BRCA Bikes Round 6 - Mendip

Bikes

Mendip 2017: words Scott Adderson, photos Neal Vater

The final of this year's series was held at the flowing track at Mendip, with a variable forecast meaning the potential for puddle-jumping on what is otherwise a very fast track.

Several people travelled down on Saturday for paractice, taking full advantage of the dry afternoon to get their bikes set up and get some track time, with the remaining arriving Sunday morning.

Race day was dry but overcast, with overnight rain making for a damp track for the first round, with people taking it carefully on wet-compound tyres and limited lean angles. The best tyres to be using at this point were PMT R1's, with new ones definately having an advantage.

By Round Two, however, a drying track allowed people to push a little harder and the lean angles were dropping along with the lap times for those brave enough to risk it. For Round Three, most had switched to a full dry setup, with Roadie B3's being a good tyre choice and allowing a decent lean angle for maximum performance. The qualifying times dropped each round, with most people doing their best run in round four.

What was interesting to note in 17.5 stock, was how close the speed was of all the bikes down the back straight, regardless of motor or gearing. In particular, Peter Vater and Darren Johnson were marginally slower than most on the straight, peaking out early where others were still accellerating, but managing to carry more speed than most into the infield.

After Qualifying, the first round of finals was held in the dry, with Darren keeping his nerve over a hard-fought Stock A-final to take the win from Peter Vater, and the overall Championship win for 2017. It was a superb race to watch, with the two lead bikes never far apart, but Darren making one less mistake than Peter over the 10 minute race.

In the second round, the Stock B final was held in the dry, with rain starting in the closing seconds, which then developed into a torrential downpour for the second A final. After a 15-minute pause for the clouds to pass and the rain abate, then another 10 minutes to brush and pump the excess water from the track, the finals were resumed.

Now with full wet set-up, Steve Leake took the early lead, being closely following by Peter and Darren. A couple of mistakes in the slippery conditions in the opening laps saw Darren drop back a little, leaving Steve and Peter close together at the front, until Peter managed to sneak past and pull out a modest lead. A few wobbles closed the top three at various points, but towards the end Darren was holding a steady 3rd place, with Steve catching Peter allowing for a last-lap lunge. Unfortunately for Steve, a small error released Peter to take a clear and well desrved win, taking second place in the Championship, with Steve and Darren taking the other two podium positions.

Three superbikes took to the track for their second A final, with another superb display of wet riding skills giving Gary Sims the win and the Championship, and Ken Gospel wrapped up the Nitro Championship with his RG.

Overall Positions for 2017:

Stock / Moto3 17.5:

1st Darren Johnson, 2nd Peter Vater, 3rd Gary Clarke

Superbike / MotoGPe:

1st Gary Sims, 2nd Matt Tims, 3rd Neal Vater

Nitro / MotoGPn:

1st Ken Gospel, 2nd James Casareto, 3rd Graham Clarke

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