It brings me great pleasure to be able to publish Stevie's Donington Race Report, hot off the press! Stevie is 675.cc's first official (part) sponsored racer. It's been brilliant to see members and guests pledge money to help ease the costs involved for this years season. We'll be running the sponsorship page throughout this years season so if you're able to help please click on the following link: <a class="postlink" href="https://www.675.cc/675/teamnavy.php">https://www.675.cc/675/teamnavy.php</a> Resuming back on topic below is Stevies Donington's race report, written by Stevie himself. We hope to folllow Stevie throughout the season. All subsequent updates will be found in this section of the forum. Quick re-cap of the Championship I race for Team Navy competing in the Combined Services Military Championship with ThundersportGB in the Pre National 600cc Class. We get a point for every rider we finish in front of in our chosen class (some races are not scored as we have more races than some other classes e.g we have 4 over this weekend GP1 only have 3 so this weekend our first race does not count toward Championship points). Only our top 5 race weekends throughout the season count, this is due to the fact it is very hard to even attend 5 races with our work schedules. Hope everyone follows?? Friday: We arrived mid afternoon, to a very cold Donington Park. We quickly set up our awning and unloaded the bike. I was soon met by Nige Pitt. He wasted no time and grabbed my bike and started to get to work getting the number board and Sponsor Stickers straight onto the bike ready for Testing on the Saturday. I was chuffed to bits with how she now looks, just need to update the late sponsors names in time for Snetts. There was also a surprise presentation from our Team Captain Bill Callister. There was a lack of funds and time to give a formal prize ceremony from last years Royal Navy and Royal Marines Championships. I was lucky enough to place in both of these coming 3rd in the Royal Navy Championship and I was also the runner-up in the Royal Marines Championship. Not a bad start to my 2013 season... Silverware straight from the off!! Runner-Up Royal Marines Championship 2012 Trophy 3rd Place Royal Navy Championship 2012 Trophy Saturday: Luckily I had drained my water from my radiator as Sat morning was well below freezing. The weather all day was on/off snow and sleet, not a fun day to be wearing summer gloves. Layers of latex and silk was a big help. None the less, it was finally good to be back on 2 wheels and on track, slow and steady was the order of the day due to a new track for me and lack of time on my new tricked Daytona. I spent the full day on wets, still amazes me the grip these things give you! I was glad I had the full day of testing in the bag as I had a few problems to contend with during the day. The bolt which holds the bracket on for the clutch cable before it goes into the clutch decided to strip the inside of the engine was just the start of it, this followed by a concerning wobble of the handlebars at high speed on the straights had me slightly concerned to say the least!! Combination of loose headstock and steering damper seemed to be the main cause. More heavy showers of sleets and bitter winds made this a testing day to remember. Sunday: Again a bitterly cold -4 start to the day but the sun was out and things were looking up. A good few heat cycles of the engine was in order before qualifying began. It was drier today but I decided to stick with the wets just to be on the safe side just until there was an improvement of track temperature. I qualified in 21st out of 40 on the grid. No bad but truth be told I was slightly disappointed as was hoping for top 15. Race 1: Off to a good start and settled into a good rhythm. I could tell from last year that I have improved a great deal. My big learning point was my corner speed which I felt is now coming on leaps and bounds. I managed to latch on to the back of a group of about 8 riders but found it difficult and frustrating as I struggled to overtake as I need to get away from my track day mentality of being too nicey nice and be a bit more aggressive. This said, I managed to move up to 16th but was unable to get ahead of 10th - 15th place who only finished 3 sec ahead of me. This gave me a good confidence boost going into the second race thinking that I could keep pace with at least 10th on the grid. Race 2: With my confidence brimming I got off the line O.K then didn't press the gear lever hard enough and it jumped into neutral, lost a few places going into the first corner, getting frustrated again I tried to be smart and take a wide line and immediately passed about 7 or 8 riders, then my front gave way on the cold and unused part of the track, I managed to save it only to run wide and straight into the gravel, managed to slow right down then the front wheel dug in and I toppled over at a stand still (very embarrassed and peed off with myself). That was the end of race 2. Monday: Again a very cold start to the day, so a good few heat cycles of the engine were required. I warmed the engine steadily 3 times just before I was called out for the warm-up laps. I then tried to start the engine and there wasn't enough charge in the battery to start her up. Tried to bump her forgetting I have a slipper, so I missed the warm up. It was only about 40mins until the race. Quick jump start off the battery pack and tinkering it started ok but the battery wasn't holding its charge. So the quick fix would mean I start the engine early off the battery pack put the fairing on and leave it running until the start of the race. Race 3: We heard the call for the checkered flag of the preceding race and decided to fire her up. I proceeded to the pit entrance where we were held due to an incident on track from one of the back markers. Panic set in as my temperature gauge was rising quickly and I new I could not switch off as I wouldn't get her going again. About 5mins later we were beckoned onto the Grid where yet again there was a 2min delay. I was now in full panic mode as my Temp gauge was flashing at me to cool her down (I was just praying I wasn't doing any engine damage??) Red flag was finally lowered for our warm-up lap and at the exact same time she cut out and died. Not good!. So that was the end of race 3. Luckily, we have a great team of lads with lots of experience, everyone pitched in to try sort my bike out. We set it up so I could trickle charge her with-out having the fairings removed and also set it up so that we could give her a jump again with-out having to remove any body-work. I cant thank everyone enough for all the help I received over the weekend. Race 4: Finally I got on the grid again with the bike sorted. Due to a system called Mega-Laps I moved up to 20th for the start. I kept it nice and cautious making sure I got around the first corner this time. Again I settled in to a decent rhythm and managed to grab 15th with no riders in sight I made a conscious decision to peg it in slightly and make sure I finish in one piece and try get some points for this weekend. This cost me a place as on the final lap I was passed by 16th and even with a push to the line just lost out on the place by 0.1 secs. Summary All in all a disappointing start to 2013. The way our Championship works only the last 3 races this weekend scored any points. So after not completing races 2 and 3 I picked up 0 points going into the final race. At least I managed 20 odd points in race 4. If i had of completed three of the races I could have scored 60 or 70 points, and results this good would put me in contention for a podium finish this year. Good points to take away are I can feel I have improved a great deal from last year and I was lapping the same times as some of the top 10 in the Pre National 600, If i can carry on and get the race points at the rest of the meeting it could be an interesting 2013 season.