MCN's Michael Neeves - MRO Powerbike Championship Rd 6 at Snetterton
13 July 2007 18:10
Qualifying position: 7th
Superpole race: 6th
Race 1: 6th
Race 2: 6th
Championship position: 4th
How’s this for two-wheeled variety? Over the last four weekends I’ve raced in the GSX-R Cup at Misano, raced a C90-engined TZR125 at a moped endurance race at Lydd, rode around the New Forest for three days on a mountain bike, and finally raced my beloved R1 in the sixth round of the MRO Powerbike Championship at Snetterton.
Nothing can prepare you for racing at Snetterton as it’s a very fast, very scary place. If you’re on Powerbike pace your average lap speed is around 100mph, so should you be unlucky enough to crash it’s going to be a very, very big one. It’s also a bleak windy, inhospitable place to live for the weekend if the weather isn’t on your side. Lucky for us then that despite a shaky start when we turned up in artic conditions on Thursday night, the rest of the weekend turned out hot and sunny – a god send when you’re address for the weekend is a one-bedroom tent.
Friday practice was all about getting into the groove and adjusting to the high speeds. Getting black flagged on my second lap of the first session with smoke bellowing out of the back of the R1 wasn’t a good start though. It turned out that with the changes I’d made to the gearing the back wheel ended up closer to the back of the swingarm than usual. There was plenty of clearance with the bike up on its paddock stand, but down the fast Revett Straight rear tyres ‘grow’, and mine grew enough to rub on the swingarm badly.
This coincided with the oil light coming on and I thought I’d blown the old girl up! I changed the front and rear Renthal sprockets to get more clearance on the back wheel (whilst still keeping the same final drive) and the problem was solved – although I had to ride the rest of the day with a seriously squared-off knackered rear tyre, as I wanted to save my new rear Dunlop slick for qualifying and the races. All this was made worse by the strong winds, which made fast corners like Corams… interesting, shall we say.