Write up from the other FJ Racers

Nick 'Thrush' Hunt ; Write up on the 2009 Season

April Oulton Park .... It was a blast.
Hi light for me was our Forgotten Era race which I knew from qualifying was going to be close between me (Thrush) and Mura,
These FJ's do make the track small and hard to pass!!
Giles managed to get a stormer of a start from the back and came by myself and Steve Fergusson with a blinding out braking manoeuvre on second lap.

Impressed with just watching the unfolding drama thinking fair play he had done well to get there, I realised I should be ahead of him so made the point of over taking to cross the line ahead on lap 3 (no team orders here)
I then set about Mura who from the fantastic fun qualifying race I knew I was quicker coming out of Hissies and up towards and through Druids where I passed him on entry when he rolled off, I didn't and used up much of the track and a bit of kerb on exit!!! Thank god I'd inspected that kerb on practice day (eh Phil !!) but Liam moment No1 over I then took Liam's advice!!!!!!!! and did a fantastic out braking job on Tim Bradley into Hissies again with the inside line I took the approach of “this is my bend” and refused to give way under braking, I now have a new found respect for how much front brake you can actually use on the old girl and still get her turned in!!(Liam moment No2) Tim was then dust as I was power time up to druids and he wouldn't stand a chance through there!!. Finishing fourth was a definite high and if I could of got a better start it might of been better.

I used info I gleaned in our race to good effect to catch up to the Toad group in the Powerbikes to claw back a gap of around 2.5 secs. His group had eeked out and during dicing from start but once out of the gaggle on my last 2 laps the mist had descended and I had acquired a target and locked on to the Toad. I actually found the pace quite comfortable as was just looking to catch up to the group thinking that would be really good to gain back 2.5secs in two laps which I did, setting a 1:57.031 lap then a slightly slower 1:57.360 on last lap. This was down on expected time as my attempt of out braking Frank Baines into the last right hander (Lodge) was skuppered by a slow Nigel Rea taking up inside line so with no where to go I had to relinquish my place back to Frank Baines, and I ended up behind Nigel Rea to boot as Frank Baines had the line and speed to do him on exit. A few more ponies and I would of done Nigel Rea on the run to start line (.068 behind on finish).

Good end to a great weekend, as always thanks to all for your help, thanks to everyone for showing me the lines,
and finally I can't believe I'm going to say this but CHEERS LIAM for you're racing tips they actually worked....!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL
but remember

AUGUST 1/2 THE SMOKING ONE WILL BE BACK
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
Thrush

Typical view of the FJ racing bikes full prepped and awaiting action!

Well here we are my first race season finished!!
I’ll try and explain the season, my feelings observations etc..
When I wrote earlier in year I was well and truly buzzing to say I’m still buzzing is an understatement
I have had my ups and downs quite literally in some instances!! I have sampled red mist a few times and found out that I have an extremely competitive nature.
I last wrote after my race at Oulton Park in April, so I’ll continue from there.
During my weekend racing I got pulled by Marshall’s on 2 separate occasions for my bike appearing to be a 40 a day machine as she was smoking excessively, it started smoking on the overrun as I was braking for bends then progressed to when I was accelerating, by end of weekend it was commented that spectators could look for smoke to see where I was on track!!!
So back and team Hackerstini headquarters it was discussed at length and eventually decided to fit Wiseco high compression piston kit (12-1), this was originally planned for end of season tinkering, I’m glad we did bring forward as on disassembly found a broken piston ring which could of progressed into something worse, so new pistons in the next race scheduled at Anglesey and a track day the day before to run the bike in. All was going well throughout the day with me gradually building up revs and load on engine til I decided to go a bit more Banzi then I got more first reality check I found myself overtaking people then suddenly no one around I thought god I’m going well then spotted rain on my visor (eventually…doh) as I turned into first bend after start finish I had slide then said to myself slow down and come in next bend as I turned in I had that horrible Knife edge moment before finding myself unceremoniously dumped on my arse with the pleasure of watching my bike slide to outside of track and flip itself landing up side down!!! My immediate thought was sugar weekend over. However once back at the pits all that was wrong was a slightly bent footpeg and a broken screen…lucky so and so.
Any way Saturday went without a hitch then on Sunday championship race I got beaten by a Suzuki GSXR1100 slabsider in the forgotten era I just couldn’t brake for bends in the pits reason became obvious to brake you need pads with material on mine were slightly devoid of this, so next race game on being trophy race I thought third place would get me my first trophy so plan was to push from start… race start and we were off I latched onto Liam the mad Irishman and found after few bends I was in fifth place behind Liam going into the chicane, suddenly Liam had a moment and I found myself in fourth right behind GSXR boy who annoyed me in first race I thought I’m now fourth if I do him I’m third so in trophy position so into Anglesey’s version of the corkscrew and got a great line which ended with me alongside GSXR man but on the outside for last bend he turned in tight so I tried going round outside and but down the power early to outdrag him my revs were rising but I wasn’t going any quicker, next I new was I was off followed by sky ground sky ground then thud!! When I knelt up I found a bike whizzing past my eyes literally.. I never moved so quick in my life and got onto grass out of harms way then once clear back behind pit wall for safety. Whilst awaiting race to finish Marshall on corner I crashed at was chatting to me and said congratulations on the darky!! To which I asked what darky ? So he pointed to the bend and plain as day you could see a 15 to 20ft long dark strip of rubber which had come from my bike pre off, seeing it I could see it started well early and cause of off became obvious…. flipping red mist!!!! Then to and insult GSXR boy came third and they only gave trophy for first 2 !!!!!! So all was in vane… So loaded up van and car and drove home.
Some 4.5 hrs later turned up on drive and tried getting out of car…. Agony couldn’t even get through step into front door Knee and thigh killing me, 2hrs later was eventually seen in A+E and was told just bruising, it took 2 weeks for bruising to settle on thigh and 5 weeks before I could bend down properly.
Bike repair consisted of new handlebars new footepeg and rejigging rear sub frame back into shape who says brute force and ignorance doesn’t work.
Anglesey Grand weekend was next outing Doc had a commanding lead from Giles and the following hoard I wasn’t even listed on the programme in championship table (only show top 6) I was feeling good the bike was feeling great so the games commenced the original plan was for me was to try and latch onto Giles as he was in contention for championship etc, Doc and Liam took off at start with Who, Mura, Giles and myself following, Mura was dispatched into banking on first lap as he got pushed out wide by some eager 400 hundreds I got upto Who on the straight (found out later his bike was only pushing 86BHP) next was setting sights on Giles who was scrapping with Tim Bradley (under 500 forgotten era champ) I could see Giles was having trouble getting past which gave me chance to catch up to them ,suddenly there was a slow bike on track it was Liam as I past I found myself in third place and gaining quick on Giles next time round Giles went up inside into chicane with Tim on his outside I braked really late and did Tim on outside turned into bend and snuck on Giles inside for right-hander 2 in 1 chicane now in second place and quite pleased next lap Liam came past into chicane only for him his bike to slow in rocket which got me back through 3 bends left in second place I was getting nervous out of the left hander onto the international circuit extension (Melbourne loop style) into the hairpin I braked late and held a tight line, and then nailed it down to last bend, I sort of was expecting what came next but didn’t believe it when I braked late Liam came flying up my inside he did a demon late brake passing both Tim and Giles on brakes and then me, I thought he has gone in hot so just held my line in which took me up his inside as he went wide so I just drifted out wide so if he was going on outside he had to go on grass!! Job done across line in 2nd I thought I won a GP I was well happy, back in pit’s the timing sheets came out and I got a trophy for second my first one. Phil won by some silly margin and was the new 2009 champ. That night over a few beers Phil said I could borrow his bike to which I thought and said no thanks - why? 2 reasons number 1 if I dropped it I would be gutted and 2 if he romped to victory on my bike I would be miffed
Giles however graciously accepted offer as would virtually cement 2nd place in championship if the next day went well. The next day after the boys had adjusted bikes to suit each other we went out in Powerbikes, Phil disappeared on Giles bike nowt wrong with his FJ and I tagged onto Giles I tried an overtake at Melbourne Loop and we were level on exit and accelerated together only for Giles to pull an immediate 2 bike lengths clear. Next lap we passed Phil who had pulled in with engine trouble on Giles bike. So that was no Phil out for forgotten era race which meant more points up for grabs.
Onto forgotten era championship race Liam was gone and I eventually found myself behind Mura fourth in class behind Liam and Giles as coming out of fast right myself and Mura saw a tumbling yellow bike Giles had dropped Phil’s bike at approx 100mph I was now in third behind Mura, I hatched a plan to overtake him at the Melbourne loop the following lap, next lap I braked late on the outside of Mura and managed to square corner off and drag race him down to last bend to which he pulled along side but I late brakes off a bit and managed to hold him off, finished race in 2nd place behind Liam. What a weekend 2nd place in both championship races I’d gone from 7th in championship to second in one weekend!!! Last race for forgotten era was a trophy race I found myself on front row of grid for first time Phil was at the back having repaired his bike to ride Giles was out due to engine. I was feeling up for it on the start I got waved by start official who spotted smoke from my bike off track we found oil leak so was out of race I was gutted and feeling well unhappy I found oil cooler fractured and leaking oil out, this was put into perspective when Caz (mura’s wife) said I was lucky as if hadn’t been spotted I could of come off on oil not to mention other competitors this woke me up so great job to the Marshall’s.
So down to last weekend of championship Oulton Park I was 2points ahead of Giles and 3points infront of Mura I was laying in 2nd place I couldn’t believe it, my confidence was high as I liked Oulton and went well there earlier in season, race day dawned and my heart sank it was wet not a happy bunny as I am hopeless in rain years of rode riding and several wet weather incidents left me nervous and weary. Practice and Powerbikes and forgotten era grid race showed I was not going to be able to keep with Mura and Phil, Liam and Who and I was resigning myself to losing 2nd place in championship, the day was long with lots of delays, by the time Powerbikes race arrived (1 race between this and ours) the track had dried in some places but offline it was wet and there were leaves everywhere during race I found I was comfortable and found I had a place I could pass Mura if needed in our race. The weather was iffy and it was getting dark quite difficult to see clearly, and we started to get some rain spits again, Liam was at back of grid as he had been testing the FJ’s crashing and burning ability (I called his bike the PHOENIX as it rose from the flames literally) I knew he was going to be on a mission so I had to get infront of Mura, I had worked out that Phil, Dennis Sholicar, Mike Hose, and Steve Who would be ahead and if anything occurred I needed to be able to get into fourth (2 more points than fifth) also to be able be ok if Liam came through. At the start I knew the next 8mins would decide my fate. The race started and I found myself behind Mura and a 400 the suspects were ahead, first couple of bends as wasn’t getting anywhere and I could feel Liam approaching I made a concerted effort and managed to use the FJ power advantage up clay hill to get past he 400 next lap I lined up Mura and passed him with by coming up his inside at druids and drag racing down toward lodge I held a sort of inside line under braking as the inside of track was wet with leaves so knew it would be have to be brave move to retake me, head down I picked out Who infront and set my target on him knowing if I could keep pace I should be safe on the third lap I found myself passing Mike Hose at lodge who was pulling off track into pits, Who was dicing with Dennis ahead and I could see some Casey Stoner style riding going on I just kept pace and found myself catching up to them crossing line to finish in Fourth place, Liam was behind me with a great ride from the back, I had done it 2nd place in championship in my first season I had even missed one race I couldn’t believe it what a result, it just shows racing is a funny business with anything happening, everyone had misfortune during season I feel bad that Giles wasn’t able to repair bike in time, I was lucky with the weather. So many things contributed to success.
All the guys and girls are superb the support banter and atmosphere really makes it for me I have loved it.
A big big thank you to everyone you are all stars.

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