After an exciting week with the arrival of their new CBR600RR and netting a sponsorship deal with GB Racing, Dilligaf Racing prepared to head to Mallory Park for the second round of the EMRA Buildbase Superbike & Superstock 1000 championships.
With overcast and cloudy weather conditions forecast for the weekend ahead, Steve and team hoped they would not need be needing the set of ContiRaceAttack Rain tyres held in reserve for the CBR1000RR, but were braced and ready if needed, confident the wet tyres that had performed so well on their old 675 in the heavy rain last year at Scarborough, would provide the same excellent grip on the more powerful Fireblade if required.
Over the past three years, Steve had progressed from the Pre-injection Formula 600 series where he won every single race on his faithful old CBR600fx, into Supersport on theless than reliable Triumph and now the former BSB privateer was swinging his leg over the mighty 1000cc Honda Fireblade SP. After a very successful first round, Steve was lying in 2nd place in the Superstock 1000 championship with 24 points, just 6 points behind Taylor Mackenzie.
After a night of heavy rain the team woke to sunshine for day one. It wasn’t long before the paddock became a hive of activity as teams and supporters flocked in their masses to the circuit for round two of the EMRA Championships. With BBC weather promising no more rain, the team chose to run their trusted ContiRaceAttack Comp treaded race tyres as their preferred option for the day.
First practice was at 10:22am with the Superstock riders, followed by the Superbike qualifying session at 11:01am. Steve had made a few alterations to rear suspension and fitted a new steering damper since round one; the combination did not make for an overall good result, leaving the team disappointed with both his qualifying times and positions. As a result, Moody would start on the 3rd row of the grid in the Superstock race with a time of 56.474, 3rd fastest in class, and on the 2nd row of the grid in the Superbikes with an improved time of 56:001 and 5th in class.
Steve’s first race of the day was race 5, the first of the Superstock races. A delay in parc ferme meant tyres were going cold before riders got out on the grid. This didn’t deter Moody on the mighty blade as he charged into Gerrard’s as the lights went out, coming out the other side of the long sweeping right-hander in 5th, making up two places off the start. Steve held onto 5th until lap 5 when he slipped back into 6th as speckles of drizzle began to fall, soon turning into large droplets of cold wet rain. Steve gallantly fought back and stayed hot on the heels of rider #46 but sadly was unable to snatch back 5th despite best efforts. Steve finished 6th overall and 4th in class as the rain, not forecast by the BBC, began to grow heavier.
The weather led the team to fit their wet tyres, but by the time race 8 was due to start, the sun had popped its sheepish head out from behind the grey clouds, and the warmth of the sun along with the sidecars running in race 7 had quickly dried the track. The team had made the wrong tyre decision but with only minutes to go, they were left with no time to change tyres and Moody had no option but to run with wets. After just one lap, Moody had to withdraw as the track had fully dried. Disappointed, Steve retuned to camp Dilligaf to his change tyres once again before the start of race 14, hoping for no more rain.
With the earlier disappointments of the day put aside, Steve lined up on the second row of the grid in 6th, for the second of the Superstock races. As the lights went out for the start of the race, the red mist came down and Steve shot off the line, moving up to 3rd as the pack surged into Gerrard’s. However, he lost a position being overtaken at Edwina’s, to drop back into 4th. Not deterred by this, he upped his game, fought back and swiftly regained 3rd. On a demon ride, Moody comfortably held his position to finish 3rd overall and 1st in class, taking his first ever win on a 1000cc bike. He also set the fastest lap of the race with a 55:182s around the East Midlands track.
Steve returned to the paddock to cheers from his supporters as the rain once again began to fall. This time though, the track was very quickly soaked. With just minutes until his next race and again no time to change tyres, Steve once again decided to withdraw from the Superbike race after official announcements declared it a ‘wet’ race.
With some positive results over the weekend including a well deserved win, Steve now leads the Superstock 1000 championship after two rounds.
Photo credits to BP Photography.