MCN's Michael Neeves - MRO Powerbike Championship. Final round at Snetterton.

Published: 19 September 2007

MRO Powerbike championship. Round 10 (final round) – Snetterton 22th/23th September 2007.

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Here's how MCN's Senior Road Tester got on riding his Yamaha R1 long term test bike at the final round of the MRO Powerbike Championship at Snetterton last weekend.

Qualifying position: 5th
Superpole race: 8th

Race 1: 8th
Race 2: DNS

Final championship position: 5th

Snetterton never fails to put your brain in a spin. It’s so fast, especially on a superbike, that after spending three days practicing and racing there, it literally fried my senses. The definition of a good result at the Norfolk track for me is to be able to head home on the A11 in one piece. This is my fourth race meeting I’ve completed at Snett this year. As well as my two Powerbike rounds I’ve also guest ridden in the Super Duke Battle and the Triumph 675 Challenge - to come away from there unscathed four times isn’t just a result, it’s a bloody miracle – talk about relieved.

Friday’s practice was a bit weird, firstly because I missed half of it for work, and secondly the work in question was riding the Ducati Desmosedici RR MotoGP replica at Mugello. Just 24 hours after riding one of the most astounding machines ever built on one of the finest circuits in the world, my R1 actually felt so slow that it was like someone had removed one of the spark plug caps! In fact it felt so lifeless down the two long straights (amazing but true) that I didn’t have my normal respect for it and consequently got straight down to my race times immediately! I can’t usually get within a second on a practice day when the pressure isn’t on. Of course it didn’t take too long to reacclimatise and by the end of the day the R1 once again felt blisteringly quick.

As always the bike handled like a dream and was really good from the Esses all the way through to Russells thanks to its brilliant stability, super-agility and huge grip from the Dunlop slicks. As a result I qualified in 5th place.

Unfortunately it was hard to hang on along the two long straights against the proper race bikes and ended up slipping down to 8th place in the Superpole Race on Saturday and in Race 1 on Sunday, wrapping up my 5th place in the Championship. Without a real need to go out again for the second race ( the final race of the championship) I decided to sit it out, just in case...

So that’s it. I’ve managed to do the entire season on my beautiful Yamaha R1 without seriously breaking it and have managed to finish in the top five of the prestigious MRO Powerbike Championship. I’m very happy given this is the very bike I use for work, trackdays and holidays. More impressive though are the top riders in the championship: Kieran Blair, Peter ‘Saga Tours’ Baker, Rob ‘Reckless’ Elsmere and this year’s champ, John Paul Scott.

There’s no way I could have competed this year without the help of the dozens of people involved below, including my friends Dave Rook, Paul Baker, Paul Berryman and my brother Ben. 

Look out for the full report on my R1 and what has made it tick, soon in MCN.

Thanks to:

Yamaha UK
Slingshot Racing
V2Mal (
Maxton Suspension
Dynojet UK
SBS Brakes
B&C Express
Performance Parts Ltd
Harris Performance
Regina Chains
Phoenix Distribution
Focussed Events
Rod Harwin Racing.
PJB Technical Services
Ben, Rookie, Trev, Alison, Mark, Tony, Bruce, Andy, Exit Racing.

The bike:

2007 YAMAHA R1

Engine: Std motor with Micron full exhaust system, set up by BSD using a Dynojet Power Commander. 169bhp at the rear wheel. Regina chain and Renthal sprockets. Dynojet Quickshifter and Sigma slipper clutch.

Chassis: Maxton rear shock and fork re-valve. Ohlins steering damper.
Standard 17-inch wheels shod with Dunlop racing slicks
Galfer wavy discs and standard Yamaha calipers, SBS Dual Carbon brake pads and HEL braided lines. Standard Yamaha levers, Gilles rearsets.
Pattern fairing, screen and tail unit by ANR UK. Stomp tank pads.
R&G crash protection.