Race Report – Simon Dickson at the Warwick Challenge Feb 2013
Rider: Simon Dickson
Race Number: 8
Bike: Honda CBR250RR (MC22)
The weather gods provided us with another glorious weekend at Morgan Park. There were a few droplets of rain on the last lap of our last race, but nothing to be concerned about. The temperatures were good and the wind was just a breeze. Saturday morning started out with Qualifying. The Warwick Challenge qualifying is broken up into groups based on capacity. So we were all placed in the under 600cc group, first session I had planned to take it easy and try to smooth out my rear tyre as it had what looked to be some cold tearing. I didn’t go as slow as I had been planning, I was going looking to do around 1:35′s but I ended up getting a little excited and went into the 1:32′s. The second Qualifying sessions I went a little quicker again down into the 1:31′s.
We were split into our groups, I was on the front row in group 2 of the 3 groups, the rest of my group of 8 comprised of 600cc and 1000cc machines. I knew getting off the line was going to cost me a number of positions.
First race and I got a decent start, not everyone in the group passed me, heading toward Turn 1 they all got on the anchors, I went past 2 on the way into turn 1 and I used the concrete the inside of the corner to keep my pace up and go past another bike between T1 and T2. The rest of the race I was pretty much riding around the outside of bikes on corners and getting passed again on the straights. The same sequence of events happened in Race 2.
Sunday was another lovely day, Race 3 started much the same, passing bikes on the way into T1 and T2, having them go past me down the hill, then going past them again under brakes and having to do plenty of riding around the outside of bikes on the corners. All was going normal until Scott Rinaldis passed me, he had qualified behind me due to some electrical problems with the bike, and he was struggling off the start line so had not passed me initially. On this occasion he passed me at the end of the straight. All the other riders in the group were much slower than me into every corner (hence the similar lap times on a bike that does higher speeds) I didn’t realise this bike was behind me due to issues in qualifying and that it would have rider capable of going through the corner at speed. My plan was to come along the outside, be well in front by the time I turn into T1 and flow on through. When Scott didn’t slow down to the speed I was expecting of someone on a large CC bike doing lap times similar to mine it was too late, I had already committed to riding around the outside of him, I had gone in fast and 1/2 my bike was in front of him, 1/2 a bike meant I had to leave some space for him to make the turn or else I would become a speed bump. I entering T1 faster than I normally would and had a bike inside me, not the ideal situation. It was too late to back out, so I tipped in leaving a good metre between me and the apex for Scott to use, I could feel the front end telling me I was asking for a lot. I tried to keep the bike as steady as possible, I was approaching the end of the bitumen, I heard a scraping noise that I have never heard before, I keep her steady and I was almost pointed in the correct direction to make it through turn 2. This attempt was by far the most lean angle and speed I have ever attempted T1 with. Scott ended up passing me on the next straight but victory was mine, I had not crashed. The rest of the laps ticked normally, fighting for positions in the corners and losing them on the straights. An inspection of my bike after the race I found the item scraping was my fairing. It had never touched the ground while the bike was still upright before so this was quite amazing. I spoke to Scott afterwards and he said he was a little surprised to have me come back past him on the outside into T1, and was quite impressed I kept it out of the weeds. What a rush it was!
Race’s 4,5 and 6 I decided to hang back with the group behind containing Tony Carroll (VFR400), Kieran McGeown (CBR250RR), Jeff Duke (CBR250RR) and Allister Phillipp (Supermono 450), it was much more fun running with bikes with similar corner speed and straight line speed to myself. We had a bunch of great battles, even after moving to the back of the group I was able to put down consistent fast laps (including a couple of 1:29′s) and make my way back to lead the pack across the finish each race. In one race I managed a vary fast overtake on Jeff through T1, not quite as on the limit as the one I put on Scott, but enough to give me second thoughts as to if I had made a wise choice.
Sorry about the lack of footage from this meeting, I tried a different angle with my camera – it’s a wonderful view of my rear end and not much else. The cameras on Gary and Kieran’s bike did not provide any usable footage either. We will be looking to upgrade their cameras to the same one I am running.
Overall a top weekend, great weather, great company on and off the track and a fabulous meal with all the crew on Saturday night.
All the officials and flag marshals did ran the meeting to perfection, thank you to those that volunteered their time so we could do what we love.
If you would like to get into flag marshalling or officiating I can help you speak to the correct people.
If you are interested in sponsoring Simon or one of the other Team Tiger riders, please get in contact: firstname.lastname@example.org