After last months Kings of Collie there has been a 4 week interval to prepare for the First Round of the Club Championship aka The Collie TT.
Derek Jemerson will be feeling confident as a good service and carburation tweak on the RetroMoto Dyno has seen his CBR recover over 5HP midrange power and put him on an equal footing with the rest of the pack in the P6 250 field.
Paul Smith is still rebuilding his GSXR750 and sitting this meeting out and watching the results on NatSoft, as are Adam Carson, Nick Gardner, Simon Harding, Riccardo Farrugia, Mike Nazroo.
Whilst these team members are missing, Nic Wallis-Smith makes his race debut on a CBR250RR - good luck Nic!
Paul Joshua will be racing an R6 in the Modern Class.
In #67 world, the last round the KZ500 had a few issues that blighted its lap times. The most serious of these were caused by the gradual degradation of the track surface on the exit to Turn 1 where the race cars had been causing the tarmac to begin to ripple. This time it wasn't just me imagining it, other riders on P4 and P5 machinery were also experiencing front end patter to the point of having to reduce speed to ensure survival. As I had a major off at the same place last year in The State Championships I have been slower through there since in an effort to stop the front end misbehaving to the point of disaster. The new Pirelli Phantoms gave good early feedback and I didn't press on as I might have before - all leading to slower laps. It's a shame because up to that point it was very definitely an area of attack where I could close on bigger bikes and then try to out-brake them into Turn 3.
The obvious solution is to upgrade the fork springs as the front end is a bit soft. Unfortunately the narrow fork tube internal diameter precludes using anything else so I'm stuck with it for now. A set of later thicker Kawasaki forks, the current ones are 35mm, is probably the answer. Knowing my luck it won't be a simple front end swap, but it's an ambition to get it done by the Nationals in November.
The fluffy running in the first race was caused by a combination of rider and pit crew error - the choke was not fully off, the electrical gremlins that blighted the second are now fully ironed out and the KZ is ready to go.
The MuZ660 had its shakedown meeting and performed well. The enhanced engine performance is great, its quick out of corners. The lightened wheels and rear subframe have assisted the already nimble handling but I still feel the seating position could be improved by lowering it.
One of the things about the last meeting was doing my races back to back. With no gaps, KZ500, onto a GP125, onto the Muz, whilst I was certainly wired to go it sure as hell didn't give time for adaptation. Hopping from the GP125 onto the MuZ made the latter feel like a giant tourer and it just didn't fit as a work station to go to war with. This next meeting sees me getting a one race gap between the GP125 and the MuZ so I will see if I can live with it - if not there will be further changes to the subframe.
The one area where the MuZ had not done as well as I expected was under braking, towards the end of the last race the front brake was definitely beginning to fade. The standard Brembo pads were just not up to the task so I changed them for a set of sintered Newfren ones. There had also been contact between the caliper body and the edge of the disc - what had caused this was a tiny misalignment when the caliper bolts had been lockwired which had caused the caliper to pivot fractionally. All these factors had caused the disc to run hot leading to the fading. Saturday's practice session will hopefully confirm the back of the problem.
Other than that all it got was an oil change.
In other racing news there has been a dramatic change in routine. After dragging my race bikes on a trailer behind my 1999 Subaru Liberty wagon for the last 15 years and sleeping in the Federal Hotel in Collie the Subi is having a rest and an even older 2.5 litre diesel Mitsubishi L300 Express van will be the new deluxe race transporter and race track accommodation. It came with a bed and a dual battery and solar panel and has been further pimped out with awnings, tinted glass, towbar, reversing camera and spotties.I have finally become a man in a slow van with a fast plan, a plan to keep going racing!
#67 See you at the track:)