Tuesday, 16 July 2013

World Championship Entry, Friends and Ex-GP Racer, Paul Smart

It's been an eventful last week since our Snetterton race, going straight from the circuit to Silverstone for a test day, meaning a 4:30am start. Ride all day with the intention of preparedness for our big news of my wild card entry being accepted for the World Superbike round at Silverstone in August! Yes, our World Championship debut will be on the first weekend in August in the FIM Cup Superstock 1000 class, the world series of the class I'm currently competing in in the UK. A very exciting prospect, and we I'll be running my number #81!

A successful test over at Silverstone, with our new found front suspension settings, we headed down south to Brands Hatch for another test on Wednesday, meaning more 4:30am starts. This was another success with a scorching hot English 26 deg day... Once again getting us lots of track time, fortunately with a number of top runners from my class, so I mini BSB race took place every session - good fun!

After the long days on track, Mark, our team owner took his truck down the road to a friends house, that friend happened to be former Grand Prix racer of the 70's and Ducati's flagship GP winner, Paul Smart!

His lovely wife, sister of Barry Sheene himself, welcomed us with afternoon tea in their garden. Paul arrived shortly after on his Ducati road bike, to give us a little peak in his garage! Two of his factory Suzuki RGs, one 750 and one 500, among a few other bikes as you'd expect a retired GP rider to have. His pride bike,a virtually priceless Ducati which he brought Ducati their first ever major GP success on, was not there. Ducati had the bike in their own racing museum in Italy, where they are trying to buy it back from him...for rather startling prices I might add!

Paul is a massively nice guy, full of laughs and stories from his GP days in my homeland, bringing back memories from Roy Hesketh in Pietermaritzburg, along with names such as Alan North, Mike Grant, Rodney Gray, et al. A list of my dads friends! That was a great experience - thanks Mark!

After a fun weekend in London, meeting up with some friends from home, including Thomas who will be joining us on our Tomorrowland music festival trip, and a few races over the next month. The weather was properly hot, even on South African terms! Really had fun with some of my oldest friends, and newest friends all together. I'm now ready to get back to the track, and head to Brands Hatch this weekend for our next round of the British Championship.

I'll keep you all updated on the weekend, hold thumbs for us!

Cheers for now!

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