If you’d pulled up at Mallory Park early this weekend, you’d have been forgiven for thinking that the third round of the EMRA season would be an absolute washout, but eventually blue skies prevailed and the track dried out to bring a glimmer of sunshine into the soggy paddock.
Currently lying in 2nd place in the Superstock 1000 championship, Steve qualified 4th in class on the team’s Fireblade SP and 6th overall as he diced with the more nimble supersport machines. Oil on the track pushed back the qualifying for the Superbike class, in which Steve currently sits in 3rd place, and he erred on the side of caution to avoid any chance of slipping off the track to start on the fifth row of the grid.
The opening Superstock race saw Steve sitting on inside of the second of the grid, and he powered off at the start to hold his position as the pack surged into Gerard’s. More importantly, with 24 riders on track jostling for position championship leader Duane Bliss found himself behind Steve at the end of the opening lap. Bliss eventually managed to squeeze past on lap 5 on the ZX-10R. With only 600s on his tail Steve eased off to ensure he took 5th in class, and 8th overall, behind WSB rider Barry Burrell and Australian TT Racer Dave Johnson.
The first Superbike race saw Steve right back on the fifth row of the grid in 13th, this time on the outside. Quick off the mark, Steve worked his way up to 10th and kept it pinned as he put his head down behind the bubble and began his charge. On the penultimate lap with Bliss also attacking hard from behind Steve moved up to 9th overall and 7th in class recording a 55.3s lap in the process.
When it was time for the second of the Superstock races, Steve was pushed back to the third row of the grid in his less favoured middle of the row position. With a powerful grid ahead, Moody muscled his way off the start to hold on to 8th. Throughout the race Steve battled with Micheal Tustin on the Ducati 959 before he slipped past on the eighth lap. This left championship leader Bliss just two bikes behind with two laps to go. On the penultimate lap the rider separating the pair overshot at Edwina’s leaving Bliss a clear line of attack on Steve. As the pair reached the hairpin on the final lap, Moody missed his gear and ran straight on to let the artful Bliss through and steal 9th place at the chequered flag. Steve finished 10th overall and 6th in class which means that Bliss has now increased his lead in the championship, but it’s still very close and all to play for.
Steve’s final race of the day was the second Buildbase Trophy race and after finishing 9th in the first race he found himself on the third row of the grid. Steve went for the inside line at the start but was caught up in traffic on the opening bend, coming out in 13th place and left chasing Bliss on the ZX-10R and Tustin on the Ducati 959. On the fourth lap as he pushed hard Steve had a massive moment round Gerard’s, saving the bike on his knee and deciding to retire with the bike still in once piece.
A number of complaints were lodged about certain bikes following the close of play on Sunday so the exact finishing positions may yet change, but with Steve and partner Elaine getting hitched next month, Dilligaf Racing’s next race will be in July with North Gloucester and then the East Midlands Racing Association with their focus very much on Bliss’s Superstock crown.
Photo credits to Neil Kirby.
Find out more about the Continental race tyre range here.