Round 1 Race Report

ROUND 1 - ANGLESEY - 19/20 APRIL 2008

‘Sweatshop Moores Racing 2’ dug deep in Saturday qualifying to grab pole from 2007 Champions GBmoto (Mark Smith Halvorsen/Mick Godfrey/Mike Dickinson/ CorporateFX Yamaha R1) who struggled with gear selection problems in the windy conditions. As a matter of precaution, GBmoto were forced to make an overnight engine change after failing to be able to remedy gear selection problems with their YPE tuned race motor. Mike Dickinson said “We have found it to be the selector return spring which is easily replaced, however the general consensus is that we may have damaged fifth gear whilst trying for a qualifying time. We cannot take the chance going into the race, so the boys have been there all night rebuilding the bike, slotting in a new engine”.

Overnight rain persisted and continued throughout most of the day and it was GBmoto’s Mick Godfrey who took a short lead from Sweatshop Moores bike in very wet track conditions. Sweatshop Moores retook the front spot just before the first wave of pit stops at the hour mark. After 90 minutes of racing second place GBmoto pitted with electrical problems, temporarily fixed with a new battery and loosing 7 minutes. Following a tyre change for leaders on the road Sweatshop Moores it was the other ‘Moores Racing’ 600 that took the lead in front of GBmoto, who were on the charge and back up to second place. The Moores 600 then went out after Mike Eglington dropped the R6 at the entry to Rocket, rendering the bike unrecoverable. Whilst the pace car was out GBmoto came to sort out the rectifier and electrical charging problem – a good tactical move.

At the half way point last years champion Mark Smith Halvorsen fell at the Banking necessitating the pace car to put in another appearance, the rider was shaken but in one piece and the R1 was recovered by team mate Mick Godfrey who returned to the pits to 'make adjustments'. Sweatshop Moores now held a 2 lap lead over the mercurial Team Viking, with Darkside Endurance and Throttle Monkey another two laps away.

A bad day for the No.1 CorporateFX Yamaha, was about to get worse. At three quarter distance the bike went down at the very fast Rocket corner. Whilst rider Mick Godfrey was OK the R1 was now un-rideable so it was game over! With an hour to run Sweatshop Moores held a slender lead over Team Viking who were comfortably ahead of Throttle Monkey. In the closing stages, with 20 minutes to run, the top five teams were all on consecutive laps, but it was Sweatshop Moores who won ahead of Team Viking, on the same lap with Throttle Monkey in a solid third.

After Macca stepped off his R1 at The Banking, he appeared shaken if not stirred, having suffered an unconscious period and some bruising and swelling. Sensibly GBmoto sent him off to Bangor hospital for a check up - he was driven away by Sarah Ozanne, who along with Katie Rowe fly over from the beautiful Channel Island of Guernsey to support GBmoto and the HMRC - they are fanatical about endurance racing.

Not an ideal start by the reigning UK Endurance Champions – however the team are renowned for battling back and putting constant pressure on their rivals. Mick Godfrey said after the race “This is a big disappointment, but our race bike will be stripped, checked and rebuilt to the same top spec. There is no doubt that we will be back at the next round and on the pace”