October 11, 2013 at 8:34 pm #15204
Silverstone is fast wide open and expansive track, a throwback to its origins as RAF base. Now the home to the British Grand Prix this particular weekend it was hosting the pen-ultimate round of the British Superbike championship. Amongst the extensive programme of supporting races was the 1000cc Superstock race, and competing in this were long-time forum friends Team Afterdark and their snarling Kawasaki ZX10R ridden by James White.
We have followed the fortunes of the team over the last three seasons as James has progressed from racing 748 and 848 Ducatis onto the ultra-powerful Kawasaki. So far it has been a tough season for James as large field of up to 60 bikes battled for 40 spots on the grid. But James has got tuned in more and more as the season has progressed and the team felt optimistic as they set up for the Silverstone weekend. The bike had even been treated to a stunning new paint job. All was looking good
Then, during 1st practice on the Friday having only got a handful of laps under his belt James was skittled off by another rider….at 140 mph! Thankfully James was ok, his new leathers and LS2 helmet doing a superb job of protecting him. The ZX10R however was looking a little the worse for wear. But the team worked hard and with support from some of the other teams in the paddock who lent or donated some parts the bike was up and ready to run again by the time we got there on Saturday morning.
The LS2 helmet certainly did its’ job…
Back together again…an amazing effort!
James was stiff, but determined to go out and join 2nd practice. At least with only 39 bikes entered this weekend he was guaranteed a slot on the grid. Putting in a gritty performance during practice he got himself out there and all was set for the big race on Sunday.
For our part Ses, his mate Jason (R1) and I had ridden down uneventfully enough…the run to Silverstone is not the most exciting and we parked up in the club spots inside he track and hooked up with the team. Poor old Katana, who had set up the weekend for both his works motorcycle club and forum members, was in bother though. His trusty Fireblade had picked up a puncture on route and he now going to be late and in his car. Swindon Andy was also here and it was good to meet up with him again even though he was also in car…his Triumph carbs had decided it was a good idea to piss petrol everywhere. He was at least in 450bhp car; a supercharged Jaguar…nice.
Ses and Jason
The forum’s ‘Team four wheels’ squad…Swindon Andy and Katana
This meant neither of them could join us for the two parade laps of the circuit that the race organiser had laid on. There were a lot less bikes this year, about 60 or so. Ses and I were stuck behind a rider who basically came to a standstill on the corners. A bit awkward when no overtaking is allowed! Still it was good to open up the Ducati here and there and get a feel of the track. I really must get around to getting myself onto a track day soon!
Ses on his BMW and me on my Duke getting ready to take to the track
Another highlight of the day was having a look around the pit garage and set up of the Gearlink Kawasaki squad, thanks to my old friend Gill who works for the team on race days. The lads from P&G enjoyed that, we had so many we had to take them around in two groups. Thanks to Gill and the boys and sorry for demonstrating my shockingly bad racing knowledge when I identified a Superstock bike as a Supersport…I will have myself beaten immediately!
They had suffered a big practice accident too, but worked furiously to get the bike back on the track. The team picked up a couple of pots over the weekend too, so good luck to them.
Inside take on the Gearlink Kawasaki squad
Gill of Gearlink Kawasaki with Ses looking at the 600 SUPERSTOCK bike (I think)…
My favourite of the multitude of pit lane bikes… a minature TDR…Thumper would love it!
Good fun day and on the ride back I had a laugh on the Duke trying to keep Jason on his speedy R1 vaguely in sight, especially on the traditionally enjoyable Bromsgrove to Kidderminster road
Day two and it was just me and Ses that rode down in rather murky conditions to watch the action. I took the 600 today as I had not ridden it for a couple of months…as usual it started first time despite the neglect. What a great bike that Thundercat is!
More of the P&G boys rolled up today and the Team Afterdark gang did a great job providing everybody with food and drink…the butties being particularly excellent. It was good to meet up with Stuart and his family too who had been on the legendary ‘Assen Run’ last year…a fellow veteran of ‘The Shed’…
The butties were popular!
The racing was excellent today and the track was bathed in sunshine as early October did a great job of looking and feeling like a proper midsummer day. The BSB races were stonking and Shaky Byrne was amazing: Recovering from a big spill he was going straight from crutches to his race bike and then battling for the lead right to the line…Thrilling stuff and no mistake.
James did well his race too, 39 190bhp bikes roaring from the start line is an impressive sight and sound and he battled gamely through to the end despite still feeling rather sore to come in 30th by the finish
Tim and the ZX10R…
James in the mix…
So all in all an excellent weekend of racing, it is really great to be involved with a team and see how a they operate over the course of a weekend. It was good to see a family working together too as James Dad Tim runs the team, while many of the rest of family and his girlfriend are on hand too helping and keeping them all (and guests!) fed and watered etc.
Thanks to Katana for setting it up and to Team Afterdark for the hospitality. I look forward to seeing how the team progresses next seasonOctober 11, 2013 at 8:47 pm #66999Swindon AndyParticipant
Excellent write-up as always. I wish you’d waited for me to finish the salad – not a great pic!. Oh by the way, the Jag is a bit over 500hpOctober 12, 2013 at 9:40 am #67000ses310Moderator
Great write up again Radar. It was a fantastic weekend and a huge thanks to Team Afterdark for the hospitality and to Kat for organising things, even if there was no bike club gazebo!October 12, 2013 at 9:46 am #67001katanaParticipant
Great write up, as normal.
I’ll post a few pics of my own later.October 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm #67002
Great write up, as normal.
I’ll post a few pics of my own later.
Cheers Kat, be good to see them, did you get one of the little OSR Yamaha?October 21, 2013 at 8:51 pm #67003
I understand James had a bit of high sider and the bike hit the barriers at the final round held at Brands over the last weekend. I understand he is OK but theat the paitshop is about to get some more trade…October 21, 2013 at 9:39 pm #67004katanaParticipant
Some pics from SilverstoneNovember 2, 2013 at 2:05 am #67005
Got to love the little Yamaha!
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.