fairing copy


Oulton Park October 28th 2006

Last race of the year

Practice Race;
Liam (the chap who’s hoping to race another FJ next year) came with me to this last race meet. The weather was forecast showery and the ground was still wet so we swapped the front wheel for one that had a wet front tyre on but due to time I decided to leave the race Super Corsa on the rear as it seemed the area was drying up. When I got to do the practice race, after the warm up lap, I realised that the track was soaking but not wanting to waste time changing the rear tyre I thought I’d put some laps in anyway.
Big mistake! By the second lap and reaching Druids Corner (doing 70 mph in the wet) the rear tyre stepped out as I gently put the power down, the result was me heading straight for the bails, it was a case of sky.. ground… sky … ground. Luckily I was unhurt, apart from a few bruises, and the FJ had its fairing modified and gear lever bent.
Back at camp, Liam and Ernie ran around looking for a spare gear lever and helped me put the bike back together. The bike was rechecked at scrutineering before I was allowed to enter into the next race.

Race for grid position;
Taking no chances I fitted a wet rear tyre to match the front as the track was still very wet. The plan was not to fall off and take it steady, but when the flag went down I sort of forgot.
By the first corner I was fourth and, within a lap, I had overtaken Dennis Sholicar (currently leading the championship). On the second lap I was second until, going into the last bend before the start/finish straight called ‘Lodge Corner’, I had the front wheel lock up, big style. Part of the problem was I was having great difficulty changing down gears, often I didn’t even bother because it was so bad, this meant I was relying on my brakes more. Shit! Crashing twice in one day isn’t going to look good, so, with determination not to drop it, I let go of the brakes, drifted out wide, which was lucky as there was some extra tarmac on the exit, grabbed the brakes again, got it turned and fired it back out. Whilst all this was going on, I lost two places so I had no choice but to ride harder!
The result was the FJ was wheelying (by wheelying, I mean, the front was off the ground, not a Rossi standing on the pegs type) out of Brittens Chicane towards Hill top and the over Deer Leep, this felt awesome considering it was soaking wet and to my surprise I was even getting my knee down though Cascade and Hizzys.
 At one point me and Steve Cave went into Lodge Corner only to find yellow waving flags and a guy and his bike in the middle of the corner, I think we both thought that this must be the end of the race and were expecting to see the red flag, so we backed off for a few bends. After seeing the flags go down it was back to the business of racing. Finally, on the last lap, I noticed Steve take a look behind him coming out of Cascade at which point I was about 20 metres behind him. I nailed the FJ up and into the red line in fourth along Lakeside and through Island bend (changing gear would waste time and distance) and by Shell Oils Corner I had caught Steve and his Exup up. I finally overtook him, by out accelerating him out of Shell Oils Corner and out braking him into Britten. This glory was short lived though as by the next bend into Hizzys Chicane he outbraked me and came up on the inside. I thought, no point taking one and another out for second or third position as its only grid positions we were fighting for, so I simply followed him to the finish line.
Back at base Ernie came over saying I had got second place and Steve had took first. Shit! If I had known I was in shouting distance for a first I would of made a move. When later I chatted to Steve he said I had gave him a right shock as when he looked back I was a good 20 metres behind and after another two bends I came around the outside of him, he had slightly knocked the speed off a bit because of the lead only to have to crank it back up again to re-take me.

Points and Trophy race;
We thought that the changing down gear problem may have been down to the gear lever assembly as we had simply bodged it back to ‘serviceability’. So as luck would have it, Penguin (Steve Beesty, along with many members who had come to watch and wish me well) had rode his Suzuki TL1000, so Liam set about stealing it and grafting it onto my Fudge, sorted! Or so we thought.
The weather was getting better but after the Practice race and making the wrong choice of tyres I left on the ‘wets’. Steve who was camped next to us had fitted a set of Race tyres to his Exup but on the warm lap I realised I had made another mistake as the circuit was dry apart from a little damp patch through Hizzys.
When the lights went out I was second into the first corner but as I dropped down into Cascades, Richie Ellis (current Lap record holder for the Forgotten Era class) passed me riding his Yamaha OWO1 (you must know this bike, its was Yamaha answer to the RC30 Honda, £18,000 worth of kit in 1989…. Against little me on my £200 FJ1100).
All was going well until I braked heavily into Lodge Corner and I had a shock when the handle bars moved about an inch due to the weight transfer from my body. Along with this and still having the changing down gear problem, had me really worried so I started braking a bit lighter and losing time. Eventually it was so bad I was pressing my thumbs against the fairing so the bars didn’t move on braking, I thought of coming in as it was getting dangerous but I looked over my shoulder and noticed the guy behind me was a good 20 metres so I stuck it out.
By the flag I finished 3rd behind Richie and his OWO1 by 2.7 seconds and Steve took first by 9.8 seconds from me. Not too bad especially when considering I was on full wets on a dry circuit!

The final standing at the end of the 2006 seasons in the Forgotten Era (over 500cc) was, I had come 3rd with 46 points, Steve Cave was 2nd with 57 and Dennis Sholicar took 1st with 63.
I would like to thank all the members who had wished me well and some even came to the races to offer support, especially to Mark and Kerry who had been taking pictures at the meets and for putting the results on their web site. Finally, but not least, to Lorinda who has been my biggest supporter throughout the year and often getting up at 4am to make the trip to Anglesey from Bristol.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about me racing a FJ (under dog) against so called ‘better machinery’ and hopefully you can all hold your head up and say to friends that the FJ isn’t the boring old granddaddy bike so many people think it is.
Here’s looking forward to the next season 2007 when there will hopefully be two FJ’s in the series. Thanks for your support. Doc

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