After a 3 year break from racing, I decided it was time to give it a go again. This time at the brand new track based in Tailem Bend, South Australia, The Bend Motorsport Park. Racing my trusty old 1998 Honda CBR900RR, I made to switch to a set of Dunlop slicks thanks to the legends at Ficeda Accessories. (Stay tuned for something new from HoonTV for them)
I’ve done 2 track days there already on this bike, but heading into this weekend I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous. Never the less I did 6 sessions during the Saturday practice and was absolutely blown away with the grip from the Dunlops compared to what I’d been running previously. Not only did the bike feel more stable, but the drive out of the corners was so much better!
At the end of the day rather than driving all the way home, myself and a friend went halves and booked a room in the Rydges hotel which is actually in the building above the pits. Sure it’s like any other good hotel, but it’s at the race track!
Sunday came and we headed out for qualifying. I put down 4 laps and was feeling steady, but not overly fast, yet I felt it was enough considering there was going to be over 40 bikes on the grid. My class, Premodern 2000 only had 4 entries, but in total out field was made up of 6 classes, so it was going to be chaotic. I qualified 29th on the grid and given the fact that I’m not bad on the starts, I was confident that I’d make up places before turn 1.
In both race 1 and 2 the fastest rider in our class is an A grade rider and much faster than me, so there was no chance I’d catch him. Yet down where I was it was between and two others. I managed a comfortable 2nd in Race 1, but in Race 2 I fell all the way back to 4th as I was feeling tired. It was at this point where something triggered and I decided it was time to make a move. I grit my teeth and pulled about to third. It was tough though and with the faster pace I was able to catch up to and pass the second place rider and hold him off until the end.
With 40 racing points I came 2nd outright!
A huge thanks goes out to Liam and the crew from Ficeda, Darren and Robbie from Dunlop, Tony and Grammo from Race Bike Services, the lads at Solid Engineering and last but not least, Alessandro, Roy and all of the crew who were responsible for putting on the race meeting.
Too tired to write anymore now, Enjoy some photos of the cars in The Bend’s welcome centre
…… zzzzzz 🙂