We were privileged to be part of Team Classic Suzuki at the weekend riding in the Endurance Legends four-hour race at Donington Park.
Riding their beautiful Katana we partnered former 500cc GP star Steve Parrish and multiple BSB champ, WSB winner and 500 rider John Reynolds. This was his first race since he was forced to retire in 2005 through injury.
I had a great first stint getting us up from our fifth place grid sport to second, before handing the reigns over to JR who soon took the lead. Our next pit stop dropped us to fifth before Steve Parrish sent us back up the order into third with just over an hour to go.
Two laps into my next stint we suffered a mechanical problem that unfortunately forced us out of the race. But Team Classic Suzuki didn’t go home empty handed as Team Lincs Classic Suzuki took second overall on their XR69 in the hands of Pete Boast and Guy Martin.
Away from the racing, the paddock was packed with scores of mouth-watering modern classic road and racing machines for fans to drool over.
John Reynolds, “I am disappointed really. We had a fantastic start to the race; Michael got us away and up to second and was really storming along. I got on the bike and had no real dramas and managed to get into the lead, which was great. We were in the hunt for the podium after the pitstop and Steve’s stint, but on Michael’s second stint something’s gone off with the engine. I’m not sure what but the bike slowed down a bit. I was gutted to miss my second stint but I also really feel for everyone else. Not just Steve and Michael, but everyone in the team works so hard to get out there. Hopefully I get to do it again sometime.”
Steve Parrish, “I’m disappointed for obvious reasons. The bike was working so well up until the moment it went wrong. Michael and John did a great job and after my stint we were still up there, but the bike started to feel different towards the end of my run, and then it came to a halt not long after Michael got on it. It’s a real shame as, truthfully, we could have been on the podium as a minimum and it would have been a wonderful end to the story. So much effort goes into the project from the team, and hopefully there’s more to come from the guys.”
Guy Martin, “I’m dead happy. I’d not really raced since the Katana at Spa, so I’m happy enough. After the first stint we weren’t even sure if we should continue as we had a gearbox issue, but we could ride around the problem and we carried on, and nursed it home really. To finish first, first you must finish, as they say. But we finished second, but still! We had some good pit work – there’s no I in team – and got a good result. We had plenty of tea, a bit of craic, everyone worked hard, and I right enjoyed it.”
Pete Boast, “We’re delighted with the podium. I should have had one with the Katana last year so I’m delighted to get this one with the Team Lincs Classic Suzuki crew. We were eighth after qualifying and all felt good at the start of the race. I got off the line well and was fifth into Redgate. But within 10-11 laps it started jumping out of second gear. I swapped to Guy and he was still setting some good times but when he came back in he told me it was getting worse. But we carried on and just used third where we would use second, and then started to climb up the timing screen. Unfortunately the Katana went out which was a shame as they were showing real well, but it bumped us up further and the board kept saying P3, P2, P3, so we chopped about a bit, but got second in the end, which we’re really happy with.”