Supersport Race 2 Report
Supersport Race 2 started on time at Wednesday lunchtime. After an encouraging first race on the bike, I’d made a few changes firstly lowering the gearing by one tooth on the rear to give a better corner exit in various places. I’d also put a harder fork spring in one leg as the front end had been chattering over the bumps in the slower corners, Creg, Bungalow, Glen Helen etc.
I got away from the line and the bike was clearly working better, it took a few miles to adjust to the gearing etc. With a different feel from the front end I was finding myself exiting a good few turns with loads of space, noting to myself that the bike was now capable of going faster the following lap through. I felt like the first lap was going well and at Parliament Square I could see the rider in front of me which is a good sign that I’d made time on him – in Monday’s race I’d lost time so this spurred me on.
Then as I exited Guthries onto the Mountain Mile I selected third and felt the gear lever disappear below my foot. I looked down to see the lever flapping free, I had a couple of attempts at changing gear by knocking the gear arm attached to the selector rod but it wasn’t going to happen. I rode the remains of the lap jammed in third gear keeping a close eye behind to make sure that I wasn’t blocking anyone.
Once into the pits Geoff, my uncle who has been helping this week with the bike, had a quick look but the thread had sheared out of the quickshifter so I retired in pit lane. I’m still a bit confused at how this fault has come about, the gear linkage rods are something that, once fitted, just don’t get messed with. I’ve never had one fail in this way before. A real shame for all of us – the bike was a clear improvement and so much time had gone into the bike to have to pull out for something stupid was gutting. Never mind though at the end of the day I’m in one piece.
So I had a short break until a Senior practice session in the afternoon. We had changed the fork offset again on the Norton to improve the way that it holds a line. This was again a step in the right direction, with just some minor rear shock damping adjustments the bike is now set for the Senior Race on Friday. I didn’t go nuts to get a lap record during the lap, it was more about testing some changes and stretching a new chain in. Some testing at Jurby on Tuesday saw the remedy for the minor brake issue that I’d had in the Superbike race (although while we were there I nearly rammed a pheasant which strolled out of the long grass onto the back straight, I seem determined to hit some Isle of Man wildlife this year!).
Another day off today, Thursday, then just the Senior to come on Friday, fingers crossed for a good race.
Posted: June 6, 2013