Here are some photos from the second Darley Moor meeting of 2018, taken by official Darley photographer Tony Else...
With Dave Snr spending the weekend at the Spanish MotoGP round and Lorna recently giving birth to the team's newest member, Dave Jnr travelled to Darley Moor alone to setup our simplified paddock space and to get scrutineered and signed-on. After setting up, Dave Jnr walked the track with Joe Walton and Jason Wilkes to steal any 'fast lap secrets' that they were hiding.
After noise testing our Kawasaki Supertwin, we were out in the first two qualifying sessions of the day. Up first was the Mini Sound of Thunder qualifying session and as usual there was a lot of traffic to contend with. We managed to find a clear lap and qualified in 5th place, before ending the session early so we could take our Kawasaki Supersport for noise testing and then straight onto track - where we qualified in 9th position for the Formula 600 race.
Our first race of the day was the 10-lap Allcomers (up to 650cc) race. Grid positions were picked out of the hat and we 'chose averagely' to start from 9th place on the grid - but the random nature of the grid selection actually meant that most of the front row of the grid was empty - as no-one selected them!
A good start put us into 2nd position at the first chicane, directly behind Simon Edmondson. Into the final corner on the opening lap we made a move and took the lead. Putting in a series of good laps, we managed to post the fastest lap of the race and then won the race by 6.78 seconds at the chequered flag.
Behind us, Jason Wilkes was running in 2nd place until he crashed at Park corner on lap 4. At the flag, MCN senior road tester Adam Child finished in 2nd place, with Simon Edmondson 23.63 seconds behind and taking the final podium position.
As you can see on the video below (at 5:04) the front-facing camera decided to break during the race! This provided an interesting and alternative view of the race which I left in for a couple of minutes. But for those of you with sea-sickness, you'll be glad to hear that by 7:03 I revert to the rear camera view only :-)
The next race was the Peak Cup, which we used for some extra practice on the Kawasaki Supersport machine. Like at the previous event, we got stuck in battles with some of the slower 1000cc riders again, so the race was a bit frustrating but we felt that we were riding well.
After a short break, we headed out for the Formula 600 race. Straight away we felt good and dropped to lap times that were close to our Personal Best on the bike. At the end of the opening lap we were in 11th place, then we managed to pass a couple of our competitors to finish the race in 9th position (out of 28 finishers) which is our best finish so far. Our fastest lap of 1'00.76 was posted on the final lap, which is slightly slower than our 1'00.60 Personal Best time that was set at the previous event.
The fourth race of the day was the Mini Sound of Thunder race, which was combined on the grid with the PreInjection up to 1300cc class. Starting the race from 14th position on the combined grid, we had a messy start. A missed downshift at the hairpin on the opening lap meant for a slow start to the race and we crossed the line in 4th position (in class) at the end of the opening lap, which was 1.15 seconds behind Rich Stubbs in 3rd place.
The pace of the race seemed to be really slow and we bridged the gap to 3rd place easily within half a lap. At the end of lap 2, our class leader was only 3 seconds ahead of us and we knew we could go 1.5 seconds per lap quicker, so tried to get our head down and see whether we could catch up. But on lap 3, the race was red flagged after Rich Stubbs and Darren Spruce tangled entering Townleys corner. The crash looked quite serious and we hope that both of them will make a full recovery soon!
Darren was airlifted to hospital whilst Rich was taken to a different hospital by road. After a lengthy delay, the organisers decided not to re-run the race and the race result was called after 3 laps. Elliott Williams was declared the winner, with Adam Child in 2nd and we were awarded 3rd place.
Due to the Mini Sound of Thunder stoppage delay (along with a number of delays through the day), the organisers took the decision to abandon the meeting after the first half of the race calendar had been completed.
In 2018 so far there have been many positives - a race win on the Kawasaki Supertwin, continually improving results on the Kawasaki Supertsport & some good (but not great) lap times being posted. After looking at the datalogging, it appears that part of the missing time is due to weather/machine performance and part of the missing time is due to carrying lower speed through the chicanes - something to focus on at the next meeting!
We have a bit of a break now, due to the Isle of Man TT, but our next race event will be at Darley Moor Round 3 on Sunday 17th June - where hopefully we can get back into consistent podium positions on the Kawasaki Supertwin and hopefully we can finally score some championship points on the Kawasaki Supersport machine (which will require a top 6 finish).
Here are some photos from the first Darley Moor meeting of 2018, taken by official Darley photographer Tony Else...
Following the cancellation of NG Brands Hatch, Darley Moor Round 1 marked the start of our 2018 racing season. After spending the week in London, David Jnr arrived back to our Northwich base on Friday afternoon and then packed up and headed to the circuit on Friday evening.
The majority of the Saturday test day was spent getting more "seat time" on our Kawasaki Supersport bike. A number of small changes were made - including a change to the amount of throttle slack which made a massive difference to the way the bike felt whilst riding - and by the end of the day we felt natural on the new bike.
During the test day we also helped a lot of fellow riders overcome small early-season issues and, at the request of Eddie Nelson, we spent a session following young rider Thomas Pilling around the track on his first outing at Darley Moor. Thomas is running out of the Hodson Racing awning and is quickly improving, so look out for him in the future!
With the arrival of the Sunday race day, we thought it would be good to clarify our aims for the 2018 race season:
* Achieve a sub-1'00 lap of Darley Moor on the Kawasaki Supersport 600 machine, and
* Be able to complete 9 laps of Darley Moor before the "Stars" complete 10 laps! As we intend to enter the prestigious "Stars at Darley" race, we do not want to potentially interfere with the race result - so will only enter the Stars race if we can complete the races without being lapped.
We were entered into 8 races on the Sunday but as David Jnr was flying off to NYC for work early on the Monday morning, we knew that "safe riding" would be an integral part of the day. Due to the race schedule we actually competed in 6 races which was enough to keep everyone busy throughout the day!
The first qualifying session (on the Kawasaki Supertwin) was full of crashes and yellow flags. Unable to get a clear lap in, we managed to qualify 4th place in class (5th on the combined grid).
The qualifying session for the Kawasaki Supersport 600 bike was directly after the Supertwin session - once again there were more crashes and a red flag this time due to a couple of crashes at the back chicane. We wish all the best to anyone injured during those incidents! By the end of the restarted session we had qualified in 11th place (of 25) with a lap time of 1'03.33.
The first race of the day (and the season!) was the "Up to 650cc twin Allcomers" race. From the start we headed into the first chicane in second place and then managed to move into the lead by the end of the opening lap. On lap 2, Chris Moore came passed - we tried to keep with him but his pace was just too strong. Being kept honest by Richard Stubbs close behind, we managed to put in a series of consistent laps to keep 2nd position to the chequered flag and picked up our first trophy of the 2018 season.
Our second race of the day was the Peak Cup race, which we entered for some extra track time on the Kawasaki Supersport 600 bike. During the race we got caught up in a battle with some of the slower-lapping 1000cc bikes. After attempting to get passed for a few laps we though "we're not learning anything by doing this", so decided to drop back so that we could complete a few clear laps - this worked and we managed to put in a new personal best of 1'02.09 on the new Supersport bike.
Our third race of the day was the Formula 600 race - the first time we had raced against a 600 grid for 19 years! After a steady start, we proceeded to pick off riders one by one, setting a personal fastest-ever lap time of 1'00.60 around Darley Moor. Across the line, we finished in 12th place.
Our fourth race was the Mini Sound of Thunder race. Into the first chicane we tangled with Elliot Williams. Trying the stay out of trouble, we stayed steady and then chased down leaders. By the end of the race we had put in the 2nd fastest lap but finished 4th on track, 0.36 of a second behind Jason Wilkes. The race was won by Elliot Williams with Richard Stubbs taking the runner-up spot.
In the second Formula 600 race there was a big group of us covering 9th to 15th positions. Like in the opening Formula 600 race, we slowly managed to pick off riders in front one by one. Unfortunately, our progress was halted when we got stuck behind rider that had a quick bike but was slow through chicanes, which resulted in slower overall lap times for us - as we couldn't take advantage of our strong point on the circuit. We finished in 12th place again with a best lap time of 1'02.07.
The final race of our day was the second Mini Sound of Thunder race. On the opening lap, Jason Wilkes was a bit wild into Park (and a few other corners) so we decided to stay safe and kept out of trouble - but that meant that we eventually finished in a lowly 5th position.
Reflecting at the end of a busy weekend, we think this was some of the best fun we've had at a race meeting for a while. We are happy with our progress on the new Kawasaki Supersport 600 machine and David Jnr left safely in one piece to travel to NYC (hence this slightly delayed race report!).
Our next race meeting will be Darley Moor Round 2 on Bank Holiday Monday 7th May. Baby Carson #2 is due that weekend, so depending on baby's arrival date we may or may not be present at that meeting - but if we can be there then we will! :-)
Our 2018 season didn't get started in the way it should have done - with "The Beast From The East" causing the race meeting to be cancelled before it even started!
Here is our story of the weekend - and how we used our newfound spare time...
The race weekend was supposed to consist of a Friday test day, Saturday race day and Sunday race day. By lunchtime on Thursday we had packed up and were ready to leave. Our original intention was to hit the road at noon but due to a few delays (relating to household plumbing and toddlers!) we headed off around 2pm and then immediately sat in traffic on the M6!
Around 3.30pm we received notification (via the power of social media!) that the meeting had been cancelled by the organisers. Due to the poor traffic we were still 175 miles from Brands Hatch at this point. The Friday test day was still going ahead but we didn't think that continuing the journey (which would be a further ~400 mile round trip) would be worthwhile, so we managed to organise a ride out at a Darley Moor track day on the Friday instead.
We headed home, partially unpacked the van and caravan, then headed to Darley Moor on the Friday morning - arriving to a sodden track and paddock - but track time was track time and on a brand new (to us) bike, the more time we would get the better!!
We headed out on track in the first session and there was a lot of standing water around. After racing our Kawasaki Supertwin for the past five seasons (which revs to ~10500rpm), the need to rev our Kawasaki ZX6R to almost 16000rpm was a different experience! And when the revs (and speed) increased it was quite an initial shock - this bike moves!!
We took part in three morning sessions. In the following two sessions the track conditions improved from "wet" to "damp" and each time we rode until our fingers were numb - then when the lunch break arrived so did the sunshine! This dried the track sufficiently so that we could swap to dry tyres :-)
During the dry session we we able to increase our pace gradually as we got more and more used to the bike - and we even hit 140mph on the back straight.
Whilst we were receiving tannoy calls for our next session a light rain shower started to fall, which then quickly turned into rain. We decided at that point to call it a day, as did the vast majority of the other attendees, so the track day was abandoned at that point by the organisers. But in one day we managed to ride the bike in wet conditions, damp conditions and dry conditions! We also managed to setup the bike to our preferences - handlebar and lever positions, etc - and found a couple of changes that were required, so it was most definitely a useful experience.
As for the NG Brands Hatch meeting, it turns out that cancellation was probably the best decision as Saturday brought snow, strong winds and an air temperature of -1.5C
With our preseason test schedule now complete (as short as it was!), our next outing will be the opening round of the Darley Moor championships on 7th/8th April.
With the start of our 2018 race season arriving next weekend, we thought it was about time to provide you with a further pre-season update (see Part 1 here) as there has been a lot of work happening behind the scenes at the Two Daves Racing HQ.
2018 Machine Livery
Another season brings along another refresh to the sticker drawer! Our old racing buddy, Joel from Freshfield Graphics, sorted us out once again.
Kawasaki Supersport 600 Dyno Results
Following the resolution of a number of small issues/problems whilst at the dyno centre, the eventual dyno results were very positive with a peak rear-wheel power figure of 123.69bhp and 47.11 fl/lb of torque. If you missed our previous post regarding the dyno run you can find it here.
Kawasaki ER650 Supertwin Engines
The Black engine was installed into our ER650 Supertwin over winter so that it could be run-in on the dyno - but on initial startup, a serious oil leak was evident - so the engine was immediately removed so that the issue could be identified and resolved.
On our Silver engine, the valve clearances were checked (and two of the eight valves were adjusted) and then the Silver engine was refit, ready to be used at the start the 2018 season.
2018 Paddock Racewear
Our 2018-season fleeces and jackets are currently in production. Once these arrive, and have been distributed to all team members, we'll continue to look sharp around the paddock(s) this year :-)
We have taken delivery of a new 18ftx4ft banner for our race awning. Like last year, we decided to go for one big long banner (rather than two smaller banners that joined in the middle of the awning) as it worked really well last season.
Confirmation of Race Numbers
Our race numbers for the NG and No Limits race events have now been confirmed - at both clubs we will be running #88 on our Kawasaki ER650 Supertwin and #18 on our Kawasaki ZX6R Supersport (as #88 in the 600 class was already taken at both clubs!).
We are still unsure what race numbers we will be allocated for the Darley Moor events.
First Race Meeting of 2018
With the snow melted away, we are looking forward to taking part in the opening round of the NG championships - read the official race preview here. There is a test day on the Friday where we will finally get the opportunity to ride our new Kawasaki ZX6R Supersport machine for the first time. We will then race both machines on the Saturday and Sunday but this event is mainly a shakedown test for us, so hopefully we can stay out of trouble!
As always, we will provide race reports and updates through the year, so please keep up-to-date by visiting this website and our Facebook page.
David Carson Jnr,