I came to England in 1999 in response to a call from a fellow New Zealander, Shaun Harris, who was competing at the Isle of Man TT on 4 different bikes. For 8 years I had specialized in preparing and tuning European and race bikes in New Zealand at my Dyno based business. He had competed against some of these bikes, and now he wanted to have me on his side. I was looking for a new direction.
Shaun and I worked together all through the T.T. practice week. Only a big off at Alpine Cottage slowed him down and stopped him from racing. The team owner had watched me work on the 4 different bikes and offered me a fulltime position in his team. So I moved to the Leeds base and into the Padgett’s Grand Prix team. For some years I worked with Clive Padgett in Grand Prix, the European championship, British Superbikes and SuperSport. Plus many Irish, Isle of Man and English road races.
I worked in the British Superbike and SuperSport paddock until mid 2009, when I decided to try a “proper” job. But on weekends I worked with Peter Baker in MRO and Thundersport meetings. He ended up winning the MRO Powerbike Championship, the Thundersport GP1 Championship, and taking the very, very, prestigious King of Brands Trophy!!
Joining Team Doodson Motorsport and the Tunstall family for the 2011 BSB EVO season was nice. Not only because of the great coffee, but because the bike was a BMW S1000R. The European way of doing things can challenge your ideas sometimes.
At the start of 2014 I got a phone call from Steve Buckenham at Morello Racing with the plan to enter BSB SuperBike and SuperStock 1000. This set the course for the next few years. For 2015 the focus was solely on the very hotly contested SuperStock 1000 class. Josh Elliott took the Championship for us and Morello Racing.
In the middle of 2016 my wife, Donna and I decided to start TRACK TECH 1st ltd. We continued to work with Steve at Morello Racing and have built, tuned and maintained the race, and Championship Winning Morello Racing/Team Green Kawasaki ZX10RR.
But the biggest buzz was always had at the Isle of Man. There is something very addictive about the place and I have had the great fortune to have worked with many of the elite. My first visit in 1996 with Bruce Anstey will always stand out. Working on the TZ250B in the Steam Railway Workshop in Douglas. Making Carbon Fibre cans on the belt driven lathe while a boiler is being pressure tested behind you. Cups of tea around the potbelly stove. His first ever lap of the track, over 100mph! Paul Owen seeing our Kiwi made TZB fairings says “That’s sex that is” and paid for them before we’ve finished using them. Friday early morning practice, my winter workmate of some years, Robert Holden dies. Big highs. Big lows.
But I always try and look forward, while keeping my feet on the ground. “Yesterday’s history, tomorrows a mystery, today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.”