
Saturday GE SBK Race 2
By the afternoon the sun had come out and the track had dried sufficiently enough to run slick tyres. Starting from the same position as race 1, I again made a fairly good start and overtook a few riders into turn one. After the first lap I started to get spots of rain on my visor but pressed on as best as I could on a new set of Dunlop cut slicks that had a higher profile than the slicks I’m used to, a combination of this and a defective steering damper were causing some horrendous handling issues when leant over on the two fast sweeping corners, this meant I had to back off and subsequently lost a few places. The rain gradually got heavier to the point where the track became wet and unsafe for dry tyres, bikes were by now crashing quite frequently, and I myself had a huge slide coming out of the last corner on to the start/finish straight causing me to throw in the towel and pull into pit lane after only 3 or 4 laps resulting in a DNF. Not Happy!
The Interservice-Military race was scheduled for the final race of the day but ended up being postponed until the following morning due to the weather and lack of time remaining.
Sunday Inter-Service Military Race
Yesterdays qualifying time placed me at the back of row 2 in 6thplace for the Military race which was held straight after morning warm up on a wet track. I again made a good start but lacked the wet pace of some of the rival riders which meant I lost a few places during the opening laps. As the race progressed and I got into my rhythm, I managed to increase my pace but had to remain as smooth as I could to avoid any mistakes. A number of riders from all three teams succumbed to the poor conditions but the Navy seemed to take the biggest toll finishing the race with only 5 riders. I managed 1stin class but 10thoverall.
Sunday GE SBK Race 1
Grid positions for today were taken from Saturdays lap times, this put me further back at the centre of row 6 in 17thplace. The weather by now was torrential rain and probably the worst conditions I have ever raced in. After another good start I again made up some places into turn one but visibility was heavily reduced due to the spray from all the bikes bunched together during these early stages. As the race progressed the bikes became spread out further reducing the spray effect making visibility slightly more bearable. I was running in 3rdplace in my class for most of this race. Unfortunately my visor then started to completely mist up meaning I couldn’t see a thing, I tried to open my visor at every opportunity to demist it a little but could not open the release mechanism due to having soggy gloves and numb fingers. I had no choice but to slow right down in order to eventually finish the race, this meant losing 3rdplace to one of my rivals and having to settle for 4th in class. Considering the conditions and lack of visibility I was quite please I even finished the race at all. I finished 15thoverall.
Sunday GE SBK Race 2
Starting form the same position as race 1, by the afternoon the rain had now abated and the track was drying, there were still damp patches so it was a really difficult decision whether to go out on my wet bike or dry bike, I decided to go for the former as my wet tyres were pretty worn anyway so didn’t really mind destroying them further. After another great start I managed to make up a couple of places and quickly got into a good rhythm running in 2ndplace in my class but eventually got passed by another rider in my class who had to start from the back of the grid. I had a few good battles with one of the more powerful GP1 classic 1000cc motorcycles right up until the last lap regularly diving up the inside in the last corner but losing out to it’s horsepower advantage down the start finish straight. Unfortunately I lost this battle but ended up finishing 3rdin class and 11thoverall. Another trophy in the bag.
Charlie White #44 CB500
Test day- After a long absence from the track I was a bit concerned on how I would get on, but after a couple of sessions I felt comfortable and was happy with my lap times.
Qualifying- overnight rain had come in, so after a dry test day rain was now the concern. Being out first we had to test the conditions. It was slippery. After losing the rear a couple of times on the out lap and watching other competitors crash I took my time to build some pace and find where the grip was. In the end I had the best qualifying I have ever had in 7th
Race 1- after the rain in the morning the track started to dry but was still damp enough for wet tyres. Had a great start and held my position against other racers who are normally way ahead of me. I was winning my class until the final lap after becoming a bit complacent with my lead. But still pleased with my result as it was the best one I had ever had, 2nd in class and 6th overall.
Race 2 – finally a dry bit of track time but the track was greasy after the mornings downpour. As it was dry now other racers who didn’t like the wet come through and couldn’t hold them off. But another podium in 3rd this time and 11th overall.
Military race- the conditions of the track were drying but it was still damp so I decided to go for some old wet tyres. After a few laps of a drying track a downpour of rain came which I was happy with as being on the smaller 500 bike I could make advantage of this. Slowly catching up the bigger bikes and getting frustrated with them constantly overtaking me on the long straights I pushed the front too much and crashed and the end of the back straight. DNF
Race 3 – due to my crash in the military race I missed race 3.
Race 4- last race of the weekend, and after failing to finish the last 2 races I was determined to do well. Starting in 14th now due to mega laps I had a good start pushing up a few places. I started to pull away from the group I was in but after 2 consecutive mistakes the group caught me up again. After a few laps of constant overtaking, one rider pushed too hard and dived up the inside of me lost the front mid corner. I had no where else to go but into him
Pit crew report – Alan Curtis
With the team all set up at Snetterton, the weather was the biggest talking point and would play havoc over the weekend.
Friday testing brought its usual fun and games for the pit crew. The newest team rider James, had a mis hap when he lost the front. A bit of tape and he was back on his way, however his bike cut out during the next testing phase. The pit crew worked hard and came up with a solution but ran out of time to be able to test it, fingers crossed for race one then James. Jimmy had a mis hap on his CB500 but it was a quick fix.
Race day for the team, with the weather changing its mind every two minutes and the pit crew having to change tyres just as much meant it was a long, busy day. With lots of crashes during qualifying and the first two races there was concern about the track condition, however it didn’t stop James from winning 3rdplace in his first ever race. Proving that the bike the pit crew had worked on and crossed fingers had paid off.
Day one over with and the military race due to commence on the Sunday morning, final preps were being done to the bikes.
Sunday Morning, ‘Derek’ turned up with his usual admin of a R1 and had to borrow one of the pit crews helmets to even race. With his bike sorted and out for testing on time, the pit crew then got all the riders out and ready to go on time for the military race.
From our position at the side of the track the only way to describe what we were seeing was carnage, there were bikes high siding coming out of corners and low siding coming into corners, however no sign of ‘Derek’. With a quick jog back to the team awnings, there was ‘Derek’ covered in mud and not looking happy.
We had a lot of riders go down during the race but nothing too terminal so all sorted and fixed ready for their respective races.
After a chat the pit crew convinced him to get back out for his first race, he stayed upright the whole race and came back with a smile, Result!
Our newest rider James came home with a 2ndplace and his bike behaving itself.