We were very happy to hear from one of our sponsors Ben Harrinson this week who is competing in the NG Road Racing 215 Formula 400. Ben put together a fantastic report for you all to enjoy below.
NG Road Racing 2015 Formula 400 Round 1 & 2 Race Report
2015 started off very very cold! I had booked onto the test day the Friday before as i hadn’t ridden the bike since the last race of 2014, I thought it would be a good idea to get used to the bike again and try and get some set up for the coming races.
The test day went well; I immediately felt at home on the bike and set about getting my lines sorted. I had an ongoing issue with the bike running quite bad below 8k revs but worked around it. At the end of the test day i felt good on the bike and was ready for racing!
The weather was dry but it was extremely cold, tyre temp was going to be a big issue throughout the whole day so i took it easy in morning practice and felt out the grip levels and track conditions.
I started 2nd on the grid for the qualifier race, I managed to get a good start and settle into 2nd place where i stayed which put me 2nd on the grid for the final. I managed to hook the bike up well off the line starting the final but due to the cold conditions i took it too carefully into the first corner and got passed buy Emma Jarman on her ZXR. I set after her as i knew it I could pass I’d have some clear track to try and pull a gap. Unfortunately i made a mistake which let Tim Bradley through on his FZR.
I got a bit carried away trying to make up for lost ground and ended up overtaking under a yellow flag which i hadn’t seen so i finished the race in 2nd place, but got a time penalty which put me back into 3rd.
I was still happy to get a podium in the first race of the season and i knew I had the pace to run at the front.
The weather decided to have a bit of fun with us and absolutely tip it down over night, so now it was freezing cold and wet, grip was going to be a serious issue, it turned into who could stay on the bike rather than who wins the race. To make matters worse it was the first full wet race since my big crash at Cadwell Park in May 2014. I took the practice session very gently as there were already people crashing in the wet conditions.
I started the qualifier 2nd on the grid again and focused on just finishing the race and gaining confidence for the final. I was running in 5th place with Simon and David in front of me, i used them as a target to aim for and slowly started to reel them in, getting faster each lap. I passed Simon for 4th place on the last lap giving me a second row start for the final.
I changed some settings on the suspension for the final and it worked really well, the bike felt really comfortable and i managed to push more than in the qualifier, I was running 2nd for the whole race, at one point i started to close in on Tim Bradley in 1st but caught a back marker at the wrong time so ended up finishing in 2nd place with the fastest lap of the race too.
It was a great start to the season and it’s only going to get better from here, i feel confident in the wet again and comfortable on the bike too. So after round 1 & 2 I’m running 2nd in the championship and ready to fight for the 2015 title!
What a great start from Ben, Opie Oils wishes the same in the next round and wishes him the best of luck for 2015 season.