After some valuable winter testing time at in Spain at the Circuito De Almeria, Steve Moody and the Dilligaf Racing team were ready for action at the opening EMRA round of 2016 this weekend.
Taking place at Mallory Park, rider Steve Moody is competing in the Buildbase Superbike Championship and Superstock 1000 Championship on the team’s new CBR1000RR SP which was supplied by Bransons Honda of Yeovil, fitted with our ContiRaceAttack Comp treaded race tyres.
After several days of bright blue skies, golden sunshine and snow topped mountain peaks in Spain, the team were greeted with grey dreary clouds with a hint of cold wet drizzle on arrival at Mallory.
Despite the initial lack of sunshine, the opening race day was dry but cold. This was to be the first time that Steve, a former BSB privateer in the 90’s, would compete on a 1000cc bike. Add to that riding in two highly competitive classes and it was shaping up to be an exciting albeit daunting opening weekend. Other riders included series favourite Taylor Mackenzie on the Buildbase BMW S1000RR, son of former 500cc Grand Prix racer Niall Mackenzie, who Steve raced against back in the nineties. Other favourites to make the top three in this highly prized championship was former Buildbase champ Jon Ingram and last year’s top two riders, Lee Wilson and Andy Carpenter. Steve would also be competing against several Manx GP competitors including Joseph Newbould who finished 4th in the 2015 Senior race.
The Superstock championship included just as impressive a line-up with Mackenzie and Ingram again predicted to charge ahead in the race, with last year’s rookie runner up Steve Bates one of the many highly skilled riders on this seasons Superstock 1000 grid.
First practice was 10:09 am and as the crowds arrived, the sun poked out from behind the clouds to warm the air. Steve qualified 5th in the Superstock 1000 class behind Mackenzie, Ingram and last years Supersport winner Daniel Stamper with a qualifying time of 56:499s.
By second practice, the sun was out in full. Steve feeling slightly more confident and comfortable on the bike qualified with a much quicker time of 55:809s, but in the face of the strong line up Steve would still start that race back in 14th position on the grid in the Superbike Championship.
As Steve was about to set off for his first race, an announcement was made that times for the Superstock 1000 had been incorrect and Steve would now start in down 8th place. A very determined and now rather frustrated Steve now lined up on the third row of the grid, eyes fixed on the first bend and focused on getting a good line into Gerrards. As the green flag was lowered, he pinned the throttle wide open, charging into Gerrards, coming out the other side in 6th. By the end of lap 1, Steve had muscled his way into 5th and began to pull away from the rest of the chasing pack. Steve comfortably held his position throughout the race, and as the chequered flag was waved, Moody crossed the finish line in 5th, also taking 4th in class, behind Mackenzie, Ingram and Kennaugh.
The first Mallory Buildbase Superbike race got underway after lunch. Despite being on the 5th row of the grid Steve got off to a flying start and was 10th going into Gerrards taking a slightly different line to gain a better track position. Once again Mackenzie, Ingram and Kennaugh forged ahead, dominating the race and lapping many of the slower riders. For the first 6 laps Steve fought hard to hold onto his position but was overtaken on lap 7, dropping back to 11th. Eventually Steve would come home in 12th, also taking 7th in class.
It wasn’t long before Steve was back in action once again for the second of the Superstock races. After the success of the first race, Steve was moved up to 5th of the grid for the start. Steve got a fantastic start, exiting Gerrards in 3rd, chasing 2nd place. Steve raced hard, battling wrestling with the bike as he backed her into the corners and grappling with her as she twisted her way out of bends as he struggled to adjust to the difference in the power delivery of the Blade compared to that of his old 675 triple. Sadly Steve lost 3rd place on the final lap to finish 4th but came away with 3rd in class, just behind the group of BSB riders and with a fastest of lap time 55:587s, his fastest lap time of the day.
The final event of the day was the second Buildbase Superbike race. Once again Steve was moved up the grid due to his 12th placed finish in the first race. Again Steve shot off the line as the green flag fell, charging into Gerrards and coming out the other side in 9th. However he then lost his position to fellow Oxfordshire racer Andy Carpenter at the Hairpin after getting crossed up on the brakes, leaving the door open for the 2015 Buildbase Superbike runner up to sneak through. Steve finished the race in 10th and another 55s lap.
At the end of the day official race results were released. Due to a time penalty for a false start, and BSB racer Hudson Kennaugh not taking points for the round, Steve was moved up the results table. Steve was now placed 3rd in race 1 and 2nd in race 2 in the Superstock 1000 class, picking up 22 championship points in total, a piece of silverware and 2nd place overall in the championship.
Congratulations to Steve and the whole Dilligaf team.
Photo credit to Steve McDonald Photography.
Find out more about the ContiRaceAttack Comp treaded race tyre here.