Simon and Gary Dickson fly the flag for Team Tiger at the 2015 Pirelli Masters of Morgan Park, along with supplying a CBR250RR for Tony Carroll to help ensure a quality field of 250′s. Riders were greeted by frost on Saturday morning, 1.5 degrees at the front gate! Clear skies and perfect sun shine soon warmed everyone up, and the day started with perfect conditions.
Entered in the Period 6 250cc class, the Period 6 500cc class as well as the Gregg Hansford Trophy race it was a busy weekend! Simon and Gary completed the full schedule of events, meaning they completed 64 racing laps each!
Qualifying went off smoothly, everyone was a bit wary in the first session, just testing out the bitumen. Session 2 saw Simon claim pole in the 250cc class, and pop out a surprise 1:26.671 to set his fastest lap of the weekend and claim 3rd in the 500cc class. Gary had an electrical issue, a loose wire in the ignition switch causing him to miss the first 250cc session, but a 1:35.423 in the second session gave him 10th out of 19 riders. In the 500cc class he worked his way down to a 1:37.028 and grabbed 12th in a grid of 21 riders.
“I knew I put together a decent lap, however I had not idea it was that quick! That’s the 2nd fastest lap I have ever done of Morgan Park, and this is the 3rd meeting for this set of tyres. I was hoping to scrape into the 27′s, so a 1:26.6 was a real surprise. Getting on the front row is always very nice.” – Simon Dickson
Race 1 500cc, Simon spent a couple of laps before he was able to pass Michael ‘Mojo’ Webb to take 4th, and then closed up on the Period 5 Ducati TT2 of #60 Bob Garner but was unable to get in front before the race ended. Martin Hodgson took the race win on his Period 5 GSX1100 and Tony Carroll took the Period 6 500cc class win on his #4 VFR400. 4th outright and 2nd in class, putting down a best lap of 1:27.001 was a great start to the meeting. Forgetting to check his grid position before the race meant Gary started from the back of the grid, the self imposed penalty served as extra inspiration. He got into a groove setting a best lap of 1:35.027 and made his way forward to 9th place right behind Pat McLaren (#68 Honda CBR250RR).
Race 1 250cc, Simon got an excellent start and had opened up a gap by the end of the first lap, continuing to push he took the win by over 20 seconds. A best lap of 1:27.957 only 0.1 from the class lap record. Gary was feeling good and pushed from the start and put together his best 3 laps of the weekend, including his best of 1:33.779 on the way to claiming 7th (5th in class) in front of Pat McLaren. The race was marred by an incident on the final lap, the racing incident involved 3 riders, ended with 2 of them injured. New rider to the class (#19 Honda CBR250RR) James Micklam received contact while being overlapped and in turn made contact with Jeff. James dislocated arm in the crash! Jeff Duke who was making his return to racing after being cleaned up at Phillip Island became a passenger when his bike was again removed from under him at speed. His injuries include a dislocated shoulder. Team Tiger wish a speedy recovery to both riders!
The first leg of the Gregg Hansford Trophy was the final race of Saturday, 8 laps that saw Simon get into a gap and tick off the laps on the way to 7th, Gary had a much more exciting race, and finished just 0.2 in front of Mick Gibbons (#114 Kawasaki ZXR750) in 11th, setting a best lap of 1:35.054.
Sunday morning was slightly warmer and was another beautiful day, race 2 for the 500cc class started the day off well. Simon spent a few laps before being able to get past Michael ‘Mojo’ Webb, and then hunt down and overtake Tony Carroll, staying in the lead for 1/2 a lap but unable to get to the line first. A best lap of 1:27.458 on the way to finish 2nd in class and 4th outright. Gary and Pat McLaren had another close quarters session. Gary crossing the line ahead by a nose – 0.051 in front. His best lap of 1:35.271 getting the job done to claim 6th in class and 10th outright.
“My pace is still a bit off, I’m starting to feel more comfortable but I’m not taking any risks after the two crashes last year. While I was able to hold Pat off in that one, he is making fewer errors as he gains more experience, we should have a few good battles this weekend if we both keep going the way we are.” – Gary Dickson
Race 2 for the 250cc class saw Simon launch it off the line and head off like a scalded cat to take the win. On a mission to go below the P6 250cc lap record, a 1.27.851 held by Jeff Duke from 2014. He succeeded on all 4 flying laps! His best a 1:27.693. Gary and Pat McLaren had another close one, this time Pat taking line first, ahead by 0.273. Gary’s best lap a 1:35.021, on his way to 6th in class and 9th outright over the 5 laps.
“That has got to be one of the best starts I’ve had all year. I went out with intent to try and claim the lap record knowing the morning conditions would be the best opportunity, my lap times were really good all 4 flying laps within .1 of a second, and all of them under the old lap record.” – Simon Dickson
Simon and Gary added another 7 laps to their tally for the weekend in the second leg of the Gregg Hansford race. Simon finished 8th with a gaps to the riders in front and behind. Gary was the final rider on the lead lap in 14th, after having a good battle with Mick Gibbon.
Race 3 of the 500cc class was a fast 5 laps. Simon got past Michael Webb early kept close to Tony to finish 2nd in class, 3rd outright. The pace was very good and Simon ventured down to a 1:26.841! Gary opened up a bit more pace with a best lap of 1:34.518, however he was unable to hold off Pat McLaren and finished in 8th (12th outright).
“Tony and I pushed hard as soon as the lights went out, I managed to hold onto him but he is a difficult man to apply pressure to. I’m really happy with the pace we ran, it was good fun racing close to my limit.” – Simon Dickson
250cc race 3 was reduced to 4 laps, after an incident requiring an oil cleanup meant all races after lunch needed to be reduced by a lap to finish the schedule. Simon had a poor start and spend the first 2 laps behind Matt Bushell (Honda CBR250RR), while testing the traction through turn 1 where the oil spill had happened. He made his move and opened up a small gap to continue his top of the order finish, with a best lap of 1:28.986. Gary and Pat McLaren were joined by Mick Bryan (#10 Ducati Pantah), however Mick and Pat both kept in front of Gary for a 6th (10th outright) place finish. Gary’s best lap of 1:35.268 was on his 4th and final lap.
The 3rd and final leg of the Gregg Hansford saw Simon mix it up with a few big bikes for the first lap then click off the rest of the 6 lap race in a bit of clear air. The oil line was worn clean and he posted a best of 1:27.719, and finished 7th. Gary had a similar race, just click off laps and enjoying the time on track, a 13th place finish and best lap of 1:36.082. Final positions for the event had Simon in 6th, and Gary in 14th.
The 4th 500cc race had Simon pushing out another fast lap of 1:26.772 while chasing down Tony Carroll, “The Veteran” had opened up a gap by pushing hard in the first two laps. Simon pushed hard and closed the gap but with only 5 laps it was a 2nd place finish. Gary and Pat McLaren continued their close racing, Pat again claiming the upper hand. Gary crossing the line in 6th (7th outright) less than half a second behind Pat, and a best lap of 1:34.690. The results meant Simon finished the weekend with 2nd in class, and Gary finished in 6th, 2 points shy of Pat McLaren.
The final leg of racing was the fourth 250cc race. Simon spent the first lap sitting behind Matt Bushell. On the second lap it became apparent they were not alone when Brad Phelan (#949 Yamaha RD400) overtook Simon for second position. On the 3rd lap Simon made a big move on the brakes into turn 4 to overtake both riders and move into first place, then put his head down and tick off a few quick laps to try and get away. Simon was successful. Taking the race win and lowering the lap record to a 1:27.328 on lap 4. Gary was involved in a 4 rider battle of (#196) Kieron Horey, (#368) Brenden Allen, and Pat McLaren. Gary the old fox leading the group of Honda CBR250′s across the line in 5th (8th outright) with a best lap of 1:34.719. His finish good enough to move him up to 5th in the Period 6 250cc class, ahead of Pat McLaren.
“I was happy to just follow Matt for a bit and see if I could work out where he could improve, however once Brad came past I decided I should just make a break, knowing Brad on the RD400 had some good straight line speed I put the hammer down to open a gap to break the tow. Really happy I managed to bring the lap record down to a low 1:27, and on tires that are ready to be disposed to boot.” – Simon Dickson
Aside from the crash involving Jeff and James, it was a fantastic weekend. Great weather and a great time with all the Motorcycle Sportsmen. It was great to see a few new bikes on track and look forward to the continued expansion of the class.
Thanks once again to all the Team Tiger sponsors. Penrite Oil, Xcite Bikes, HEL Performance, 2fiftycc.com, CaraData, Kaiser Baas, and Litek. Wayne from Osella Photographics once again has taken fantastic action shots. Special mention to Simon’s wife, Tamara, and her mum Janice, for being super mums and looking after his kids on Mother day so Simon and Gary could go racing!
|Simon Dickson||Gary Dickson|
|Total Laps (racing & qualifying)||81||76|
|Average race 1st lap time||1:32.913||1:40.488|
|Average race lap time||1:28.422||1:35.752|
|Qualifying Time 250cc||1:47.912||1:35.423|
|Qualifying Position 250cc||1st||10th (6th in class)|
|Qualifying Time 500cc||1:47.912||1:37.028|
|Qualifying Position 500cc||3rd (2nd in class)||12th (8th in class)|
|Best Finish 250cc||1st||5th|
|Final Points 250cc||100||62|
|Final Position 250cc||1st||5th|
|Best Finish 500cc||2nd||6th|
|Final Points 500cc||80||58|
|Final Position 500cc||2nd||6th|
Full results and lap times available @ MyLaps.