July 08, 2010

Major Progress on the Cooley Rep as Steelie Takes First 750 Win!

Mallory Park presented the first opportunity to ride in anger the GSX1100 Cooley Rep (yes I know the original Cooley rep is based on a GS1000!). To top this though, Pete Steele riding the championship winning Kawa GPz750 from last year took his first win - and beat the Cooley rep in the process! Awesome riding and congratulations Pete!
Longy Exits Gerrards on the GSX1100
Firstly, the on-going saga of the GSX11 reached near breaking point again when, during timed practice, it would only run on three cylinders (basically a 750!). In fact it dropped to zero cylinders at the hairpin and Longy pulled off, but a quick flick of the fuel pipes to clear a fuel block got it running and the marshall obliged with a bump start. Nevertheless, still only 3 cylinders to qualify 8th. Getting to the end of the tether, almost every man and his dog very kindly obliged in to pits to measure fuel flow rates, inspect the fuel tap bore diameters and analyse everything but the kitchen sink. However a flash of inspiration from 750 championship leader Mad-Myatt, arch rival from 2009, who determined that cutting and re-routing the fuel pipes would actually let gravity flow the fuel "down hill" into the carbs rather than up-and-down hill as they were actually routed, might work....  Thankfully it did work - Issac Newton was correct regading gravity going downwards!!

Mad-Myatt and Steely Braking Showdown!
Then there was just the rear brake lever issue, front brake lever coming back to the bars issue and the front wheel being bolted in incorrectly where the discs were rubbing against metal (Oops - my fault!), to fix and the bike would be a runner. Thanks to the amazing commaraderie of the Earlystock racers and spectators they all managed to assemble the bike in time for Longy to make the back of the grid after missing the warm up lap.

As the start lights went off, Longy tentively eased off the line, still terrified of the 230Kg beast, and gradually circulated with increasing confidence to roll in 8th, but at least inspired the bike actually might be a runner - be it the suspension set as soft as a Goldwing and the bike seemed to be pogo'ing like Jonny Rotten over Gerrards bumps! Consequently for race 2, with growing confidence, the GSX11 bike was pushed a bit harder and Longy edged into 3rd spot after Aidy Brennan and Rob Chambers seemed to disappear over the horizon on their 1100's. This meant that Longy was left to battle with the 750s and after a few laps, suddenly old Steely came flying past like a bullet on Longy's old 750.

With insufficient confidence and no sense of ground clearance Longy simply couldn't keep up with the boy Steele and in fact, the speed at which he seemed to be exiting the Devils Elbow was leaving the GSX11 for dead. This chase continued for quite a few laps until old Mucka-Myatt on another 750 came past as Longy ran wide at the hairpin trying to stop the oil tanker. Thankfully, the extra power of the 1100 came into its own down the start/ finish straight and Longy blasted past Mucka Myatt and edged ahead to finish 4th, taking some 3 seconds off the lap time from race 1 - be it still 2 seconds slower than speeds on the old 750!! Congrats go to Steelie however who rode superbly to stay ahead and take his first 750 win of the year - nice result for Team S&M...!

In summary, a great day out and thanks to all the Earlystocks crowd and numerous other people who pitched in and really helped bring the GSX11 on leaps and bounds. This big beast is now becoming a real interesting proposition to learn to ride fast and with some upgrading of the rears shocks and some sorting of the brakes it will be interesting to see how quick she can go next time out. Well done to the other guys out there racing - and looking forward to the next one!

Longy stalls the Engine - Marshall ignores his plea to bump start the big bugger!