So finally, we get to make our NW200 debut- personally, I think it’s long overdue, but because of work commitments it’s never been possible…. until now.
We flew to Belfast on the Saturday eve, and took advantage of some real Irish hospitality courtesy of the Moore’s- they really do spoil us.
Sunday- breakfast on the patio in the sunshine was giving us more of a holiday vibe, but before Roley had chance to don his “mankini” we were in the truck heading up to Portstewart. A long day was spent building the awning, which mostly consisted of looking for bits put away last August (the last time we used it)- by 2200hrs we were done.
Monday-final prep on the bikes followed by a trip the famous anchor bar for some food, early night though as 1st practice in the morning.
Gavin was out 1st, having to do 3 laps behind an instructor, as he was a newcomer. He came in after his session refuelled and went out with Dan in the SSP session. The day went by in a flash of different practice sessions, the riders seemed to be enjoying it and the mechanics were running around making sure everything was ready for them. We had a few issues to sort with Dan’s 600, he was down on top speed, whereas Gavin’s was one of the fastest. We looked into engine mapping, aerodynamics and weight differences- changes were made to map and the screen was lifted.
There was a good vibe in the paddock, and in true Topgun style, we joined in (we won’t go into detail, but Wurz was heard shouting as he fell out of the tractor unit…. again!!)
Thursday - a day of practice, followed by some races in the evening. Dan’s 600 was still down on top speed, he couldn’t run over 162mph without a slipstream where Gavin could reach 168pmh. Both did 172mph in a slipstream- this still has us scratching our heads and we are looking into some high-speed testing on a runway before the TT.
Gavin had 2 fantastic races- starting in the 2nd group he fought his way up, passing many riders including some chap called Guy Martin, to take an impressive 2nd place in group, and 22nd overall. An impressive debut.
Dan hindered by lack of speed and lack of set up time, had a best result of 16th- still impressive in this company but not what he came for. What we do have though is some really good set up information going to the TT in a few days’ time.
After doing our magic trick of getting all our setup back into the truck (you would not believe how small an artic seems), it was time for some more Irish hospitality, thanks Karen & Brian.
Altogether, not a bad debut-I’m sure we will be back.
Oh and did I mention- a certain someone missed his flight home……………..?(Dan😊)