Round eight of the National Superstock 1000 Championship and 27 year old Motorcycle Ace Mick Robertson from Danderhall made the long trip south to the 2.4 mile Thruxton circuit in Wiltshire, widely regarded as the fastest circuit on the calendar.
Being such a fast circuit, many riders use Race Bike set up very similar to that used at the Isle of Man TT where top speed is crucial for long straights although there are bumpy sections of the track which can cause the bike to feel unstable when travelling at 180mph. Soft suspension on the front should cope with the bumps and hard suspension on the rear to help get the power down for maximum speed on the straights although this strategy can also cause problems with tyre wear. Each team is allowed 3 sets of new tyres during a weekend so choosing when to use them is another decision the Rider and Team have to make as the abrasive surface at Thruxton will cause the tyres to deteriorate after just a few laps. A few changes to the geometry on his Kawasaki ZX-10R race bike improved the handling and Mick increased his lap times in every session and he qualified in 13th place. A rider ahead of Mick on the grid was subsequently disqualified for a technical infringement which promoted him to 12th and would now start from row four on the grid. A good steady start and Mick was holding his position before moving through the field to 10th place and he settled into a steady rhythm. At half race distance his bike began to lose power and he started to drop back down the field until on lap 12 he was forced to retire to the pits with a suspected head gasket problem. An expensive engine rebuild may now be required before the next Round of the Championship at Cadwell Park in three weeks. Follow Mick on Twitter @mickrobertson98 and on Facebook with Michael Robertson Racing.