It seems like a long time since I last rode the Tuono, and a lifetime since I raced it last at Pembrey two weeks ago.
The five-week break since the non-racing disaster at Oulton Park should have been enough to get the bike sorted with time to spare, but nothing’s ever that simple in the real world of proper jobs and freelance work that you can’t afford to turn down. So, here we are four days from round five, parts are still arriving, the bike is still in pieces, and I feel like I haven’t slept in a month. Which I haven’t, really. That’s club racing for you.
Even so, I’m really excited about Snetterton. I’ve managed to cram in a bit of fitness work to make sure I’m tip top, and I’m really looking forward to riding a track I love. The Tuono should go really well at Snetterton as it has strong top end power thanks to an effective ram air system and it laps up fast corners. The two chicanes will be harder because of its size and weight hindering the direction change and acceleration, but its strength on the brakes should allow me to defend on the way in and even make a pass.
The great news is that the Streetfighter A and B classes are back together on their own grid again, with the Supertwins now joining GP1 which is arguably where they belong. This means closer, safer racing and more entertainment for spectators at the track and on MotorsTV. The grids are set up this way for at least one more subsequent round too.
My focus is on taking race wins and closing the gap to Andy Denyer in the points, but I’ll also have to look out for Keith Smith and Chris Matthews.
Smith took his first win at Oulton Park after getting nearer all year. He’s on a Tuono too, so I’ll have no bike advantage at all. Chris Smith swapped to a ‘fighter converted Triumph Daytona 675 (the same as Denyer’s) for Oulton and clicked with it straight away. It’s likely that the four of us will be scrapping it out all weekend.
In the next couple of days I’ll upload some pictures of the finished bike. A talented S&B Automotive Academy apprentice, Jake, repaired and painted the panels, and they look great. The finish is brilliant. I’ve added some extra crash protection to make sure it stays that way too, just in case!
Look out for regular updates over the weekend.