Carl’s been sun­ning him­self in Spain, styling his bonce and, oh, rid­ing bikes too...

Fast Bikes - - CONTENTS -

We won’t be mak­ing the grid for the first round of BSB at Don­ing­ton Park, which is a real kick in the teeth. Yamaha still haven’t fi­nalised ex­actly when we’ll be get­ting our R6 so we’re left play­ing the wait­ing game. It’s gut­ting, be­cause I’m gag­ging to get out there and kick my sea­son off with the rest of the guys. An­noy­ing as it is, the world will keep spin­ning and I’m try­ing to fo­cus on all the good times we’ll have once our sea­son gets un­der way.

Bike aside, every­thing else was pretty much sorted well in ad­vance for the 2017 sea­son, in­clud­ing some test­ing ttime at Carta­gena. In­stead of can­celling the book­ing, we made the de­ci­sion to rock up any­way and see if we could bor­row a bike. Our luck was in as my spon­sor Glynn Rac­ing came to the res­cue by lend­ing me his trusty old Suzuki GSX-R750 K8 track bike... with un­der a thou­sand miles on the clock since new and a brand new su­per ex­pen­sive paint job. So with the words “look after it with your life” etched into my brain, we headed out for a good three days of thrash­ing in the Span­ish sun­shine.

Having raced two-cylin­der Du­catis for the past three sea­sons, it was pretty awe­some to have an in­line-four to get some sad­dle time in on. The dif­fer­ence was mas­sively bla­tant from the kick-off, but it didn’t take me too long to get used to the rev hun­gry Gixer. I bloody loved scream­ing its nuts off. De­spite weigh­ing more than a mod­ern litre bike and mak­ing less power than a 600, it wwas so much to ride – once our squad got her rea­son­ably set up! Okay, this meant stiff­en­ing the old girl’s sus­pen­sion up to the max, chang­ing the bar and peg po­si­tions, switch­ing the gear shift, gift­ing her with new pads and hunt­ing down a sprocket from a ran­dom bike shop in the lo­cal Span­ish town. It took a fair bit of faffing, but we got there. We set a tar­get lap time to achieve and thank­fully it flashed up on the last day. Win­ner, win­ner, chicken-din­ner!

In all, we had a bloom­ing fan­tas­tic time at Carta­gena and I’m so glad we took the de­ci­sion to crack on and get out there. It wasn’t the per­fect sce­nario, but I came home a lot less rusty than I was be­fore I went, and even more keen to get my new race bike.

I know it’ll all come to­gether in time, so my plan’s to just stay pos­i­tive and be as pre­pared as pos­si­ble for when the R6 fi­nally makes an ap­pear­ance. I’ve got a few tyres lined up to test in the mag (watch this space), so that should bag me a bit more track time – it all helps! And so could you! If you’ve got a race bike that needs a rider, make sure to get in touch. I’m des­per­ate… if you couldn’t tell?

Carl loves pol­ish­ing his hel­met. As happy as a pig in... ‘Have you ever rid­den a bike be­fore?’ Miles and miles of smiles.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.