AirBenda wins the BT GP Race.
It was sunny, it was very hot, It was the turn of the big boys. After the total domination in the previous race, the crowd was expecting a more evenly contested race. On the grid were past winners of the BT in the 1000cc and Above 1000cc. Jack Affara, 2 time champion of the BT (2014 & 2015) on his Suzuki GSXR 1000 and Argo, champion of the above 1000cc class on the BMW S1000rr (his second bike was an Aprilia RSV4). We also had B9 of the Bikerswarehouse racing team making his debut on his Honda Fireblade, Tbanj on the Yamaha R1, Mo Ducati and JD on the GXSR and Daniel on the Honda CBR making up the grid.
The pre race hype was the battle between the 2-time champion, Jack and the defending champion, Sama. The narrative changed with Argo’s flying lap. No rider came close to matching the time of 1:18:69, Argo was so far ahead, a whooping 8 plus seconds, of the next best time set by Jack in 1:27:08. The two early pacesetters were not without their challenges, Argo crashed during qualifying and Jack had only one day of practice.
Sama and Akintols (Forthworth R1) also crashed in qualifying so much so Sama only qualified on race day and Akintols missed the race due to injuries sustained.
On to the race, the crowd were expectant, the riders lined up on the grid focused on what was ahead. Jack had a great start and took the holeshot ahead of Argo. Behind them B9 had a terrible start and found himself back of the grid coming out of Turn 1, by Turn 6 he was up to fifth.
At the front, Jack and Argo had put some distance between themselves and the chasing duo of Sama and Tbanj. Jack was controlling the race out in front with Argo a few bike lengths behind. Meanwhile, further back B9 was making his way up the field. First with an easy overtake on his good mate, Tbanj. A few laps after, he attempted a bold overtake on the defending champion, Sama at Turn 6. Sama was in no mood to yield that position without a fight but like the CSS trained rider B9 is, he found a quicker line and went past Sama. By the start finish straight, there was a little gap between B9 and Sama.
Further up the field, the S1000rr of Argo was finding it difficult to show Jack his front wheel even on the straight where the power of the German bike was expected to come to the fore. As the race progressed, Argo made up time on Jack in the final sector. During the concluding laps, Jack had lapped a rider at Turn 9 quite easily but Argo went into turn 10 too hot and ran into the sand while trying to lap same rider.
It looks like the heat caused Jack to wilt as he was unable to sustain the pace he kept in the early stages of the race. The impetus was with Argo now, he could smell blood and rode like his life depended on it.
The farmers curve, Argo went ahead with some late braking maneuver on Jack. Jack stayed with Argo and at turn 10 he tried to attack one last time but ran it wide. A shake of the head, championship conceded……..oh wait, this was the Thirteenth lap of a twelve lap race. Jack wins. The racers did not notice the chequered flag in the previous lap.
What a race, such drama. Jack is champion again for the third time in four years.
Rider of the day is B9 for making his way up the grid after a horrendous start.
- Jack Affara Suzuki GSXR 1000
- Argo BMW S1000RR
- B9 Honda Fireblade 1000cc
- Tbanj Yamaha YZF-R1
- Sama Kawasaki ZX10R
- JD Suzuki GSXR 1000
- Daniel Honda Fireblade 1000cc
- Mo Ducati Suzuki GSXR 1000