|WEATHER RUINS THE ULSTER GRAND PRIX|
Author: Helen Pask
Posted on: Monday, Aug 20 2007
Qualifying had gone well for AIM Yamaha rider Keith Amor who took third place in both the Superbike and Supersport categories in readiness for Saturdays racing.
In the run up to the Ulster GP Amor rode in the Dundrod 150 Superbike event where he qualified in fourth place and, after a race long battle with Adrian Archibald rode through to complete the six lap event in seventh position.
Teammate for the week was Stephen Thompson who finished the Dundrod 150 Superbike race in 11th place on the second AIM Yamaha.
The rain came down in torrents on race day causing the officials to delay the start of racing for more than two hours because of surface water on the track. But when the action finally got under way last yearís Best Newcomer Keith Amor got away to a good start in the Supersport race. He tucked in behind early leader John McGuinness but became boxed in allowing five or more riders to come past. He managed to battle his way back up to fourth and engage in a race long battle with Cameron Donald.
But both riders made a mistake on the final lap when trying to outbrake each other and went straight on at the hairpin. Ian Lougher was quick to take advantage and nipped past to claim fourth at the chequered flag leaving Amor to finish fifth and Donald a distant sixth.
I am a bit disappointed with that result, but for the mistake at the hairpin I would have been a bit further up the finishing order. Itís a shame really as the little bike was so good, one of the best on the track. If I could have got away from Donald earlier then things would have been a lot different. But on the whole, considering the wet conditions it was a good race.
The Superbike race was next on the agenda and both Amor and Thompson lined up for AIM Yamaha. But although the bikes ran well the conditions were atrocious with visibility down to near zero. As the riders began the fourth lap the race was red-flagged as conditions worsened and a result declared at three laps distance with Amor being awarded eighth place and Thompson 16th.
It was just not safe out there and the decision to stop it was correct. Racing at speeds of up to 180mph and not being able to see a thing is really not ideal! I feel sorry for the team who have put a lot of effort into the bike to solve the niggling problems we encountered in qualifying. The bike was running well but the result was always going to be down to luck in those conditions.
Well what can I say; the weather has beaten us. Itís disappointing for everyone but nothing we can do about the rain and the decision to stop the Superbike race was sensible given the visibility and the surface water. I can only reiterate what Keith has already said regarding the sterling work put in by the team to get the bikes in tip top shape for racing. Itís just a shame the rain came and curtailed the meeting.
AIM Yamaha return to the mainland to prepare for the forthcoming Cadwell Park round of the Bennetts British Superbike championship at the weekend where Steve Plater will be back in the saddle after returning from injury.
Free practise is on Saturday with a final free session on Sunday morning followed by qualifying at 2.40pm. Racing is on Bank Holiday Monday with the first 18-lap Superbike race at 1pm followed by race two at 4.30pm. The Maxxis British Supersport race is set for a 3.40pm start.
pic by Alan Armstrong
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