Laverda Forum => Ride and Race reports => Topic started by: Tippie on September 04, 2019, 14:28

Title: Laverdas at Karlskoga season finale
Post by: Tippie on September 04, 2019, 14:28
The last of five race weekends for the year for the classic series in Scandinavia held at Gelleråsen track at Karlskoga saw two Laverdas making the show. Myself with my 750SF2 with 16 seasons under its belt was my third meting this year, and Rune with his 1000 Jota that was on the podium at Våler (Norway) earlier in the year. The weather has been unsettled and it is a rare Karlskoga weekend that doesn't get rained on. There was what must be a record number of entries this year, 250 apparently, against 185 last year, these classic supersport and superbike classes have really drawn people out of their garages. Originally Rune and my class 7A was to run with class 6 (classic 750 up to ´72) but entry numbers saw us separated. We had parked in the depot across from a huge bunch of very friendly modern Ducati people racing in the new class, among them Thomas Hauge from this forum whom I had met before at Anderstorp but as is my usual form had failed to recognize (eh Mark, Ian!!)
Friday had two 20 minute practice sessions per class, the afternoon one being Qual 1, and we were the second last of all the solo classes to hit the track. My de-nervousness medicine of watching races before my own was well catered for, I have been too bloody nervous to watch before I race myself, but now refuse to take it so seriously. I was also keen to see how my new Maxton rear units coped, set up by Maxton from my spec sheet. The track was clean and grippy in the sunshine and I had a good time, following Sims on his TZ500 most of the session and indeed passed him a few laps before the flag, most unusual. I ended up with a pretty good lap time behind a couple of the big Guzzi monsters and a TZ350, no problems, the rear units didn´t make their presence felt, and nobody passed me so we must have been pretty spread out.
For the afternoon session I ended up circulating with Rune, and the Jota usually parks me, but this time I had pretty good corner speed and we passed and re-passed each other a few times as we came upon slower riders until we both ended up stuck behind the TZ350 from the morning session. It was a rocket ship on the straights compared to my SF but held us up in every corner though close to our lap times. After a lap or so I got fed up and block passed him, stuffed up a corner, but got ahead and with clear track pulled out the stops to get in a good qual lap in case Rune got by as he was also not matching my corner speed at the time and I wanted that clear track. My number had been at the top of the board for the session, I didn't know why the usual fast guys hadn't gone quicker, maybe they were also stuck behind people. Rune didn't poke his nose in front so I kept reeling off good qual laps. I even had my knee down through the long right hander onto the main straight, never come close to that before. Coming past the stand people were standing and waving their arms, wtf I thought. Anyway I had pulled a 1:16.4 lap out of the hat, and done a series of 1:17s, well under the pb of the usual winners and a full 3 seconds quicker than I have ever stopped the clock before at Karlskoga. Rune was stunned, he had tried everything to hang on to me but my speed out of the corners was too much, he couldn't hold my lines and kept running wide, in the end he said he just laughed aloud to himself as he has always before had my measure. He did put himself 2nd on the provisional grid though. My lap time was the talk of the pits, how did you do that? I didn't know and was equally scared and happy, as I have seen numerous riders in classic get faster and faster and then hurt themselves badly. The session had felt quick but it was a shock to see the result. Anyway I tried to put it behind me and with Saturday morning qual coming I expected to be knocked off pole anyway as two ISR framed Kawasaki superbikes were coming with two fast pilots. It was dry and sunny for our session. I was careful not to overdo it, as I didn´t need to improve my time from Friday and would have been happy to start from row two. The Kawasakis as expected blew everyone away by two seconds a lap and ended up  on the front row 2nd and 3rd behind a Laverda SF2, they were stunned and were witnessed later closely inspecting my patina extra bike wondering WTF. So I was to start from pole for the first time ever. Rune was on row 2 in 6th.
For the race, on the out lap, the Jota pulled off the track with a problem and we assembled on the grid to be greeted with a delayed start sign as some frantic oil cleanup work was going on across the other side of the track. Motor kept at 2000rpm for more than ten minutes and a frustrated rider, we finally got the message a new sighting lap, greeted with quite a bit of orange dust around the track to where Rune had stopped. It turned out his steering damper bracket had crept and allowed the damper to contact and hole his oil cooler. I am glad the twins don´t need oil coolers or steering dampers. So we finally head off with the whipped up Swedisn flag and I get blasted by both Kawas by the time I am in third, then a Guzzi (Knut Holte – class champion many times over) as I nick 4th and in my care for the oil dust two more big Guzzis mob past me, oh well so much for pole position when you are a timid 64 year old on a bike with no power. The first couple of laps I lose a bit of ground to the closer pair of Guzzis who are clearly not in the least worried by the track condition. Then I feel my tyres really start to grip and wind them back in and sit behind waiting for a chance. I have to hang back to allow my corner speed to slingshot me onto the straights as there is no way I can hold them side by side. I time it right and get past one along the main straight and wait for a chance with the next one. He holds me up in every corner and I can do nothing about it without being ugly so I chill out and come in 5th behind him. He said he had been blocking me on purpose as he knew I´d get away if I got past but said I really should have just block passed him, however he has a bit of a reputation  for growing race horns and discretion ruled over valour. Good race tactic by Erik on the Guzzi. And nobody had bested my qualifying lap time.
Sunday dawned wet and more wet. We had a ten minute shakedown per class in the morning and I was second fastest, the bike and tyres feeling good and me able to stay relaxed and let the bike do the job. Rune had welded and epoxied his oil cooler in the evening and was ready to get out but it then started leaking from another place, it would have been good to have had connectors in the race kit to bypass the bloody thing. However he was compensated by loading into his van beside it a beautiful 500 Formula which was delivered by it´s seller, Leif Israelson also from this forum. It will be sharpened up to run in the smaller version of our class (7B) ´73 to´ 79 up to 250 which for a decade has seen two or three TZ250s getting trophies just for finishing, now the class will accept four stroke twins to 500cm3, allowing in Ducati Pantahs as well as Laverda Alpino based bikes etc. It will have to be very sharp to beat the fastest of those TZs, Rune is a very fast rider so should be up to the task.
It just bucketed down and the organisers delayed the program and cut four laps from all races, so we had only 8 laps to do our stuff. However as our time approached it held up and the track started drying. By the time we got out there it was pretty much dry, just the (crucial for me) last bit out onto the main straight still that dark grey scary colour. Tons of people had packed up and left, so all the classes were severely reduced, my class had just 9 of the original 21 fronting up.
I got a great start, class champion Knut beat me to the first corner again and I followed him until the scary bit which gave him his power advantage and each time on the main straight he made a hundred or so meters as I just refused the risk of adding to the multitude of fresh scratch marks and holes in the kitty litter at just that place as well as many other places around the track.  The Kawas were absent so I came in a no-mans-land second but very happy to get a trophy on my 65th birthday.
The season also saw me 2nd in the Norwegian championship series behind Knut and his Guzzi monster and 3rd in the Nordic (Scandinavian) series behind the Kawasaki and Knut. Very happy to be safe and sound both me (goal number 1) and the bike  (goal number 2) with good results from the season.
I hope I haven´t bored you all to death, but maybe I have inspired someone to get out there and join the fun.
The older I get the faster I was?
Viva Laverda racing.
Title: Re: Laverdas at Karlskoga season finale
Post by: phil37 on September 04, 2019, 15:06
 Wow - looks like you and the old SF had a fantastic time - superb reportage too!  - Regards -Phil
Title: Re: Laverdas at Karlskoga season finale
Post by: a14rgs on September 04, 2019, 16:35
Fantastic! An excellent write-up and excellent results, well done and thanks for taking the time to share it with us👍😊
Title: Re: Laverdas at Karlskoga season finale
Post by: Vince on September 04, 2019, 17:27
I saw all that text and thought maybe read it later big mistake what a great read and result maxton ha good add for them

Title: Re: Laverdas at Karlskoga season finale
Post by: pf1 on September 04, 2019, 17:28
So did you work out what made you so fast in practice?
Title: Re: Laverdas at Karlskoga season finale
Post by: Jo on September 04, 2019, 17:56
A really readable report - thanks for sharing it with us!

In my opinion, you did everything right, did not let yourself be dazzled by your fastest qualifying time (congratulations!)
and stayed calm inside. With that you were able to develop a good strategy for the race - with the crowbar rarely anyone

And happy birthday by the way!
Title: Re: Laverdas at Karlskoga season finale
Post by: KERMIT1200 on September 04, 2019, 21:20
Well done, great write up

Title: Re: Laverdas at Karlskoga season finale
Post by: Piranha Brother 2 on September 04, 2019, 23:57
Top report there bro. And the sensational results we've come to expect from you and your old banger ;-)  Wise racing I reckon - the old adage about 'first you have to finish'.

It's always going to be hard finding clear track when bikes with a serious power advantage are in your way. But IMHO it just demonstrates how good a package you and the SF are. The other riders are well aware of it, don't effing worry about that!

Title: Re: Laverdas at Karlskoga season finale
Post by: motoddrob on September 05, 2019, 00:59
Good write up Lee. Congratulations on a very successful race w/e.
Title: Re: Laverdas at Karlskoga season finale
Post by: Basketcase on September 05, 2019, 02:09
Can't wait for the next instalment!
Title: Re: Laverdas at Karlskoga season finale
Post by: hooksey on September 05, 2019, 08:36
Well ain’t that the bees knees  8)

Not only can you ride the wheels off a 750 Lav and punch way above ya weight, but you can pen a good story too  ;)

Luv ya work Tippie  (Lavflag)
Title: Re: Laverdas at Karlskoga season finale
Post by: Dellortoman on September 05, 2019, 09:08
... but you can pen a good story too  ;)

Blimey Hooksey. You're losing your grip on reality. He obviously didn't use a pen.  ;)
Title: Re: Laverdas at Karlskoga season finale
Post by: rowdypat on September 05, 2019, 11:00
Fantastic results and a ripper report.  :) 8)
Well done Lee.
Title: Re: Laverdas at Karlskoga season finale
Post by: markQLD on September 05, 2019, 12:47
Inspirational. Big respect  (bigthumb)
Title: Re: Laverdas at Karlskoga season finale
Post by: Andy J on September 05, 2019, 23:13
Great stuff Tippie, and there’s nothing that beats keeping Rune behind you ;)
Title: Re: Laverdas at Karlskoga season finale
Post by: bevelman on September 07, 2019, 00:05
well done mate