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    • Report - Thruxton

      After what seemed like ages, and lots of last minute trips to the dyno and waiting on spare parts, we finally got on the road to Thruxton on Saturday 28th May.

      After a completely uneventful 400 mile drive down, we arrived at Thruxton. You know you've gone far south when the close up directions map shows the Isle of Wight!! We got the van unloaded and set everything up in the Harley-Davidson marquee. As opposed to last year where some people had their own awnings, etc, this year every team is in the marquee. Makes for a nicer almost family atmosphere. After putting the new rear sets on,we decided to head to get some food then head to our accommodation.

      Sunday morning and the weather was still holding up, so we got some new Dunlop GP211's put on the new PVM wheels as they are a fraction lighter than the Dymags we used last year. We then had our wet tyres put on the Dymags. A bit more fine tuning by Adam (he likes fettling!), put somefuel in and we were ready for practice.

      Free Practice
      As Torquil hadn't been here for quite some time, the plan was just to go out for the 20 minutes and re-learn the track and make sure all was OK with the bike. The bike was OK and proved to be a rocket in a straight line thanks to a careful rebuild by Stuart Young of YPE (www.ype-power.co.uk). Torquil obviously seemed to be getting the hang of things though as he finished up 3rd quickest after a red flag stopped the session about a minute before the end.

      A lot of the circuit is flat out in 5th gear and it is hugely bumpy. Jeremy McWilliams had a chat with Torquil and commented that it looked like there wasn't enough rebound on the rear and it was kicking him out of the seat quite a lot. So a few adjustments were made there.

      Qualifying
      A few suspension tweaks and a new rear Dunlop. Although the previous one had only done 10 laps, it had a pretty hard time as the surface is very abrasive. So changed it just to make sure of a good spot on the grid. The pace seemed a bit faster in the 20 minute qualifying session. Although we were going quicker, so was everyone else. We were varying between 3rd & 6th place as the laps flew by. Then to our horror, it came up on the timing screen that No.31 had stopped out on circuit with a technical problem. With no idea what the problem was and no way toget the bike back, we thought that was qualifying over. Then the message said he'd re-joined. So as Adam and I waited for him to head in and find out what the problem was, he just flew past the pits shaking his head. We found out later that it was so bumpy round the back of the circuit that his helmet hit the kill switch and it took him a minute or so to notice after he stopped.

      After a lap or two, Torquil came in and adjusted the rear suspension a bit more in order to help cope with the bumps. With only 2 minutes to go in the session, it was red flagged. As Adam and I started what what seemed likea very long wait in the pit for all the bikes to come back in, one of the other riders stopped to tell us it was Torquil who had high sided at the back of the circuit. So a nervous walk down to the medical centre to be told he'djust walked in which was a bit of a relief. As we walked in they were trying to decide whether to cut off his leathers or if he could remove them. Torquil decided to try and remove them which he managed with a bit of pain. It was then that you could clearly see his right collar bone poking about 3 inches higher up than it should be. Not good. WhenTorquil saw it, he went white and started feeling sick as he thought they were going to have to pop it back into place. They gave him a couple of painkillers, some oxygen, then an x-ray. That showed the bone was dislocated,but not broken. They thought that the ligaments that hold the bone inplace were snapped and would require surgery to fix. Adam and I went to start packing the van up as Torquil wanted to get back to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to get checked.

      After a long drive back, the bike has been checked over and it's mostly anything that sticks out on the right hand side that needs replaced. So bars, lever, throttle, brake master cylinder, number board, steering damper,exhaust, rearset. A new helmet will also be required as it took quite an impact on the ground so has served it's purpose. After a visit to the ERI, the news is that the ligaments are torn and not snapped, so no surgery required. It will sort itself out in 6-8 weeks. He's to go back in 2 weeks time for a check so asked if he would be able to race in 3 weeks time for the double header at Knockhill. He was advised not to as another impact could cause severe damage to the shoulder. He's keen to get racingat Knockhill, so is looking at other forms of treatment to help quicken the healing time.

      So no race for us and a lot of work to do before Knockhill on the 19th June.

      Will keep you updated.

      Cheers for now.

      Darren
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