TSGB Elite 600 – Donington GP – Sept 2016

“The first race was manic, a steep learning curve but I knew I wanted to get stuck in and see where I end up….”

Thursday afternoon me and my dad set off for Donington Park. We arrived after a two hour drive and set up straight away so we were ready for the following day. Donny has power pods in the outer paddock now so we hooked up and were set for the weekend which is much better than all the on/off with the genny.

 

Friday morning was pretty chilled as the bike was ready and I was only doing the afternoon testing so in the meantime I was watching a few mates go round and enjoying being back in the paddock.

 

Afternoon testing came up, the first session was a bit manic on how the bike felt underneath me, all it wanted to do was kick me out of the seat so I came in and checked the suspension and I had gone out without any preload at all.

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We set the suspension to where it should be and went out for the second session, it felt a lot better and my times were improving each lap. I was on scrubs so I was getting used to the bike moving underneath me and learning how to deal with the grip I had.

 

For the third and final session we tried different pressures which also helped me improve my times along with give me more confidence where I didn’t have it before.

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The next morning I had qualifying and one race for the day. Qualifying I went out on new front and rear tyres to give me the grip I didn’t have the day before. With doing that I managed to put myself 14th on the grid, also I was ruining my leathers by putting my elbow down without elbow sliders so me and dad decided to make our own! We got some sticky Velcro to put on my elbow then cut up a knee slider so it fits on there, it worked mint and I could slide my elbow all I wanted now! Will have to get proper sliders sorted out but that worked for the time being!

 

The first race was manic, a steep learning curve but I knew I wanted to get stuck in and see where I end up so starting from 14th on the grid I managed to muscle my way through to finish 9th in the elite 600 class, slightly annoyed that my rear tyre gave up on me by shredding and leaving me with no grip because at one point in the race I was in 7th with more in me to push harder however after a few honest mistakes from myself and the tyre backing out on me I brought her home in 9th.

 

Finished early that day so straight in the shower and a watch of the last few races then off out with everyone walking around in the paddock.

 

The next day I had warm up plus two races which I was really looking forward to! Warm up came and the track was wet from raining all night, which was good for me because I needed to get a feel for the wets on a 600 as I haven’t done so before.

 

We were all waiting a while to get on track because someone had dropped oil all over the track however Thundersport got it sorted very quickly and got us on track!

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Dad was on pitwall ready for me to come in after two laps to take ten percent off preload and compression to see how it felt between the two.

 

I went out for the two laps and it didn’t feel as stable as I wanted it to so when I came in for the adjustments and went back out, as I came out of pit lane Davey Todd came past so I thought I’d try staying behind him and with the adjustments made I felt good with the bike and stayed behind pretty comfortably, I got round the hairpin towards Goddards and on the way round there’s a dark patch of Tarmac that my rear tyre hit and wiped me out sending me sliding down the side of the track. Although I crashed I felt good because the setting on the bike was right and worked for me, the crash was rider fault so I just took it on the chin and learned from it.

 

Race one wasn’t for a while but it came up pretty quickly and it was dry, I had a new rear SC2 tyre on and felt confident however from the times the day before it put me back to P17 on the grid! I knew I needed a good start and that’s what I did, I got to P8 by the first lap and tried to cling onto Danny Booth and Jordan Rushby which were in P6 and P7 at the time, I did gain some time and caught them in a couple of laps however I through the work I made out the window and made a mistake which cost me the time I made up, however I brought the bike home in P8 from P17 on the grid which I’m happy about!

Race two came up and again I was starting from P17 on the grid.. I got away well again in the first few laps however the grip just went away from me, it was the dodgiest ride of the weekend because after only a few laps the bike was sliding all over the place! I managed to bring it back in P9 without chucking the bike down the road. I’m happy about finishing in the top 10 in every race for my first full race meeting on the bike!

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We did learn that others were running lower pressures than us so if I had done so the grip may have been better for me and allowed the tyre to work better underneath me instead of shredding as it did.

 

Results for the weekend in the Elite 600 class:

 

 

Race one: 9th

Race two: 8th

Race three: 9th

 

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A very positive weekend for me and my dad, the learning curve is steep but I wouldn’t want it any other way, let’s keep learning and keep improving!

 

Already I can’t wait to get back out there!

Without people helping me I wouldn’t be where I am now so I’d like to say thank you to all the people helping me and letting me pursue my dream.

 

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Most of all, my family and friends who are all so supportive!

A very big thank you to my mum and my Granddad, Paul, Andy and Gareth for coming all the way up to Donington park to support me, I really appreciate it!

And also, thank you to Ron Haslam for the valued words of advice during the weekend.

To keep up to date with everything I’m doing daily follow my other sites!

 

 

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Keep it lit!

JT

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One thought on “TSGB Elite 600 – Donington GP – Sept 2016

  1. Brian Holmes

    Great racing at Donnington park Jack. You were racing against the elite riders.And you are in the top ten, well done

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