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Stick or Twist?

I really enjoyed racing this year. Unfortunately it was cut short with my off at Castle Combe using up all available cash. We had new tyres introduced at Castle Combe, the Dunlop Alpha 13 SP. There was mixed reviews on them and I had planned to put them on for that round but let myself be swayed out of it. If I had bought them I would have probably saved myself some money and avoided the off.

But the new tyres bring me to decision to stick or twist. The reports are they are worth a second a lap however they wear out after two meetings. I had used my Alpha 13 types for five rounds at Castle Combe and they still seemed to have plenty of life in them. If they are going to need replacing four times a year rather than my planned two or three times it impacts the cost of the racing quite a lot for me.

The alternative? Pre-Injection 600 racing. I think I could sell my bike and buy a PI600 for a the same or maybe a well set up one for a little more. I contacted a racer at the top of the NGRRC championship and asked him about them. He said you could run Dunlop 212 tyres with a 4 (endurance) compound and get four meetings out of them. He did suggest it would cost two seconds a lap on those so I wouldnt be competitive at the front but it does open up a lot more options of where I can race. There is a Scottish PI600 championship, as well as with Thundersport in their Golden Era class and at NGRRC in their PI700 class.

But then its not a Ducati. There is no control tyre and all the bikes can be different and tuned to the moon. and using the 212-4 compound I would not be competitive in the championship. With DesmoDue I had a fourth place finish at Donington Park and was running in fourth at Castle Combe before crashing out. So I know I can run near the front but can I overcome the huge weight disadvantage I have being a fully grown man against the other Homunculus racers in the series? It was won again by Andy Blomfield, Duncan Baillie in 3rd and Pete Pritchard in 4th. I am probably giving away about 20-30 kg in weight to them. Matt Lawson finished 2nd in the championship and he is more my size but a former racer in the series described him as a freak for being so fast. My goal is to get to 14 stone but I will still be significantly heavier than the front of the grid. The PI600 might not be as much of an issue since the bike itself will be heavier and having more power could possible overcome my size disadvantage. Plus it would be a lot faster! I might even be able to get it to jump over the mountain at Cadwell Park.

Let me know what you think!


  1. David David

    STICK and try harder to not fall off…..and I know that means you are not trying harder……At least with the Ducati you ‘know where you are’ and you cant buy speed in your class. Since money to race is a big issue you would quickly get out spent in another class. Find you feet again in the DD class and work slowly and carefully at moving up the league table understanding your limitations and the issues and hope to be lucky on a few tracks while also hoping not to be unlucky on any of the tracks. Build up your skill set and learn the tracks and you can only become a better racer.

    Watched Shakey go from In The Lead to Fourth in a recent race so even the best screw up sometimes.

    BUT then this all depends on what you really want to achieve here.

    IF you want to be First you are too old and too heavy you can lose some weight BUT finding that ‘invincible mindset’ of the young is long gone.

    BE REAL and REALISTIC and think why am I doing this?

    What is success for ‘ME’ here?

    What will make me happy and satisfied?

    And if all else fails and you truly cant decide FLIP a COIN 🙁

    • Andy Andy

      you dont think I have the invincible mindset? 5 crashes in 2 years and its not slowing me down, so why cant I be first? I cant lose weight to be the same weight as someone who is 5 foot 6. its just not possible.

  2. Giles Giles

    What tyres are the Formula Prostock Blandits running and how long do they last?

    • Andy Andy

      Seems to be an open tyre for them. So would imagine about the same as the pi600. Depends on the compound.

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