After the excitement of The Manx GP, it was back to closed circuit racing for Steve Moody and the Dilligaf Team this weekend as the East Midlands Racing Association hosted their final round of 2017 in some pretty atrocious weather conditions.
Free practice was cut short as oil appeared on the track at Edwina’s early on into the session, and just as qualifying was about to start, the heavens opened on Mallory Park mixing in with some of the leftover oil. Conditions were so poor that just over half of the riders on the grid ventured out, many on dry weather tyres. Steve qualified in 7th place on the Honda, but with blue skies to the left and dark clouds to the right, the team had no idea what tyre choice to make for their first race.
Sitting 47 points adrift of Duane Bliss after missing round five due to his Manx commitments, Steve didn’t get off to a great start in the opening superstock race as he became caught up in the pack as it surged into Gerrard’s. By the time he reached Edwina’s he had dropped back to 9th, but made two places with a double overtake at the hairpin to move back up to 7th. With championship leader Duane Bliss just two bikes behind, Steve put his head down to try and keep his rival at bay. The final lap saw Bliss hot on the heal of Steve’s Honda.The trio of Hughes, Moody and Bliss hit the hairpin on the penultimate lap, as Moody managed to take Hughes on the exit of the bus stop, but he immediately hit back as they exited Devil’s Elbow. Bliss and Moody went toe-to-toe in the final lap, the Honda eventually losing out by fractions of a second to take 7th overall and 5th in class as Bliss sealed the title.
Saturday’s opening Buildbase Superbike Trophy race was declared wet but with no time to change tyres, Steve had to head out on ContiRaceAttack Comp tyres instead of the ContiRaceAttack Rain. Ten riders were missing from the grid as the rain lashed down, and after a series of crashes Moody decided to pull in to the pits before he found himself added to the ever growing list.
Steve’s first race on the Sunday was the penultimate Superstock Championship contest, and the weather was both cold and overcast, with a slowly drying track making it difficult to select the right tyre once again. Another battle with the newly crowned champion Duane Bliss ensued, with Steve marginally losing out once again on the final lap but picking up enough points to secure a creditable 2nd place despite missing one round!
Rain fell over lunch, as the team decided to fit wet tyres for the final superstock contest with the pressure now off. Unfortunately for Steve, a strong breeze soon dried the track surface to leave him once again lining up on grid with the wrong tyres fitted to his single set of wheels. Hoping not to chew up the pristine set of wets completely and with nothing to fight for other than pride, Steve nursed the bike home in 12th overall and 5th in class.
Two strong results in the final pair of Superbike races also saw Steve take 4th in the championship, just one point behind the man in front.
Congratulations to the Dilligaf Team on their efforts this season on road and track – we hope to see them back in action in 2018.
Image credit to Steve Snelling.
Find out more about the Continental race tyre range here.