Dubai: Tannir Moto Racing – A Triumphant departure

Dubai: Tannir Moto Racing – A Triumphant departure

Final day Triumph for Moody before switching to Honda

February 13th& 14th saw the 5th race day of the season for Tannir Moto Racing team. With the team becoming the

official local Honda dealer backed team, the race day was to be the last with their long serving and trusty Triumph

675.

The Porsche Middle East GT Championship tested on the Wednesday with lots of lovely rubber being laid down.

Sadly this was all washed away with the torrential rain that hit the circuit Wednesday night (along with major thunder

and lightning) & Thursday morning. So much rain fell that there was 12” of standing water at 2 corners. Luckily the sun

came out and with the use of tanker trucks the circuit was all good to go for the afternoon practice sessions, all be it

only the racing line being clear.

No major dramas were encountered during the testing, well if you count a leaking brake bleed nipple and a slightly

sticky throttle as being minor issues….. With those little issues rectified new tyres were fitted and with the bike cleaned

the team departed to rest-up before the 2 days of racing.

Friday morning was the usual 10 minute warm-up to scrub in the new tyres, followed by a 10 minute break before the

15 qualifying. After the warm-up session the bike was given a quick spanner check, tyre pressure and fuel level

adjustment with Mahmoud kept ready to go. Getting out in the qualifying session early was going to be critical in order

get some clear laps. As soon as the session went green Mahmoud was rolling down pit lane, 1 warm-up lap and then

3 quick laps each 0.5s quicker than the previous lap resulted in P2 overall and second in class. Job done. More

importantly the tyres were in great shape.

A brilliant start and being ultra-late on the brakes saw Mahmoud take the hole-shot and lead the race into turn 1

(including a BMW S1000R!). So at the end of the 1st lap Moody became the 1st rider this season other than Abdulaziz

Bin Laden to lead a lap. Lap 2 saw Nasser on his BMW S1000R drag past on the long back straight. Drama struck on

lap 2 when the race commentator (Phil) reported that Mahmoud had smoke billowing out the back of his bike (and

thus giving Ian, Shane and Scott a mild heart attack), lucky for the team it was actually Abdulaziz’s bike that was

pooring smoke (sadly not so good for Abdulaziz though). Sensing a problem, Abdulaziz very smartly pulled off the

track straight away which prevented and oil dropping onto the track. With a 7s (and growing) gap to 3rd place,

Mahmoud decided the best way to keep his concentration was to race Nasser and try and beat him to the overall

victory. Unsurprisingly Nasser was much quicker down the 3 straights so Mahmoud was having to push to the limit in

the corners and on the brakes. For 3 consecutive laps he threw the bike up the inside of Nasser on turn 15 (16 turn

track) to take the lead (team supporters standing at the corner were very impressed by all accounts :). The start /

finish line is quite close to the last corner which didn’t give Nasser enough time to re-pass Mahmoud for the lead or

race victory. With that the team headed to the top step of the podium for the 1st time this season.

The onboard footage should be spectacular as the team were running a rear facing Go-Pro camera.

 

Saturday dawned sunny but cool. As the tyres were still in great shape no changes were made to the bike for the 10

minute warm-up. Mahmoud reported the bike was running well and so the team could relax before their race at 13:20.

Abdulaziz’s team had built him a new engine from the remnants of the blow engine and spares they had over night.

This meant they didn’t have time to put the bike on the dyno and produce the necessary dyno sheet. The organisers

agreed that he could race given the circumstances…..

A great start saw Mahmoud take the hole-shot, an even greater start by Abdulaziz saw him in 2nd place at the end of

lap 1! Running yesterdays tyres may have proved to be 1 race to much as Mahmoud’s lap times were ~0.6s a lap off

yesterdays times and with Abdulaziz lapping ~0.5s a lap faster than Moody’s times from yesterday. With no chance of

racing with Abdulaziz, Mahmoud road cautiously to finish in 2nd place and bag another 20 championship points.

So with that all done, it was time to pack up and hand the bike and its keys over to it new owner Nassir (a fellow

racer). The good news being that the new Honda bike was being prepped and so it made its track debut at the Track

Attack organised Yas Marina event where most of the team also did some riding as well on their own / borrowed

bikes. So until the next round (6th March), its good bye from the team and the Triumph 675.

 

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