Thursday (20th) and Friday (21st March) saw the 7th race day of the season for the team. Thursday saw not only the team use the official test sessions but also bike track sessions to continue working on the performance of the new Honda CBR. Significant improvement in suspension settings were made as the tyres were in great shape after all of the sessions and the team were very close to the optimum gear ratios.
Friday morning dawned bright with clear sky (well what else would you expect!). The plan was to use the warm-up to try another gearing option, with new tyres to be fitted for qualifying. A decision made on the final gearing option used during the warm-up session.
With only the bikes racing on the day, the schedule had warm-up, qualifying and the two races all down and dusted by 12:30. Of course this meant that the post-race parc ferme would have to be cancelled (as parc ferme is 30m and there was less than 1 hour between races and the tyre warmers need to be on for at least 1 hour).
Warm-up confirmed the gearing option and in the 10 minute break between warm-up and qualifying the team changed both wheels, the rear sprocket, lock wired the front wheel and brake bolts and refuelled the bike.
Great work by the team! Qualifying saw Mahmoud finish in 2nd place in class and overall with confirmation that the gear was correct and the handling was good. Normally, the race start procedure is a sequence of time boards (3 minute, 1 minute, 30 seconds, 5 seconds) then the red lights go on then off, not that these time mean anything as the boards are just shown sequentially. However, this time they didn’t show the 5 second board, which resulted in Mahmoud not making one of his excellent starts and with Abdulaziz putting in a blistering 1st lap, Mahmoud had a lonely race where he kept his 2nd place.
Not all was doom and gloom though as Mahmoud set his fastest ever lap around the circuit and his lap times were ultra consistent. For race 2, a new rear tyre was fitted and this time an excellent start saw Mahmoud finish the 1st lap less than 1 second behind Abdulaziz. The team could tell Moody was pushing the bike harder than he has ever before as he was on the rev limiter just before turn 1 (the team could hear from the pit wall) which resulted in a lap time 1 second quicker than race 1 (and thus another fastest ever lap).
The smile on Mahmoud’s face said it all at the end of the race, he was really, really happy with the performance of the bike and the improvement made by the team. So with 2 races to go, Abdulaziz leads the championship by 8 points, but nothing is over yet, and the team will be going all out to win the last two races and retain their title next time out, stay tuned.
Report supplied by Team Tannir Moto Racing…
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