The historic venue of Mallory Park hosted the penultimate round of the Thundersport Championship for 2013.
Initially planned as a 2 day event, it was curtailed to a Sunday only meeting, carrying double points, due to ongoing problems with excessive noise affecting the adjacent village of Kirkby Mallory.
Team RBRacing/Labman, rocked up on Saturday afternoon, raring to go!
Gerry after a hard qualifying (notice any difference?)
Scrutineering of the 2 bikes went smoothly, so the team settled down on Saturday night to a lovely meal prepared by Jan and Ally, followed by a couple of pints in the Bar. Early to bed, with Gerry and Jan sleeping in the back of the van (surprisingly comfortable) and Richy and Ally in their little camper van.
Signing on was early Sunday morning, anticipating a hectic qualifying session later in the morning. Due to a well oversubscribed entry for the Thundersport 500’s the slowest 10 qualifiers (from the 42 entrants) would have to compete in a “B” race, integrated into the Streetfighter’s class, so this was going to be an even more interesting qualification than normal!
Richard went very well, qualifying 8th for the main “A” race grid, with Gerry having an excellent session qualifying well up in the main “A” race in 23rd from 32 on the grid! Dead chuffed! No real dramas apart from Gerry losing the front at the hairpin (must get new tyres) and being saved from a tumble by the footrest digging in and flicking the bike back upright!
Richy getting down to work!
With only 2 races scheduled, this was not going to be for the faint hearted. Race 1 saw a good start from both riders with hectic clamouring for competitive position into the infamous Gerards bend. This 100mph, half a mile long first corner is pure knee on the tarmac and hope for the best riding.
Both riders gritting their teeth, determined to do the best they could with no quarter given to anybody! Water spilt from an overheating bike caused two riders to go down just in front of Gerry at the Gerards bend, not nice, but both riders were up and hobbling!
12 laps saw the chequered flag with Richy getting his best result of the season in 5th place!. Gerry held his grid position of 23rd, with both riders telling tales of near misses, missed gears, banging handlebars and big grins behind visors!
Some brake fade problems for Gerry saw brakes bled, chains adjusted, underpants changed and out on the grid for the second race.
The race schedule was now overunning a little, so races were shortened to 10 laps preceded by 2 warm up laps instead of the normal 1 lap. This confused Gerry, who decided to “go” (and then stop!) when the red lights came ON, instead of when they went OFF! Well messed up, he couldn’t really get into the race after that but still managed 25th. Richy was flying the flag for RBRacing/Labman, having great dices all over this fast track to finish well up in 7th place! Well done again!
Gerry going for the gap!
Championship positions remain about the same for both riders with Richard in a splendid 10th place in the main Championship with Gerry still holding 8th in the “old uns” (over 40) Senior Championship. If the Senior Championship was for over 60’s, Gerry would be out there in front on his own!
It was late home Sunday night for the team. With the final round at Donington to look forward to! New tyres are to be fitted for the final round, but with the event taking place at the end of October (26th/27th) could rain be expected for the first time this season?
Thanks goes out from the riders to their long suffering spouses Jan and Ally for everything from taking photos, pumping up tyres to making the tea and keeping everyone fed and watered.
Keep it pinned!!
Gerry Johnson #157
Richy Johnson #156