BSB Donnington 2003

 

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DONNINGTON BSB 2003; Last round…
by Michelle Pye


“I’ve won tickets for the last round of the BSB. Jamie is coming on the Sunday but it would be great if you could come with me on Saturday Michelle” Jay said on the phone. I had hoped to go to Imola for the Italian round WSB. But getting flights within a budget as tight as mine was not possible. “Ok Jay, that would be great thank you” I replied, and the plans were set. I would ride to Jay’s on Friday night, and then we would leave early Saturday morning for castle Donnington, meet up with some friends and check out some bikes.

We arranged to meet half way at the little Chef in Stow; after synchronising leaving times. The sky looked devilish, so I checked AOL’s forecast; the percentage of rain wasn’t convincing so waterproofs would be required. I didn’t have waterproofs, but I did have a few snow ski suits, so after testing a favoured all-in-one over my leather jacket I felt happy that I’d covered the wet leathers scenario, and secured the bundle in a rucksack, inside a cargo net at the back of my bike.. Off I set with my Maps safely on the tank bag just in case. Ten minutes into the ride and the heavens opened. I’m not a confident wet rider. I have in the past been forced to ride my bike as a Jet Ski, but it’s not high on my list of fun achievements. After realising that the rain was set in for a few more miles, I stopped and donned my ski suit.

Back on the bike, all snug in my suit, I indicated, did a final shoulder check and pulled away. It was at this point that I discovered how tight the outfit was over my leathers as I attempted and failed to bend my knees sufficiently to get my feet on the pegs. This was a great start; rain poured down, and I was riding back in the stream of traffic, with the straightest legs. I finally arrived at the meeting point 20minutes late after removing the knee sliders that bulked me out so much. Thanx Chris!! They look great and give me lots of attention, but bit bulky for the wet…

9am Saturday morning and Jay and I set off for Castle Donnington. The roads were clear and with the exception of a few silly drivers sat in the overtaking lane on the motorway it went smoothly without incident. Why do drivers think that the overtaking lane is the place to sit when you own a BMW? Contrary to belief it’s not called the fast lane ;-). After a quick breakfast stop at Mc D’s we arrived at the track. I was amazed at how empty it was, but glad we had front row parking right outside the Infield viewing entrance. Jay had ridden Donnington track in the past and gave me a great tour of all the tight turns and corners, pointing out her favourite parts; Coppice, Redgate, and Craner Curves.

We met up briefly with other members that we knew would be at the event and then headed for the paddocks. I managed to get some autographs for friends not fortunate enough to have paddock passes, and was pleasantly surprised that JR had remembered us from the ferry coming back from Assen. We also met some new stars; Kurt #66 and Matthew #99 Wigley and their Dad Martin outside the Rizla hospitality unit. These guys are amazing! 7yr old twins who starting racing at the age of 4.

They are the youngest ACU license holders in the country, and currently hold first and second position in the Novice class 2002. They ride 39cc GRC Bikes with a top speed of 45mph. The minimum age to ride production bikes is 10yrs old but due to their fantastic skills they may be able to ride production bikes when they are 8yrs old! Adapt-racing will be shipping bikes in for them next year. Now that’s what I call competition at its best. These little guys have all the gear and sponsors jumping on the band wagon all the time. They rode around with their Dad on their paddock bike, inundated with fans stopping them for photos and signatures, praise from factory bosses and JR himself.

JR (as many others) had seen the programme that drew Jay and my attention; shown on Men and Motors last week. When I asked Matthew his goal he just smiled over the top of his designer sunglasses, wearing his bandana on his head and very calmly said “GP of course”. Matthew and Kurt will be at the NEC Birmingham with their bikes on show. One bike will be on the Active stand and the other on Putoline Oil stand, I can recommend a keen eye to be kept on these Rossi challengers.

Off to the Yamaha Virgin hospitality to check out the new R1. Now this is one very tidy piece of kit. This bike is capable of more bhp than it actually weighs! With its efficient tucked up exhausts and lots of motorbike engine spec that baffles me, I sort of felt like it should fly, not stay on the road. Tommy Hill will be flying next year for sure and already had his name stamped on the race version.

A quick stop for lunch and then up to the Evesham Technology suit to watch the qualifying. After racing was over, we perused the tents and garages looking for riders we admired and gaining lots of attention with our well worn sliders ;-). (huh - I think you missed telling us how you got the sliders scuffed but the pictures below give us a clue -  ed) A spot of shopping (very disappointing, but watch this space) and quick goodbyes to everyone. Then back on our bikes, and a buzzed up ride home after watching the racing. Health reasons stopped me riding back from Jays until Sunday morning. Jay and Jamie set off early for their day at Donnington and Col met me on the Ninja at Fish Hill for the ride home. I ended a top weekend watching TV coverage of WSB and BSB then walking my Mums dog and chasing squirrels in the woods. How lucky am I! Thank you to everyone involved for making a great weekend.

Stay True
Michelle x

 

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