Feisty Racing’s Susie Grayson pulled off a well-earned ninth place in the opening meeting of her UK race schedule at New Era’s Brands Hatch meeting on Sunday.
Riding in the Feisty Stealth colors, which are more black than pink, this was Grayson’s first outing in the UK this year on her 2007 Yamaha R1 and followed her third place in the European Women’s Championship in Misano late last month.
Riding in the Probike and Open classes, Grayson found the power delivery of the R1 suited Brands Hatch Indy well but with only 10 minutes of qualifying allowed, she had little time to familiarize herself with the track on the new bike.
Grayson’s R1 is built to Superstock-spec and it was obvious from the start she would have trouble with straightline speed as some of the litre-bikes are in Superbike trim.
She said: I’ve not ridden Brands on my R1 before, and was interested to see how such a large and quick bike would handle round the tight and twisty Kent track. The answer is very differently.
“For practice and race I realised I wasn’t using the gears as much as I needed to. I needed to get the fear out of my head of rear-wheel lock when changing down quickly. The bike comes with a slipper clutch and when I realised what I was doing I managed to start correcting this in the second race.”
Starting from 15th on the grid in both the 10-lap Probike races, Grayson managed to haul herself up to 13th in each but said the weekend was more about getting to know the bike on shorter tracks and just putting in laps.
In the Open race, Grayson started from the back of the grid, and managed a great start. In contrast to her style in the first two outings, Grayson made a lunge up the inside at Paddock Hill instead of riding around the outside.
This worked and she made up ten places in two corners before setting about clawing her way into the top ten.
She said: “The Open was increased from six 6 laps to 15. Because we didn’t hear the earlier announcement, we suddenly had to throw an extra six litres of fuel in the tank just as we were removing the tyre warmers.
“Also my rear Dunlop was completely knackered before the race even started, so asking for another 15 laps was a bit much. I found myself sliding about quite a bit, but this isn’t such a bad thing as it helps get used to mixed conditions.
Also I was shattered as there was only a 10-minute break after race two. Still, I managed plenty of 51 and 52-second laps but not breaking into that elusive 50s barrier.
“Happy with the result though, and now I have a target for the Brands Hatch Ladies Race on May 31-June 1.”
Click here for more about Feisty Racing.