Sunday, March 25

Show time! Rounds 1,2 and 3 Dunlop Masters

Perhaps the extended winter and recent arctic weather made the return to racing all the more appealing but, when the Dunlop Masters rounds 1,2 and 3 landed they definitely didn’t disappoint. If the sight of race bikes appearing four abreast into turn 1 wasn’t enough to excite you, then the many manufacturers and vendors setup in the paddock was there too.

A change in pre-race formation involved the riders getting an out-lap before entering pit lane once more for any last minute changes, before finally exiting to complete the two warm up laps took a while to get used but, seemed to work well and take the congestion from pit lane. It still needs tuning to make sure that everyone leaves the paddock at the same time but, in essence it’s a good practice.

Most races ran to plan in the dry weather, but the track temperature was deceptively cool and that didn’t help with a few red flags over the weekend. Most incidents were relatively small and could be dealt with quickly and locally. The first Superbike race on Sunday was restarted twice and after consulting with the riders about re-running the race, the vast majority were in agreement about declaring a result.

Grid positions changing from qualifying times also caused a few raised eyebrows but, this also made the racing more interesting for both riders and officials alike. Overall lap times were as expected given the conditions, and should fall as riders get used to the warmer weather and the new controlled tyres.

A change in the programme led to fewer races on the Sunday and reduced pressure on fulfilling the card when incidents held up racing. Had last year’s format been used, laps would definitely have been cut from the remaining races, a situation everyone is keen to avoid.

With the added stunt riders and bike show, spectators flocked to the paddock causing backlogs on the gate resulting in another gate being opened. The bike car park beside the grandstand was overflowing with machinery and drew as much attention as the racing such was the variety of bikes parked up for the day. Overall a hugely successful 2 days racing in Mondello and with no single rider dominating the big championships, this could be a big crowd pleaser over the next 8 months of the Dunlop Masters.

Full weekends results available on the Speedhive app.

Words and images: Andy Quinn

No comments:
Write comments