Despite the unpleasantness of a 4.30am departure from Two Daves Racing HQ, the club made changes to ensure that the day ran very smoothly - with both the race office and scrutineering opening earlier than usual.
Our Kawasaki Supertwin (with its newly repacked exhaust) flew through noise testing and then we were out into the qualifying session for our first track time in 2021. We took it slow and steady, building pace at a consistent rate, and then noticed that on wide-open-throttle the clutch was slipping. We tried our best to ride around the problem and somehow managed to qualify for the Twins race in 2nd place. When we returned to the paddock I then managed to break the GoPro mounting - so there are no videos from this meeting, which is a shame because we had some cracking races!
Being mid-pack, when the race started there were bikes everywhere and it didn't take long for us to lose track of our race position - so we just looked for a bike ahead and tried to catch it. The results sheet advised that by the end of lap 3 we had moved into 2nd position and were 6.04 seconds behind race leader Jim Hodson. Over the next six laps we made some time and lost some time, before being in a position on the final lap to make a passing move at Paddock corner. It was only when we returned to the paddock that Dave Snr advised that we'd won the race!
Our Twins Race 1 victory meant that we started Twins Race 2 from pole position. We knew that Jim Hodson probably had the best of us (and was probably toying with us in Twins Race 1) but were feeling comfortable on the bike so wanted to try to put up a good fight. When the lights went out we got a decent start until we got stuck in 2nd gear! This meant that we entered Wilsons chicane in 6th or 7th place, but managed to get back up to 3rd place by the end of the opening lap - 1.8 seconds down on the leading pair of Jim Hodson and Sean Seddon. By the end of lap 3 we were just 0.7 of a second behind the leader, so we were back in contention.
But the final 7 laps of the race were frustrating - as every time we made an overtake we were then repassed on the following straight (which wasn't helped by the slipping clutch). A favourite passing spot at the hairpin was not available through a lot of these laps due to the presence of yellow flags. So on the final corner of the final lap of the race, we attempted a last-ditch "around the outside" move that didn't work and crossed the line in 3rd place - 0.16 of a second behind Sean Seddon in 2nd place, with Jim Hodson taking the win a further 4.39 seconds up the road. A good fun battle of a race and a nice reminder of why we love racing!
Our next race is planned for Darley Moor Round 3 on Bank Holiday Monday 3rd May. There may be a possibility of spectators being allowed to the event - if so, please give us a wave! :-)