Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Rain Again - Oliver's Mount Spring cup - April 2015

The first proper outing since the Manx Grand Prix was the Spring Cup at Oliver's Mount, and Nick's first time on a bike in 2015.

We brought the 400 ZXR and two Kawasaki ER6 supertwins. It wasn't ideal that the rain fell heavily on the Saturday morning, resulting in a heavy crash for one of the Irish riders. This caused a long delay and meant that practice on both bikes was cancelled.

Qualifying on the 400 went well considering having no tracktime at all, putting it third on the grid and front row. The main problem was Nick having to get to grips with slipping the clutch out of the three tight hairpins, as the bike runs an SP close-ratio gearbox. The 650 supertwin qualifying took place as the track was drying out, and a choice of wets when it should have been dry tyres meant we qualified in 8th place.

By Saturday afternoon the track had dried out ready for both races. In the 400cc race, Nick came home in 5th place, which we knew could be improved on Sunday.

On Sunday morning, Nick dislocated his left shoulder on his first qualifying lap on the supertwin, and no lap time was set. Fortunately the problem was sorted quickly in the medical centre and he was able to make the start of the 400 race. We won outright by 10 seconds from Paul Owen on a Honda RS 250, and 44 seconds clear of TT legend Ian Lougher in very wet conditions.

The weekend culminated with the first outing of Roger's new home made tyre changer. This attracted much unwanted attention across the paddock; keeping Roger busy throughout Sunday afternoon. He even won a bottle of stale Russian bubbly for his efforts!

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