Carl Stevens

Fast Bikes - - COLUMNIST -

Be­ing only mid­way through that vile 12 week break (yep, that long) for the Ducati Per­for­mance Tri-Op­tions Cup, I’ve had a lot of time to re­flect on the first two races, get some solid train­ing in, fi­nally give the bike some TLC and sneak a hol­i­day in for good mea­sure; along­side start­ing full time on the mag. It’s all been a bit full-throt­tle!

As we’ve been run­ning some­one else’s bike we’ve fi­nally man­aged to bring it back, and send it all the way up north to Steve King Mo­tor­sport for him to work his magic. He’s lit­er­ally go­ing to rip it apart and put it back to­gether; metic­u­lously mak­ing the old Ducati Panigale 899 as good as new. This means all the usual things like chang­ing oil, pads, check­ing bolts, but also with a brand new mas­ter cylin­der we may fi­nally cure the prob­lem of that dreaded brake fade – es­pe­cially as we are get­ting closer to those races in the peak of sum­mer heat.

With Snet­ter­ton com­ing up next, we need to keep on push­ing! And not just the bike. As the parts are still on the way to fix my pit­bike after be­ing taken out a few months back, I de­cided to get the old mo­tocross bike out for a bit of sum­mer train­ing. Un­for­tu­nately the lit­tle track near us was ac­tu­ally shut, mean­ing me and a pal took our full blown MX bikes (knob­blies and all) round a kart track! As far as train­ing goes, try­ing to stay aboard that re­ally does take some do­ing – and although the grip and feel was like rid­ing a horse with no legs, it re­ally was a good laugh; even though my lit­tle-two stroke was try­ing to kill me ev­ery time I lit it up out the hair­pin. Thank­fully, we kept them both up­right and loved ev­ery minute of it. Fin­gers crossed it won’t be long be­fore my pit­bike’s fixed, so I’ll be able to keep my KX for the rough stuff – where it be­longs. But you have to try ev­ery­thing once, right?

On top of this I’ve been train­ing in­cred­i­bly hard in the gym to keep my­self ship­shape and shiny! Ev­ery­one al­ways works so hard for me on the week­end so it’s not a big thing to ask for me to be top of my game. I’ve spent more time in the gyms than I have in my own house, clock­ing up the car­dio work and bang­ing in the strength train­ing.

It can’t do any harm and it’s helped me to feel set and ready for the next race meet­ing, which will be here be­fore we know it. Truth is, this sea­son’s been go­ing al­right and I’m keen to keep it go­ing that way. Points make prizes, and I like prizes. Plus, I’m a bit ad­dicted to that cham­pers now!

Hit­ting th­e­gym and­keep­ingthin! Carl’s gag­ging to get back out on his race bike.

Carl’s not one for­con­ven­tion. Any­thing fora­kick!

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