August 2009

Hello again, a little bit late I know but I am getting better, slightly!

Anyway we were back at Olivers Mount for the Cock ‘o’ the North on July 11-12th 2009 and it was an excellent meeting, practice went well and I rolled up onto the grid for the Superbike qualifier only to find they didn’t have me on their sheets Pixie was in the same boat, after a short discussion we both had to start from the back which wasn’t ideal in a four lap race. I made a good start and made up a few places into Mere hairpin, I picked up a few more positions over the next couple of laps to finish 7th and qualify for the main races so I was happy. The Superbike first leg was up next and I made an excellent start slipping down the outside I made up a load of places on lap one, a few came past over the next couple of laps and the rest of the race was pretty lonely finishing 15th. Without a break and a quick refuelling stop I headed out for the Minitwin race, I made a good start leading into Mere, I put in some quick laps and built up a good lead by half race distance. On the last few laps I eased off and pulled some wheelies but won quite comfortably. We retired down to Scarborough for fish & chips and another slot machine fest with Spencer to tire him out, this is after he’d already done  god knows how many laps of the paddock on his bike, anyway it worked and he went straight to bed when we got back.

Sunday

Sunday was again another warm day and I went out for a couple of laps practice to get my eye in, first race was the Superbike second leg and I made a cracking start passing loads down the outside into Mere, at one point there was a bit of a freight train behind me including Ian Lougher who was having a bad weekend, it took them a couple of laps to get past then once they did I had another pretty lonely race to 16th.

Chasing Ian Lougher with the pack hot on my heels
Chasing Ian Lougher with the pack hot on my heels, Superbike, Cock ‘o’ the North (CDH Photography)

My last race of the weekend was the Minitwin second leg and I went out with the sole intention of breaking my lap record, I made a good start and slotted into 2ndand followed Pixie for a lap and a bit then made a move up the inside into Mountside.

Kawasaki ER6 David Bell Racing

On my way to a new lap record, scratching at the Esses (CDH Photography)

I then got my head down and tried real hard pulling out a good lead and on lap five I got my wish and set a new lap record. With three laps to go I eased off again and entertained the crowd backing it in to Mere hairpin then wheelying up Sheene’s Rise, on the last lap I got a great reception from the crowd with everybody waving and it was just nice to ride round waving back eventually taking the win by some 21 seconds to round off another good weekend and the Kawasaki Newcastle ER6 was perfect yet again.

Knockhill

A couple of weeks ago we were up at Knockhill for the third round of the North East championship, I was a bit wary of how things would go as it’s been six years since I was last up there but I quickly got the hang of it again as soon as it dried up.

Qualifying was wet and I could only manage 11th which put me on the third row, I wasn’t best pleased but would have to make the best of a bad job, in total contrast the Thunderbike qualifying session was nearly dry and I put it on the front row so we were going in the right direction. We were first out and I made an all right start but was a bit too cautious into Duffus dip on lap one and was in 7th or 8th, I made up a position into the hairpin then passed Toot and Pixie in one go a lap later, on the exit I turned round and flicked the V’s at Pixie only for both of them to pass me back on the straight. I made the same move the next lap and made it stick this time, I got my head down and caught the group ahead passing them one by one into the hairpin eventually moving into 2nd but the leader was too far ahead so that was how it finished but I was very happy with that. The Thunderbike race got off to a good start and I led for the first lap, Pixie came past on the back wheel of his ZX7 over the start/finish and I tucked in behind him passing him into the hairpin on lap two only to be blown away up the straight, I rode my heart out to stay with him and got onto his back wheel at the hairpin then he had a massive highside coming out and I had to take to the grass to avoid hitting him and the bike. The race was red flagged and I was pleased to see him on his feet when we got back round and he gave me the thumbs up so he was ok., the restart was much less dramatic and I took the win easily which closed the championship right up with only 3 points in it.

'Pixie' having a lie down, me taking avoiding action, he's getting old ya know! (Geof Symonds)

The second Minitwin race started pretty much the same as the first, I was in 7th and moved up a couple of places on lap one then as I came through Carlube corner Daniel Chappell had gone off the track and through the puddles splashing water onto the curb, I went over the curb and the bike just locked up and slid sideways I’m still not sure how I stayed on as the bike was at 90 degrees and I’ll never come as close to crashing again but I stayed on and gathered myself quickly as I’d lost two places. I slowly moved my way through again staying well away from that curb and eventually finished 3rd . The Thunderbike race was going really well as I was leading after two laps then I went for sixth gear and it wouldn’t select, I looked down and the rod had snapped, I thought about pulling in as I was stuck in fifth gear but I made it out of the hairpin so I just kept going, ten laps in 5th gear was hard work but I still managed to finish 6th which is pretty good considering.

After heavy overnight rain the track was dry come the first race, I started from the inside of row three this time and got a good jump as I approached the first turn I decided that if I didn’t make a move I would struggle to get through again so I went for it and jammed it up the inside of Scott Campbell and three others to move into 4th, I moved into 3rd at the hairpin and was in touch with the leaders for the first time all weekend. On lap four I moved into 2nd at the hairpin then a couple of laps later I took the lead as Andy Lawson ran a bit wide and I nipped up the inside, he briefly came past on the start/finish straight but I out braked him into Duffus dip and managed to pull away as Andy and Dan Chappell were scrapping behind, 12 laps seemed like 112 but eventually the chequered flag came out and I had won which was a massive relief and as I came round on the slowing down lap the Dave Bell massive (Susan, Spencer, Sue Symons and her Grandaughter Hannah) were cheering like mad at the exit of the hairpin so I gave Spencer a wave.

Next was the Thunderbike and I started second but quickly moved into the lead at corner 3, I led for three laps then Pixie came by and I managed to stay with him for a few laps but eventually had to give best and settle for second. The next race was one of the best I’ve had for a long time,I made another good start and made the same move again at turn one pushing a few people wide but I made it through and into 4th, I quickly moved into 3rd then 2nd a lap later. I took the lead at turn 3 with a move up the inside to pass Dan Chappell, he came back past on the run to the hairpin but I managed to brake later and hold onto the lead, again he passed me on the start/finish straight but I was later on the brakes and held him off, again he got ahead on the run to the hairpin but I was better on the brakes and the same happened going into the first corner but I managed to brake later and stay infront. This went on for the next few laps and it must have been great to watch for the spectators, eventually I had to give way and I just sat behind him and was waiting for the last lap to try and make a pass but on the penultimate lap I made a mistake at the chicane and had a massive tank slapper, this was enough to give him a few bike lengths lead and try as I might I just couldn’t make it up and he went on to win but I wasn’t disappointed as it had been a cracking race and he rode really well. I didn’t have much time as I was back out for the last race of the weekend, I made a good start in second and took the lead at turn 3, I got my head down and pulled a lead but after a couple of laps I could see Pixie catching, on lap five the race was stopped due to an accident just as Pixie came past so we had a restart over 6 laps. I made another cracking start and put in some real good laps pulling out a lead to comfortably take the win. Another good weekend was over and even the weather was OK for Knockhill, at least it didn’t snow so I’m now looking forward to the Gold Cup at Scarborough although that isn’t for a few weeks.

Godspeed Lewis

The day after Knockhill was a very sad day however, as we went to our friend Lewis Scott’s funeral after he sadly lost his battle with cancer at the age of 12, the turnout was tremendous and after a lovely service we gave the lad the send off he deserved, he will be sadly missed and all our thoughts are with his mam & dad, Heather, Dave & brother Conor. I was just pleased that I won a race at Knockhill for him, as I promised myself  I would, as he always enjoyed coming to the racing,

Godspeed Lewis!

 See you next time. Cheers  Dave.