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The North East,Prescott and fast laps with Chris Walker at Mallory

Thu, 26 Apr 2012

A big thanks to all at Newcastle Motorcycles for lending me a Honda CB1000F on Saturday to do nothing other than join mates for a blast round some fantastic roads in the North East. The buddies in question were Alan Smith (Bradley’s dad) and two stroke addict and race fan Chris Berriman. We headed east over the moors from the ‘Toon’ heading towards Barnard Castle then back through Consett before finishing up at the picturesque Tynemouth. The last half hour was wet so the ABS kept me safe (I couldn’t feel it to be honest but I got away with braking hard a few times on standing water) while the immaculate naked Honda suddenly looked like it had done the Dakar. Amazing new roads for me on a great all rounder that only need a tail tidy to finish it off.

On Sunday I rode a monstrous KTM RC8 up the hill climb at the Prescott Bike Festival. Again it was damp so I barely got out of 1st gear as it wheelspun and wheelied with me not in really control. I was definitely not jealous of Steve Parrish who had to ride a full blown 990 Moto GP factory Ducati. He was sideways off the line and thundered up the hill but somehow returned ten minutes later with everything intact. 

I also called in at Mallory Park last week to see the brand new Chris Walker Race School in action for the first time. After a warm welcome from CW everyone heads out on brand new Kawasaki ZX6RR’s then pupils alternate between the classroom and circuit where pretty much every aspect of track riding is covered. On the last ‘super pole’ session, riders are encouraged to put all their new skills into practice to see what lap time can be achieved. You may think this is a recipe for disaster but no one fell down while I was there and the track activity is well controlled by some of best riders in BSB. The classroom is managed by the remarkable James Whitham who explains riding techniques like no other. Chris mingles with customers throughout the day then winds things up with a podium presentation complete with champagne and brolly girls.   

By Niall Mackenzie

See also: Rok Bagoros' stunt KTM 690 Duke, Kenny Roberts Motorcycle Collection Up For Sale, Schwantz Headlines 2012 Isle of Man TT Parade Lap.