Three Years leading up to 2008

David Bell Racing 2006

Croft (March)

With two brand new bikes supplied by Kawasaki Newcastle for 2006 I qualified pole on both, won all four 600 races and took three wins and a 4th on the ZX10. This was baby Spencer’s first race meeting and he loved every minute of it, he was so excited he slept through the whole thing.

First win on the Kawasaki Newcastle ZX6RR

Scarborough (May)

At a wet and greasy Ian Watson Spring Cup meeting, got second,  my best result ever at Oliver’s Mount after Guy Martin dropped it trying to pass Lougher.

With Martin Finnegan, Olivers Mount Esses

IOM TT  Never got to race this year as I managed to hit the result of Robbie Silvester’s accident at Greeba Castle in Thursdays practice, colliding with the airfence which had stretched over the track.

David Bell IOM TT 2006

Ballaugh in practice

At around 110mph the bike stopped and  I sailed over the five foot obstacle and broke my wrist, ending my TT but counting myself fortunate to escape relatively lightly.

Leading Ryan Farquhar out of Farm Bends

Scarborough (August)

Discarding the cast, my wrist felt really weak and with only the ZX10 to ride as the 600 has been sold to make way for a brand new one in 07,  I was looking forward to getting out there, although I wasn’t expecting anything great from my comeback ride.  However, I held off Martin Finnegan to finish a delighted second behind Guy Martin in heat one, then a creditable third behind Martin and Lougher but in front of Ian Armstrong, Martin Finnegan and Ryan Farquhar.  In the Gold Cup I could only finish 6th for the second successive year and was completely ‘cattled’ at the chequered flag, but pleased with my comeback results as it couldn’t have gone much better.

Trying at the Esses, Gold Cup Scarborough

Cadwell Park (September)

It was five years since I’d been, the weather was good and starting grid 34th for the first 5 lap Open race, fought my way through to finished 11th, then in race 2  starting 11th  after a massive highside held onto 4th at the flag.   Sunday was another lovely day and I finished an enjoyable 6th and 4th.

Summer at Cadwell

East Fortune (October)

The final round of the North East Championship in bonny Scotland was blowing a hooligan, it was three years since I’d raced there and a few changes have been made. It was always bumpy as hell and sorted the men from the boy’s but they’ve resurfaced most of it and taken away all it’s character.  I was out first on the Minitwin which is a Kawasaki ER6 and the interest it generates with it’s 80’s Eddie Lawson ( former 500cc world champion ) paint job is tremendous, I won both classes and got 4th and 5th overall against much faster 400’s.

Having fun on the 'Pizza Bike'

Cadwell Park (October)

This was the 6th and final meeting I needed for my TT course licence so basically all I needed was to turn up and finish one race without any drama and that would do. We had a blow out on the caravan on the way down and from row 4 halfway round the first lap within two corners two riders chucked themselves up the road and I just thought to myself “ It’s a cold day, the last race of the year and after the season I’ve had I don’t want to end up on the floor or even worse in hospital again” so I just rode round did what I needed to do and finished a safe fourth. The second race I rode very tentatively to fifth, the day then got worse when we had another caravan blow out on the way home and without a spare we were stuck on the M62 for an hour and a half waiting for the AA to bring a new wheel and tyre for the caravan, we eventually got back at 9:15 and I was just glad to be home and finished for the year.

 David Bell Racing 2007

For 2007 we stayed with Kawasaki Newcastle on the green meanies, using the same ZX10 as last year but with a full Akrapovic system and one of the new ZX6R’s as soon as they are delivered. I will also be riding the ER6 Minitwin at all the North East rounds, Kawasaki Newcastle owner Dave Winfield really wants to win the Championship as he rides one himself.

Croft (March)

I ran in the 600 in practice as it’s brand new stock out the crate, and managed to qualify front row on all three bikes, finishing the first three races with a 3rd and two 2nd’s.

Minitwin at Croft

I managed fourth in the second 600 race then won the second 400 race outright on the ER6, the first time a Minitwin has won the 400 race and it just shows you don’t need 190bhp to have a lot of fun. Overnight the wind was really bad and a few awnings went to Norway, then early on Sunday came the snow, and the decision was made to abandon the meeting.

ZX10 out of Farm Bends

Scarborough (May)

I had the busiest day’s racing in my career, with all three bikes I was looking at 24 laps of Oliver’s Mount, as three races ran back to back. I take my hat off to Ian Lougher, he’s been doing it for years, no wonder he’s fit for an old guy ‘Ha Ha’.

The day started well with a 3rd on the 600, then in the first leg of the Ian Watson Spring Cup, I had a race long duel with Marc Ramsbotham (sadly lost his life at TT in June), but he dropped it into Mountside hairpin and I went on to my first win at Scarborough, the bike was spot on and as my Dad always say’s “to finish first, first you must finish”.

First win at Scarborough on the ZX10

There was no time for celebration as I was straight back out on the Minitwin or as the lads call it the ‘Pizza Bike’ and was holding my own with two 250GP bikes and Mick Goodings on his 400 when my chain jumped the rear sprocket and ended my race.

Out of Mere Hairpin on the ER6

I got 2nd in the  600 race and then lost out to Ramsbotham by half a second for the Ian Watson Trophy.  The superior top speed of the Mick Gooding’s 400 machine put me back to second place in the Minitwin  race but the crowd were hanging over the fence and waving so I was waving back and just had a real hoot, the best fun I’ve had riding a motorbike in a long time.

All in all it was a good days racing and my name will go into the history books as a winner at Oliver’s Mount along with all the other great names who’ve won there.

North West 200 (May)

We went straight from Scarborough to the 5am ferry from Stranraer, the last time I was in Portrush was 2003 and had forgotten how fast it was, but nevertheless qualified 36th Superbike and 9th Superstock

Last ride on the ZX10 to date, practising for the NW200

Saturday arrived with good weather but the race was delayed due to Bruce Ansteys bike overheating on the line, then the race started and the first wave got away, I made a good launch behind Davey Morgan who suddenly moved to the right.  Too late I saw the stalled bike and tried to miss it but collided and fell off, in all five bikes were involved in the carnage and the race was red flagged.

Look sixteen fingers in the male Bell family, Portstewart paddock, Northwest 200 2007

When I stopped tumbling I realised that my day was over and probably my TT as well  as my right index finger was gone and all that was left was a little bit of bone and some loose flesh.

That's me rolling on the right, can you spot my finger ?

A paramedic gave me a shot of morphine ‘and that is good shit’  Susan came in the ambulance along with my severed finger in a plastic bag wrapped in ice, at Coleraine they cut my leathers off (only two weeks old) and cleaned the wound with iodine and THAT IS THE MOST PAINFUL THING I’VE EVER EXPERIENCED.  I then went by ambulance to Belfast where the consultant advised to leave the finger off as there was a very good chance it would be useless, even after a ten hour operation.  The rest as they say is history, but I was absolutely gutted at not taking part in the Centenary TT as I had high hopes for this one after two disastrous years and I must give a massive thank you to the Marshals and Paramedics who tended me at trackside and all the hospital staff at Coleraine and Belfast Ulster.

Wot! no digit

Scarborough (June)

I returned to racing for the Cock ‘o’ the North meeting, on the ER6 Minitwin as it was the only bike I could ride for full race distance, first was the Superbike qualifier, I rode the arse off that little bike, qualifying and finishing 8th against much more powerful machines.

Let's have a wheelie up the hill at Scarborough

Next was the 400/Minitwins, Mick Goodings came past me for the lead on his 400 Kawasaki rocketship,  I held on for a couple of laps but his bike was just too fast so I settled for second and pulled a few wheelies up Quarry hill to keep the spectators entertained, not sure whether people noticed but I was enjoying it as well.  In Superbike race 1 the little bike held it’s own considering it’s giving away around 100bhp to the 1000cc bikes and I finished 13th,

Sunday however the weather deteriorated severely, leg 2 Superbike was run in damp conditions and things went pretty well finishing 14th.  Then the wet 400/ Minitwin race gave me comfortable 2ndand with no time to spare I was straight back out for the now 6 lap Cock ‘o’ the North race and had another good race finishing 10th to round off a great comeback weekend.

Croft (July)

After missing the East Fortune round with injury I was fifth in the Minitwin Championship, 47 points behind leader Mark Walsh, I’d entered two classes again, the Minitwin and Sound of Thunder which is for twin and three cylinder machines up to 1000cc.  First race was the Minitwins which I won by over 7secs., then in the Sound of Thunder I managed 3rd in what was one of the best races I’ve ever been in.  I won the second  Minitwin race comfortably,  bagging a whole load of points and the second Sound of Thunder race was every bit as good as the first with another 3rd .

Trying to pass a Sound of Thunderer, Croft

Sunday came with a Minitwin win, the night before I’d jokingly said that I was going for the lap record on Sunday and I almost got it missing out by 0.02secs.  I finished a lonely 2nd Sound of Thunder then took another win on the Minitwin, last race of the weekend was the Sound of Thunder and with Championship leader Garry Hamilton making a wrong tyre choice, I moved into the lead and was able to pull away to finish off the weekend with a win and cutting back Mark Walsh’s lead to one point.

Cadwell Park (September)

First time here on the ER6, and I managed to hang onto 2nd Minitwins, then in the Sound of Thunder race had a massive scrap with John Carson on his 675 Triumph, passing him for 4th but  wasn’t disappointed as I’d ridden the wheels off.  The second Minitwin race was less exciting as the first race winner dropped it behind me and I won comfortably.

In the  SoT race on Sunday on the Woodland Circuit I moved into 3rd and quickly took 2nd and that is how it finished, the Minitwins were next and I took a comfortable start to finish victory.

Sound of Thunder next and had a great race for 2nd with Gary Hamilton, we both laughed about it afterward as it was so enjoyable, good clean racing.  In the main 15 lap race of the weekend, Michael Moore Trophy for Minitwins, I made a good start and took the win by some eight seconds and was very happy especially as there was prize money up for grabs as well as a very nice silver trophy. After recovering from that I was straight back out for the final Minitwin race in which I took another start to finish victory, only one left and the final Sound of Thunder race didn’t disappoint, I managed to round the weekend off with another 2nd.

Presented with the Michael Moore Trophy

Scarborough (September)

Instead of being in with the 400’s this time I was in with the 125’s and Supermono’s and from the front row made a good start and led on lap one only to be passed on the back straight by Alex Hutchinson on a very trick and very fast supermono,  I followed on his back wheel for a lap or so then Chris Palmer came by at exactly the same place on his 125 so I tucked in behind him. With Ian Lougher in 4th we circulated as a foursome for the next three laps and you could have covered us with a blanket it was so close. Unfortunaly on the last lap my gearbox cried ‘skinch’ coming down the hill into Mountside hairpin and although I had to go down the slip road I got turned round, managed to get a gear and made it to the finish in 5th. At a later inspection the selector barrel had sheared so we couldn’t have done anything about it, the only good thing was I broke the Minitwin lap record so that was a small consolation and I was riding really well.

Davic Bell Passing a Supermono

Passing a Supermono on the outside aint easy at Olivers Mount

East Fortune (October)

Final round of the NEMCRC Minitwin Championship,  I needed a win on Saturday and I was Champion.  After a real good dice with Rab Davie on his 400, we pulled away from the rest of the field comfortably winning our respective classes, then had to settle for 5th in the Sound of Thunder.  The second Minitwin race was different story, I made a good start then made a right balls up of railway corner and dropped back to 6th, from then on it was an uphill struggle but I managed to get myself back into contention and finished a comfortable 2nd in the race and 1st in class to give Kawasaki Newcastle and the ER6 the Minitwin Championship with two races remaining.

Last race of the day was the SoT and after some hairy manoeuvres went on to finish third,  we had a good night in the paddock and Spencer enjoyed himself thoroughly collecting ankles on his digger.

You just cannot wear the tyres out on a Minitwin at East Fortune

On Sunday  I just managed to win the opening Minitwin race from promising youngster Paul Baxter then in the Sound of Thunder race I finished 3rd locking the back end up and backing it into corners much to the appreciation of the marshal’s at the hairpin.  The second Minitwin race was good and after making a mediocre start in 5th I made my way through to the front by mid distance, then went on to win comfortably.  The last race of the season was the Sound of Thunder and I went on to finish 3rd which gave me third overall in the Sound of Thunder Championship, considering I only did three out of the five meetings it’s pretty good, not bad at all for a ‘Pizza Bike’.

 David Bell Racing 2006

For 2008 we stayed with Dave Winfield at Kawasaki Newcastle with a brand new ER6 and the ‘old’ 2006 ZX10 now heavily modified to accomodate my injury.

Croft (March)

I got 3rd in the Sound of Thunder race at Croft on  Saturday, the day was then abandoned, with the track washed out it was just too dangerous with lots of standing water.  Sunday dried and I won both Mini-Twin races and got 5th and 3rd Sound of Thunder.

Passing two into Tower at Croft in March

Scarborough (April)

I took the ZX10 out for the first time in almost a year for the Ian Watson Spring National at Scarborough in April and had a few problems, finally removing the steering damper ‘very scary’ and parked it up., I won both Minitwin races then took the ER6 out in the second Superbike, enjoying myself on the last couple of laps pulling wheelies up quarry hill eventually finishing 12th to round off a good day.

David Bell at farm bends Olivers Mount on the ZX10

Farm Bends on a very scary, no-damper ZX10

East Fortune (May)

I won all four Minitwin races including my first ever wet-win and held onto the Michael Moore Trophy  which I won last year at Cadwell, I had two fourth’s then two third places on Sunday to move up to second in the Sound of Thunder Championship.

Michael Moore Trophy again

In late May we went to Lucca in Italy for a family holiday attending the Moto GP at Mugello which was fantastic and I also made a tiring day trip over to the Isle of Man TT for the Senior race and had a good day as for once the weather was kind.

The Cock o the North started badly, I spilled the ER6 on some mud into Farm Bends and with mainly damaged pride finished 4th  in the Superbike qualifier on the ZX10, then had to give best to  Alex Hutchinson on a 400 Kawasaki in the Minitwin race.

'All hail the great god Kawasaki' off at Farm Bends

I jumped off the ER6 and straight onto the ZX10 finishing a superb 2nd in the Superbike, enjoying the race, especially the fifth gear wheelies down the back straight.   There was a lot of interested people looking at the handlebar conversion on the ZX10 during the interval as it looks a bit weird and they were surprised at how well I’d been going on it.

Mowing the grass out of Memorial

The Superbike second leg saw me back in 5th followed by a 3rd in the 400/Minitwins then.last race of the day, the 10 lap Cock o the North feature race, I made a good start from the second row and held 4th to the line to finish off an excellent weekend. Both bikes worked perfectly and never gave me a bit of bother and I was really surprised how competitive the two year old ZX10 was with MotoX bars and so were a few others.

Croft (July)

Sound of Thunder is very enjoyable against bigger bikes and I managed three 4th places and a 2nd  then four MiniTwin wins and a lap record to clinch the NEMCRC MiniTwin Championship. disappointing 8th and 2nd  .  At one point in the Open Class I thought I had problem on the ZX10, with a red light flashing on the dash, then I realised it was the rev limit light (Plonker), it is a while since I’ve seen it, later Kirk Jamison said he enjoyed watching me leaving 40 yard black lines coming out the corners.

The Inquest, 'how did you manage to miss that gear Daddy ?"

In the Ken Redfern Trophy race I took the lead from Mark Buckley on lap eight and held on for the last two laps then got caught up with two backmarkers on the last lap, one at Sunny and the other at the Hairpin. I got past on the exit and only had the run to the line left then I missed a gear, I quickly put it back in and raced to the line only for Kirk to beat me to the line by 0.009 seconds.  I was absolutely gutted and just wondered what I have to do to win that trophy.

I completed the Coast to Coast cycle ride, raising sponsorship for a mate’s eleven year old son suffering from cancer and I can’t remember it being that difficult 12 years ago.

Coast 2 Coast finish

Scarborough (September)

In the Gold Cup meeting I finally decided to call it a day with the ZX10 as my hand/arm is not up to Olivers Mount on a big bike so I put the ER6 on the front row finishing 3rd a 2nd with a MiniTwin lap record.

Enjoying the 'Big Bike' for the last time

My last race of the weekend was the 12 lap Gold Cup and due to the problems I’d encountered with my hand I decided to go out on the Minitwin instead of the ZX10, so I just enjoyed myself and pulled some wheelies up quarry hill and entertained the crowd over Jefferies jump, on the last lap the reaction I got from the crowd was tremendous.

East Fortune (October)

I’d already won the Minitwin class but bagged 3 wins, a dnf and a lap record and still had a chance in the Sound of Thunder being only 8 points behind, unfortunately four second places wasn’t good enough and I had to be satisfied with second in the SoT Championship.

Second to Derek Glass on the 675Triumph in the Sound of Thunder Championship (Photo Geof Symonds)

So that’s it for another season and it’s been a pretty good one on the whole, I retained the North East Club Minitwin Championship & Michael Moore Trophy, finished 2nd in the Sound of Thunder Championship & the Ken Redfern Trophy and set three new class lap records at Croft, Olivers Mount and East Fortune so not bad at all.