The 2010 season starts this Saturday at Mallory Park. Part of the club
racing idiom is not knowing who you will be racing until you sign in on
raceday morning. The pecking order won’t shake out until after qualifying,
at the earliest. One (big) step up, in the British paddock, all the riders
and teams are known to each other to some extent and, at the highest level,
all the lap times from the official tests are public. There are few unknowns
In stark contrast, I’ll roll into Mallory’s paddock – crammed with vans and
motorhomes like commuters under the only bus shelter in a downpour – with
few ideas of who I’ll be racing against and what they’ll be riding. The
practice day on Friday will be spent giving my GSX-R a shakedown, refining
the set-up and then digging for speed. The time between sessions is for
dozens of micro-reunions with friends from this other life. All the while,
everyone is looking around, trying to spot new bikes in their class and work
out how quick they are.
One known fact is that last year’s Streetfighter A champion, Andy Denyer,
has moved to the B class. I guess I’ll need a new nemesis. That means I’ll
be even more of a marked man as returning and new SF-A racers alike measure
themselves against me. My goal is to make that the longest yardstick.
Nerves and excitement have battled in my stomach all week, though each was
defeated by the sheer stress of trying to get everything ready. Despite
working flat-out since mid-December, there are still some details to be
sorted tomorrow (Thurs) before I leave. I’ll post about the heroes and
villians involved next week. It’s some consolation that even top teams find
themselves in this situation and that it wasn’t for the want of effort. A
rough estimate puts the tally at around 140 hours spent on the bike and
another 20 on my van. At least my wife has now learned to check in the
garage before starting a ‘Have you seen this man’ Facebook group. That was
Look out for daily updates and wish me luck.
The 2008 season was my novice year, and I entered Thundersport’s top class, GP1, on a GSX-R1000 K4. Racing on a shoestring, with no back-up at all and riding the oldest bike on the grid, I scored strong results against fierce competition. These performances earned recognition and praise from commentators, organisers, and rivals alike, culminating in the club’s Rookie Of The Year award.