The Rowe Racing Team made the trip across the border last weekend for the fourth round of the BEARS Nationals at Phillip Island. The BEARS Club always put on a great meeting and are keen supporters of our international exploits, so Royce was working hard to get fit in time for this one.
PIC: The team were pulled over on the highway to check if they were carrying the right koalafications.
All was going well on the journey, until 80km out of Phillip Island when the axle on the trailer had had enough of Victorian roads and decided to leave the trailer, causing it to lock up. While it was a bit exciting for a few moments, the result left the team stranded and out of ideas.
A couple of local farmers luckily stopped to help – we don’t know who they were but are grateful for their help. Some old wire, sticks and Royce’s chewing gum got us going again, but at 35km/h for the last 80km. Needless to say, people gave us a friendly wave as they overtook our struggling vehicle.
PIC: Marty and Sarah of Phillip Island Property Maintenance came out to the track on Saturday and welded the trailer back together. Thanks again for your amazing help!
After the initial set back, the team were grateful to arrive at the track unscathed Saturday morning. It was straight into qualifying were Royce scored pole on both the Ducati and the Triumph.
The Ducati performed well with straight wins for its class in each race. Royce had some great dicing with Simon Galloway on his Pierobon X60R 1078 (three classes, F3, F4 and F5 were combined) with 0.1 sec separating them at the finish of each race.
PIC: Royce comfy as on pole wearing his Furygan leathers (Credit: SD Pics).
The Triumph was in the combined Formula 1 and Formula 2 races, with Royce winning the Formula 2 class. He took the outright win in the first race, following a race long battle with Brian Kozan on the BMW S1000RR.
In race two, Royce returned to the pits on lap one with a slight glitch occurring in the electronics. Brian Rosser and Peter Hoey, of Hoey Racing who was with the team for the weekend, managed to iron that out.
PIC: Brian, Royce and Pete sorting out an electrical issue… well, mainly Brian.
The BEARS run a rolling grid, meaning Royce had to start race three at P30… AKA the back of the grid. He managed to get through the traffic to finish second in his class and eighth outright, meaning a start at P8 for the final race. Wanting to close out the weekend on a high note, he finished the final race first in his class and managed to set the fastest lap of the outright combined F1 and F2 classes.
PIC: Royce on the Triumph in the combined F1 and F2 class (Credit: SD Pics).
After the successful weekend, Royce had this to say:
“Its been over a year since visiting Phillip Island thanks to my injury, so I was pretty excited to be back on the fast-flowing track.
“We had a productive weekend with the help of Peter Hoey and managed to iron out a few problems, but still have a few to go unfortunately. With a lot longer lead-up time to setup the Triumph before next year’s Isle of Man, we have the opportunity to utilise the warmer weather.
“This means we can be confident when packing up the crate that I’m more comfortable with the bike’s diagnostics compared to last year. The weekends racing was great, I love dicing with the BEARS boys and had plenty of close finishes.
“I’m now looking forward to this coming weekend’s race meeting at the new Tailem Bend circuit. It’ll be my first race meeting there, having only completed ride days at The Bend, and it gives us another chance to get the Triumph solid.”
We still have a lot of development to do on the Triumph, but it’s coming along well. This weekend at The Bend, in Tailem Bend, SA, will give us a great chance to work on those problems. Keep an eye out for the next blog post to see how we went and if you’re free, come ‘round The Bend this weekend to experience this new, amazing circuit!