Making the most of the break between Thundersport GB rounds, last Saturday Team Baxi Yamaha and rider John Dieterman headed for Aintree.
With much of the North West seeing something akin to a near tropical storm, riders at Aintree were spared with just a damp practice session and some wet patches on the track in the early races.
The team would be racing in three different classes, so three heats and three finals including the Pre-Injection, Golden Era Superbike, and 401 to 1300cc – so almost anything goes in the last one.
Making a first return to the circuit since 2012, the track seemed bumpier than four years earlier, and as John put in some quick laps both bike and rider began to feel the effects.
With a solid performance in all three heats, John found himself ont he front row of the grid in all three classes – all raced over 7 laps of the 1.535 mile circuit.
Rather than fitting new tyres, the team made the decision to use the ContiTrack Slick tyres they had put on the bike at the previous Thundersport GB meeting, testing the tyres durability.
The opening race saw John win the Pre-Injection class, potentially setting a new lap record with a 56.7 second lap.closely followed by ZXR750 Manx TT rider Andy Lovett.
The Golden Era ran with the Superbike class, with John staring in second behind Curtis Rothwell in the modern Superbike class. A good start saw them hold on to 2nd place, the gap growing down the 160mph+ straight, but John managed to get within striking distance thanks to his corner speed. At the end of the 7 lap contest he finished 2nd overall by just 0.1 seconds, but took the Golden Era win with an even faster time of 56.4 seconds on his best lap.
Going into the final race after two long race meetings, the tyres finally started to relinquish some of their impressive grip as John explains:
“The 401 to 1300cc Open was another great race, Curtis was away in front but after we started to have a few traction issues Rob Varey sneaked past and we ended up third. Rob is an up and coming young rider from Preston and impressed us a lot, and should be out in his first Thundersport meeting this year, very soon.
The traction problem was because I was on the same tyres as I had used at the last meeting which had already done all weekend at Cadwell Park and now had done Aintree too and was down to the wear marks! We had some new ones, but thought we’d see how much we could get out of used ones as an experiment for Continental.
Impressive stuff all those laps from the Continental tyres, they’ve set fast times too and possibly two new lap records.”
John currently leads the highly competitive Golden Era Superbike class with Thundersport GB, and will be back in action at Oulton Park from the 1st to the 2nd of July.
You can find out more about the new ContiTrack Slick here.