August 17, 2010

Mallory Park - Earth, Wind and Fire!

Longy oblivious to #399 Jackson 5's highside at the Esses
Race 1
Right, let's get the excuses out...Apart from the brake lever coming back to the bars when cold, but working perfectly when warm and an air lock in the fuel pipe (cleared at Mallory hairpin with a bang), the big 'ole Suzi 1100 #223 of Longy's was starting to run reasonably well and qualified in 3rd spot - a definite step in the right direction. Moldy basically couldn't be bothered riding, even after hauling his bike all the way up to Mallory, so assumed Team Manager role for the day. And #363 Steelie qualified down a bit in 7th after bedding a tyre in. However it was on the warm up lap for race 1 the fun and games really started!

Fireball #399 as poor old Allen Bowers nurses a broken wrist
A coming down to earth of #399 James Jackson-5 at the lake esses exit caused not only #224 Allen  Bowers to swerve and ultimate collide with him, but sent Jackson's big 1100 stocker flying into a ball of flames! Poor old Allen was the victim of being 'wrong place at wrong time' and broke his wrist in the proceedings (get well soon Allen!). JJ-5 whilst escaping with a bit of a Baboons arse from friction burns was otherwise OK - more than can be said for the GSX after bursting into a towering inferno!! Spectacular never the less.

Longy struggling to manage the lump of lard to 3rd spot
Anyway, Longy was pretty much averse to all this as he tried to win the warm up lap heading up the pack, (knowing there would be no chance of winning the actual race!) and  it wasn't until no one else appeared on the starting grid did the towering plume of black smoke become evident in what looked like an engine blow up. Inevitably, the race was delayed and the marshalls buggered off for their sarnies whilst the stockers were left stranded on the grid with no one to bump start the buggers - thanks EMRA marshalls!

The re-start after lunch was a pretty frantic affair, with #241 Rob 'money no object' Chambers getting off the line first and then big Rob Eley eventually powering to the front and gapping the field. Rob and Longy were left to dice it out and all the jiggery pokery enabled the Geordie bullet #202 Aidy Brennan to catch the chasing Eley pack. Cat and mouse proceeded and places were exchanged in a battle for second spot until Rob nudged ahead going into Gerrards on the
penultimate lap as Eley blew his engine at Edwinas. Suddenly on the last lap Geordie-Brennan appeared again on the entry to Gerrards and slipped by Longy, but a power drive out of Gerrards got him back in front only then to bottle it whilst going for the lead into Edwinas leaving money-bags Chambers to head the field into the final turns. A final crescendo of overtaking commenced into the bus-stop chicane as all riders tried to swerve around a slower rider and then, losing the plot, Longy missed a gear to enable Aidy B to sneak ahead to the finish line by just a 10th second leaving Longy 3rd. A cracking bit of racing though, if not terrifying with so little bike time this year. All in all not a bad result considering the level of race-rustiness and also the first cup won riding the 1100 - cause for celebration!

Steelie takes the 750 class win
Steelie meantime was flying on his slightly dodgy 750, but still managed to win the 750 class finishing in an excellent 4th spot overall and putting in a cracking lap of 1.01.56 in the process - just 0.5s off the 750 lap record.Unfortunately in the process of this however, he bent a valve and the engine was buggered - but set about dusting off Moldy's spare bike in the van in prep for race 2.

Race 2
This was a slightly less eventful affair. With the Stockers being dismissed to the arse end of the day (race 17 from 18), and the will to get to the bar and sink a pint in the glorious sunshine had become a lot more attractive than racing 10 laps of the Mallory roundabout. Rob Eley's 1100 blow up was terminal so it was back to a straight fight between Rob C, Aidy B and Longy with #216 Alec Gilfilan for some reason being a bit off colour on this fantastic day for racing at Mallory. Longy again won the warm up
Longy get's the big old Suzi reet over!
 lap, but then as the lights went out, Brennan powered into first, with Longy just out braking him into Edwinas, only to be retaken again on the exit. Rob C then came past at Longy's achilles heal on the entry to Gerrards (god I must get the big old stocker to turn quicker into there!) and the race was pretty much run until the flying arch rival from last year's 750 championship battle #275 Mad Myatt screamed past riding like a demon. Longy could not lose to a 750 (again!) but just couldn't get the times down and it was only by Mad Myatt's missed gear into the hairpin and the extra power of the 1100 down the start and finish did he regain 3rd spot - phew!

Ian O'Reilly takes a tight line!
Fellow S&M rider Pete Steele was rattling around on Moldy's bike pretty well and whilst someway off his race 1 pace, still managed to finish the 750 Kwacker in 7th spot and 3rd in class to grab some more valuable points to tee him up for a 2nd spot in the Earlystocks championship in his first year of racing.

The State of Play
The Suzi GSX1100 is now becoming quite a passion with the goal of finding a way to shave at least a second off the lap times (at Mallory at least). There is no question these big old buggers take some riding and require a sort of unique riding style and are hell to turn at high speed (like into Gerrards) - but it's coming together and bloody good fun learning. The number of missed gears was a nightmare costing time every lap in race 1 but this is likely poor riding technique and whilst the Michelin Power One rear is an awesome tyre, it was almost worn after the two races indicating the suspension is still wrong for the bike. Maxton (ex Koni rear shocks look tasty but cost £400 quid), Hagon's are cheaper at £230 but not sure how they compare - it might be time however to lose the sexy Ohlins shocks and try some firmer units to calm the rear end under power and improve the bike under aggressive turn in.
Big Dick turns it on for the punters

Then there's the brakes. Zero power until warm does not inspire confidence even though they worked perfect after half lap - something wrong here. One of the discs looks totally warped so could be time to shell out on some new units and dump the crappy EBC HH pads for some juicy Performance Friction's that are in a different league.

See you at the next round!

Longy #223