Well we are back from an exhausting 10days, completing the Oulton Park round(press release to follow) and then the most exciting race on the calendar, the North West 200 International Road Race. This event pulls in a crowd larger than the biggest football game at approx 125000 spectators and is now the largest sporting event in the UK.
NCT VanFit Yamaha – Success at the North West 200
In the teams first ever International Road Race, The North West 200, Alastair Seeley finished in a fantastic 2nd position in the Superstock race to the factory backed Suzuki of Bruce Anstey. Alastair broke the lap record on the NCT Van Fit Yamaha at 121.031 only to be surpassed by Bruce Anstey on the next lap as the two lulled clear of the International field. Alastair was clocked through the speed trap at an amazing 189mph. This is the teams and Alastairs first ever podium finish at an International giving the ewhole team a confidence boost.
In the same race NCT VanFit Yamaha also ran regular BSB rider Hayden Fitzgerald who was making his first debut at the North West 200 finishing a in an amazing 14th place ahead of many experienced riders. The third team member Chris Palmer used the North West as a test session for the forthcoming Centenary TT in the IOM and came home just behind Hayden in a credible 16th position.
Overall the whole team came away from Ireland on a huge high after taking their first ever podium position. Team principles Neil & Cynthia are hopeful that this will provide both Alastair & Hayden with a confidence boost for the rest of the BSB season where again they are competing in a very experienced field of riders.
If you are able to access Sky BBC NI(channel 932) are showing 2 hour long programmes at 9pm Monday 14th and 8pm Wednesday 16th May whre you will see all of the action from the North West 200.
All the best,
Neil & Cynthia Haslam
We arrived at Silverstone having the spent the previous week getting the fuel mapping done on the Dyno in order that the bikes were in the best shape so far.
Both riders qualified a lot easier than the previous 2 meetings with Alastair on row 6 and Hayden on row 8.
The race itself was a bit of an anti-climax because the pace car was out for 2 laps and then the race was cut short when a rider fell in a dangerous spot of the circuit.
Alastair was in a strong 16th position and would definitely have been well in the points had the race gone its full distance.
Hayden made his usual superb start passing 5 on the first lap to finish in the twenties.
The weekend saw the team and riders improve significantly on the previous meetings and both are looking forward to Oulton Park next week – the first circuit that both riders have ridden before.
Date: March 2007
Hello again folks,
Well here I am at a wet and windy Snetterton for the official BSB test, the main purpose for the visit to Snetterton is to gain valuable track time ahead of the start of my Superstock championship season. On Friday I had 3 sessions, the 1st session was damp so I ran a wet front and normal rear but really I should have had a wet rear as I had a few slides. This was my 1st visit to the circuit so instead of coming in and asking my mechanics to change the tyre I stayed out and put the laps in. The 2nd session was a little damper so I had wet tyre front and rear and just stayed consistent throughout the session and stayed out the full 40min. The last session was dry and the pace really picked up, I was circulating in the 1min 14sec for most of the session but towards the end I banged a few faster ones in to end the session 6th fastest with a 1min 12.2sec, not bad I thought seeing this was my first time at the circuit and I know there’s more left in the tank. On Saturday the weather had worsened and the air temperature and track temperature was not much above freezing. Again I had 3 sessions, the first and last session were 25mins long and the middle one was 30min.The Superstock class was first out in the morning, the circuit was damp but towards the end it had a dry racing line, I ran off line onto the damp patches and touched the white line at the edge of the circuit a couple of times which kept me on my toes and certainly give me a morning wake up call, I finished the first session 6th fastest. With a softer rear shock put in my bike and the forks softened off I went out in the 2nd session expecting to go quicker but the rain had came on harder and riders were dropping like fly’s, I decided too stay consistent and stay out the full 30min but towards the end I could hardly feel my hands due to the cold weather, I ended that session 6th fastest. It was late in the evening when we went out for the last session and it was coldest it had been all weekend, everything was going great until my third lap when going into the Bombhole corner the rear came round on me and I tried to correct it but with no joy and down I went. I dusted myself down and had a look at the bike hoping to climb back on board but there was too much damage to continue. Back to the awning I went and got my gear cleaned and the mechanics assessed the damage, the bike wasn’t as bad as first thought. With all the data collected and now knowing the circuit pretty well the team decided that we should pack up and head back to the workshop.
My next outing will be the first round of the Superstock championship which is at Brands Hatch GP circuit, I haven’t rode this circuit before but I’ll play as much playstation as I can and watch as much videos of the circuit as I can too make life a bit easier for when I get there.
So until then “Keep the revs up”
All the best!
Alastair ”The Wizard” Seeley
Date: 23rd March 2007.
Weather: Wet/Dry and very low temperature, Approx 5 degrees Celsius.
Bike: VANfit Yamaha YZF-R1.
Session One: Did not go out in the first session, was still waiting on a reply from the ACU for my acceptance to ride. First session was wet.
Session Two: Dry enough for dry tyres but was still very damp. This was also the first timed session from the BSB. I was first on the time table and my team mate Alistar Seeley was 2nd.
Session Three: Very dry and also very windy. This was a good session to try out the tyres and I was sat on the Pole position for a while, at the end of the session I was 3rd and got down to 1m11s5ss which isn’t too far off the pace from last year.
Overall: The bike felt ok, but I knew I could get more out of it and ride a lot harder. I want to try some suspension info from back home.
Potential Improvements: Change the geometry to the figures that Brian Bernard gave me from back in New Zealand. Give the bike a measure up and use similar figures to OHLINS specs that I have used in all my bikes.
British Superbike Championship - Official TestDate: 24th March 2007.
Weather: Wet and very low temperature, Approx 5 degrees.
Bike: Vanfit Yamaha YZF-R1.
Session One: Too cold to get any real feedback from the tyres and the suspension changes made the previous night. The track conditions were dry with wet patches so the first few laps were used to work out where I could and could not apply the power. I found that pulling the forks through and setting the preload helped but need a dry session to try it closer to race pace.
Session Two: Wet. The longer the session went on, the wetter the track became. I was leading the table on times for most of the session and found some smooth wet lines. The team mechanics backed all the suspension dials off for me to try and search for grip and that we did. I went back to the truck with 3minutes still left on the track. In those 3 minutes I moved back to 3rd.
Session Three: Went out and with the first lap I used as a sighting lap as there were no dry lines. Lap 2 I upped the pace but still no dry lines. Lap 3 was ridden at the same pace as lap 2 but coming out of the ESSES after RIVETT STRAIGHT as I was about to stand it up onto the fatter part of the tyre it snapped round on me quicker than a deer chased by a cheatah.
Overall: The bike is getting closer to how I want it set up. The conditions are colder than I am used to and I struggle to get grip.
Potential Improvements: Do another measure up. Get both bikes set up so that they are identical (geometry, spring rate, handle bars, rear set positions, etc) then set one up for the wet and one for the dry.
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