Al­ways in the mix

Throt­tle-to-the-stop rac­ing, crash­ing and burn­ing the novice bib. It’s been a busy month for Rutter’s pro­tégé...

Performance Bikes (UK) - - RACE BIKES - Pho­tog­ra­phy Hairy Beast Pho­tog­ra­phy

THE LAST MONTH has been a big one. We got back off our fam­ily hol­i­day and didn’t have any time for the posthol­i­day blues to set in be­fore I was at Brands Hatch for the Thun­der­sport round that we’d added to the race sched­ule.

Maybe be­ing out on the Med helped me ac­cli­ma­tise to heat­wave Bri­tain, be­cause I rocked up on Satur­day morn­ing to race at the Indy Cir­cuit, and qual­i­fied 11th on the grid out of 22 rid­ers, with­out any prac­tice.

Race one on the Satur­day morn­ing might have ac­tu­ally been wet be­cause it rained ear­lier in the day. But it turned out to be dry, and I was re­ally happy to bring the bike home in sev­enth place. Race two, later the same af­ter­noon, was al­most a car­bon-copy of the first out­ing, right down to my fin­ish­ing po­si­tion.

But it was throw­ing down with rain for race three by the time we got to Sun­day morn­ing. Maybe some of Rutter’s wet weather prowess is rub­bing off on me, be­cause I was run­ning in third place and clos­ing in on sec­ond, shortly be­fore I threw the bike at the scenery at Clear­ways... An­other four guys chucked it away there dur­ing the race, in­clud­ing my mate Kyal Tinker – maybe they thought I was lonely in the gravel.

We had no op­tion but to spec­tate for race four as the ex­haust pipe was beyond re­pair, so it was a bit of a mixed bag. Need­less to say, we had a load of re­pair work to do in the week be­fore BSB at Thrux­ton.

We knew that was go­ing to be a hard week­end as the Yamaha R3s are down on power com­pared to the Kawasaki Ninja 400s, so we re­ally strug­gle on the faster cir­cuits with the long straights. Those Kawasakis have a good 8-10mph ad­van­tage over us.

That didn’t stop me giv­ing it all I could, though. The poor Yamaha’s throt­tle was more or less pinned for 99% of every lap. I qual­i­fied 20th out of 22 on the Satur­day morn­ing, in 17°C heat, but by the time the race started on the same af­ter­noon, the tem­per­a­ture had risen to 27°C. It was swel­ter­ing, es­pe­cially in black leathers.

I got off to a good start and had a great bat­tle with Indy Offer, Jamie Le Ma­surier and Izaak Al­dred, all on Yamaha R3s. We were swap­ping po­si­tions for the whole 10-lap race, but I even­tu­ally fin­ished 19th be­hind all three of the other lads.

We had a long wait un­til race two, which wasn’t un­til 5.15pm on the Sun­day, so be­cause we were happy with the set­tings on the bike, we got to spend some time so­cial­is­ing and spec­tat­ing for a change. I got off well again in the sec­ond out­ing, and it was a great close race with Indy and Jamie again. This time I fin­ished in 18th, be­hind Indy but in front of Jamie.

It’s good to get used to dic­ing for re­sults, and I’m build­ing up a stack of track knowl­edge. And an­other good thing is that I’ve now com­pleted my race card so now I can fi­nally lose my bright orange novice bib!

Har­ris bat­tles with Indy Offer (18) and Jamie Le Ma­surier (69) in the heat of Thrux­ton

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.