June 9th 2013, this year the Queensland Road Race Championships are being run as single day events, comprising of 2 rounds. Round 1 was to utilise the popular Circuit J of Morgan Park Raceway. The team found it a bit strange to be rocking up to the track for only a single day – although perfectly timed for Simon as with a 2 week old baby he was not going to be let go away for a weekend – however a one day event meant the meeting could be done as a day trip.
Simon and family arrived at the track Sunday morning having made good time on the drive out from the Gold Coast. Gary was already out there having stayed overnight in Warwick, we complete our pit setup and got the bikes through scrutineering with out dramas. It was cold – but not as cold as prior years in June, the temperature being about 13 degrees.
Qualifying was to be a single session. 250 Production was to share the grid with 125GP/250MonoGP/Moto3 and the 400’s. Simon got out on track and put down some laps, the track was cold and a little damp, and Simon was not feeling overly confident with the level of grip available, he took 4th spot on the grid with a lap of 1:32.46. The big surprise of the session was Gary out qualifing Simon for the first time! Gary took 3rd spot with a lap of 1:32.29, less than a second off his PB in slightly damp and cold conditions, Gary had started the weekend with confidence. 1st and 2nd spots were claimed by Tayla Relph (Moriwaki 250 Mono GP) and Tony Carroll (Honda VFR400).
Race 1, Simon got off to an average start, 5th into turn 1. Gary got off to an excellent start and was 3rd into turn 1. After three laps Simon had been relegated back to 7th place, and was starting to get a bit more feel and was able to start putting down some faster laps, moving up to 4th and planning on breaking away, however Dave put an excellent block pass on Simon on the way into turn 7, unable to carry good speed through the corner he was back in 6th place again into by 9, plenty more passing over the next few laps including a some tough passing by the team mates on each other. Simon managed to hold 4th place outright to the finish line (1st 250 Production). Gary’s bike began to overheat with a lap and a 1/2 to go so he had to back it off to be able to bring it home in 6th outright (3rd 250 Production). An exciting race with lots of dicing for position, Gary had a best lap time of 1:31.572 – only 0.1 off his personal best, and the track was slightly damp! Simon put in a best lap of 1:31.705, so far Gary was the fastest 250 of the weekend.
Race 2, the track was a fair bit wetter. A better start for Simon had him in 2nd place into turn 1, Tayla had almost disappeared by turn 4. Simon thought he had left the other 250’s behind and was running a pace they could not match, turn 10 Dave came past on his 400, then down the straight 3 250’s passed. Clearly the pace was not as fast as he initially believed. With the race being 10 laps long he settled in and clicked off a couple of laps, just testing the grip in each corner without getting involved in the battle in front. The circuit was almost really starting to dry again by lap 3, Simon started making his way through the bunch, no big overtakes just simple stuff, capitalising on where he was stronger. By lap 6 Simon was leading the bunch, another couple of laps at the higher pace opened up a gap, and from there he managed it to the end of the race. Happy to finish 2nd outright, 1st of the 250 Production machines. Gary on the other hand had swapped to his spare bike after the overheating issue. His spare bike was sporting a brand new rear tyre, this would have been fine if it was not wet for the first few laps, he experienced a few moments in the first few laps and had to run at a much slower pace to keep the bike upright until the rear tyre scrubbed in, a pity as his pace was so high in the first race he could have challenged at the front. By then end of the race the tyre was nicely scrubbed in and he was ready for the next race. The lap times were slow with the extra water on track so Gary still held the fastest lap of a 250 for the weekend so far.
Race 3 Simon got away nicely and simply managed the gap to the group behind him finishing the race in 2nd outright and once again first 250 Production with a best lap of 1:31.012. Gary had to start from the 3rd row as the meeting used progressive grids, so you start from the grid position you finish the previous race. With the tyre scrubbed in Gary was able to push to his maximum and set a new PB of 1:30.785, and finished the race in 5th outright, 2nd 250 Production. Gary still had the fastest 250 Production lap time of the weekend.
Race 4 Simon got a cracking start and held the outright lead until the end of the first lap when Tayla drove past with ease on her Moriwaki. With the track completely dry Simon put down laps progressively getting quicker from 1:30.850 down to 1:30.125, finally taking the fastest 250 Production lap of the weekend from Gary, however it was not enough to break away from Tony Carroll, Tony sticking with Simon the whole way through the race, then a good drive out of Turn 12 combined with the extra cc’s of the 400 enabled him to take second outright for the race, with Simon finishing in 3rd. Gary starting from the second row finished 2nd 250 Production and 5th outright only thousandths off his PB with a 1:30.790.
Overall another very successful weekend for Team Tiger, with Simon leading the championship on 100 points, Gary sitting in 3rd with 79 points just 5 points behind James Parker, and managing to improve his personal best lap time in conditions that while not bad, were less than perfect.
A big thanks to our sponsor CaraData, the Motorcycle Sportsmen of Queensland for another excellent meeting, and Wayne from Osella photographics for the the excellent photos. If you are going to watch the footage race contains lots of excellent footage for both riders, race 2 is good to watch from Simon’s bike, not so exciting on Gary’s, race 3 contains very little excitement with Simon, but is a good race with Gary, race 4 is more exciting from Gary’s bike than Simon’s.
Onboard footage from Simon’s bike.
Onboard footage from Gary’s bike.
Full race results can be viewed on mylaps – http://www.mylaps.com/en/events/910386