For the penultimate round of the MRO Powerbike championship, we raced on the new two-mile-long Snetterton 200, the first ever meeting to be held on this mid-layout version of the new track.
It’s the closest to how the 'old' Snetterton was - basically the 300 circuit without the infield section. There’s a chicane leading on to the back straight now (Montreal and Chapman), where Sears used to be and like the 300, Coram goes into Murrays instead of Russells, like it used to.
I’m not a big fan of the stop/start nature of the 300, with its three hairpins, especially on a heavy litre bike, but I love the 200. Just like Snetterton used to be, it’s fast, flowing and exceedingly fast. According to some datalogged laps I did in qualifying, my BMW Park Lane S1000RR hit a true 172mph along the back straight. The track is really grippy too, in the wet and dry, giving tyres and kneesliders a tough time. It also eats fuel, with my BMW using nearly a litre a lap.
Lap times are around three seconds slower than the old track, I reckon. My best was a 1:11.6 and the lap record was set by Danny Fowler on his R1 with a 1:11.5. Powerbike times on the 300 are around 1:54.
After a frustrating Friday practice day, we ended up having a great weekend, qualifying on the front row in fourth position, scoring two wins and a second place and some great battles with BMW-mounted John Waghorn and Rob McNealy.
With just one round to go at Brands in three weeks, I’m now just a point behind MRO Powerbike championship leader, McNealy, so it’s all to play for at the Kent track.
Before I sign off I’d like to wish fellow Bemsee Club Coach, top Yamaha Past Masters runner and all-round top guy, Keith Roissetter a speedy recovery, after his nasty off at Cadwell last month. We all hope to see the larger-than-life Aussie back in the paddock very soon.
Final MRO Powerbike round: Brands Hatch 24/25th September
Pictures by Bryan Lancaster