2015 ANNOUNCEMENT!

BREAKING NEWS ……..

It’s been a hectic few months for Honey Racing, however it gives us great pleasure to announce that this year Mike is moving up to a National level and will be competing in the Ducati Trioptions Cup.

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A new Ducati 899 Panigale has been given to Mike by Mick Gough at G&H Technical Services and now team GH Ducati has been born!

UKAS accredited asphalt & bituminous materials testing company based in Sittingbourne, Kent with over 25yrs experience in the construction industry. Contact Mick Gough: 01795 599739 & follow on Twitter @GH_Technical

UKAS accredited asphalt & bituminous materials testing company based in Sittingbourne, Kent with over 25yrs experience in the construction industry. Contact Mick Gough: 01795 599739 & follow on Twitter @GH_Technical

This is Mike’s new “Red Lady” the day it arrived – it is being race-prepped now and Mike hopes to begin testing soon. Updates will be posted on the new page above for 2015.

Thanks to Mick @ G&H Technical Services for this amazing bike!

Thanks to Mick @ G&H Technical Services for this amazing bike!

Check out Mike’s profile on the Ducati Trioptions Cup website: http://www.britishsuperbike.com/ducati-riders.aspx

Also sponsoring us again in 2015 are George, Ron & Ken who are The 3R’s – they have supported Mike and Honey Racing relentlessly and their personal sponsorship again this year is appreciated and gratefully received.

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Bemsee Awards Evening – Nov 2014

BMCRC Awards Evening – November 2014

After a fantastic 2014 season, team Honey Racing attended the Bemsee awards evening. As well as receiving his trophies for winning the Clubman Championship and coming third in the Powerbike Championship, Mike unexpectedly, but deservedly, received the BMCRC Rider of the Year Trophy for 2014.

This was the icing on the cake for the team and huge thanks is given to our sponsors Climate Group, Digital Barriers, G&H Technical Services, Lotinga Industrial Doors, R.P. Testing Solutions Ltd, Route 1066 Cafe and The 3R’s for their support in 2014. Such an amazing evening has spurred us all on to continue with our exciting plans for 2015, let’s just say Honey Racing’s future is Red …….. !!

2014 Clubman Championship winner!

2014 Clubman Championship winner!

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Third placed in Powerbike Championship

Third placed in Powerbike Championship

Mike showing off his silverware!

Mike showing off his silverware!

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The unexpected award of the evening. Amazing!

The unexpected award of the evening. Amazing!

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Wow - what a trophy!

Wow – what a trophy!

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Round Nine: Brands Hatch Indy Circuit 4/5 October

Round Nine: Brands Hatch Indy Circuit 4/5 October

TESTING:

Mike had a good test day and as he felt happy with the bike decided not to go out on track in the afternoon so he could preserve his tyres.

SATURDAY:

It was hard to believe that this was the last race weekend of the season and upon reflection it has been a tough year at times, but mainly it has been a frustrating one.  Mike had a brilliant run of race wins at the beginning of the season but he was soon being chased down in the Clubman Championship by a competitor with a newer, more powerful bike and who had the budget to use new tyres more often than Mike.

For several rounds Mike has come second to Roger Marsh as his ageing Suzuki GSXR 1000 K9 just doesn’t have the power needed to compete with Marsh’s machinery, so unfortunately the lead he built up at the beginning of the year was lost in the previous round and Mike was pushed into second position in the Clubman Championship.

Although Mike knew he couldn’t be caught by the third placed rider, and that second place was still a fantastic achievement on his limited machinery, power and budget – he still had one eye on the top spot and was prepared to battle Marsh until the last race of the weekend!

From the beginning of the season Mike said he wanted to run with the main Powerbike riders and try to better his fourth place from the season before. So with defending the Clubman Championship looking like an unrealistic achievement, his main focus was maintaining his third place in the overall Powerbike Championship.

Qualifying:

Mike got caught in loads of traffic during the qualifying session and struggled to get some clear track – at one point he had a huge high side exiting Druids and he could see his rear wheel when he was thrown up on the fuel tank! Despite this scare Mike regrouped and qualified 1st Clubman, 4th Overall.

Race One:

The clouds opened after the qualifying session so it was obvious this was going to be a wet race and Mike decided to try some new tyre pressures in the hope of increasing his grip in the slippery conditions. He got away well from his 4th place starting position and, despite getting a little boxed in to begin with he made his way carefully around the first corner in the treacherous conditions, unlike his main rival Marsh who crashed out. It was essential for Mike to just finish this race and score some points to reduce his 17 point deficit in the championship, but sadly he slid off at the end of the lap meaning he was unable to gain anything on Marsh.

Unfortunately the tyre pressures used in this race had the opposite effect – instead of giving more grip in the wet they actually made the bike feel like it was sliding on ice the whole time! Mike had a huge slide on the warm up lap and knew he would have to tip-toe round in the race, but no matter how hard he tried to keep the bike upright, he simply couldn’t hold onto it any longer! It was such a frustrating result!

Race Two:

The team worked frantically to repair the damage to the bike between the races and were done with just enough time to spare! The tyre pressures were put back to the tried and tested ones so Mike could get more grip on the slippery track. Although the rain had stopped the track had not dried out and, to complicate matters, the low autumn sun was shining brightly and the glare from the wet track was blinding for the spectators and riders alike!

Mike had to start from 22nd on the grid as a result of crashing out in the first race – and he really had to make this result count and score as many points as possible as the Clubman Championship leader Marsh wasn’t taking part due to the injuries he sustained in race one.

Mike rode cautiously and made sure to keep himself out of trouble as he was determined to finish with the maximum number of points possible and hopefully retaking the championship lead.

Despite the slippery track conditions and being blinded by the sun for half of every lap, Mike did a fantastic job and managed to finish 1st Clubman, 10th Overall and retook the championship lead by 8 points!

SUNDAY:

After a day of two extremes on Saturday the news came through during Sunday morning that Roger Marsh was unable to take part in the rest of the race weekend. This meant Mike had successfully defended his title and was officially the Clubman Championship winner for 2014 which is something Honey Racing could never have predicted or dreamed of going into this round – nevertheless everyone was over the moon!

Never one to sit back and relax, Mike’s attention turned to 3rd position in the main Powerbike Class – he wanted to make sure he kept his place and finish the 2014 season on a high!

Race Three:

Mike started this race from 9th on the grid and had made his way up to 6th before even being half way round the first lap! He was on top form and put in consistently fast laps, moving up to 4th place. Unfortunately the leaders quickly caught up with back markers which made the track very busy, and with the tyres going off slightly the bike began to squirm under power. Mike continued to push on and finished 1st Clubman, 4th overall and achieved the fastest Clubman lap!

Race Four:

Mike got away well from 4th on the grid and again put in consistently fast laps getting up to 2nd position. Towards the end of the race Mike and another Powerbike rider caught up with a back marker – they both went to overtake, one either side of the slower bike! Not realising Mike was there the back marker moved over to give the other Powerbike room and pushed Mike further to the outside of the track and almost onto the gravel costing Mike time and a position! Despite this he still finished 1st Clubman, 3rd Overall – once again achieving the fastest Clubman lap. Most importantly, Mike finished the season in 3rd place in the main Powerbike Championship!

What a finish to the 2014 season! Mike has worked so hard all year and truly deserves such fantastic results! Everyone he competed against had a combination of better, newer, faster machinery and bigger budgets – yet he managed to beat all but two of them on his older, slower bike! This really highlights Mike’s riding ability and should not be under-estimated in any way!

Throughout the year he suffered set backs with mechanical issues, crashes and injuries yet he hung in there. Although it was frustrating to finish second to Marsh in so many races, he dug deep and pushed Marsh to the line, one time finishing only 0.1 of a second behind! It was this determination that paid dividends in the last round when Marsh had his own bad luck – Mike was close enough in the points table to take advantage and was rewarded for his perseverance in both the Clubman and Powerbike championships!

Mike and the team would like to say a HUGE thanks to the following sponsors without whose support racing in 2014 would not have been possible:

Climate Group;  Digitial Barriers;  G&H Technical Services;  Lotinga Industrial Doors;  R.P. Testing Solutions;  Route 1066 Café and finally George, Ron and Ken who are The 3R’s.

Special thanks must also be given to Dave and Perry at HM Racing for all their advice throughout the year.

Thank you to everyone who has come to watch Mike at various rounds – your support is appreciated.

A final “thank you” goes to the family of Mike and the team who stay at home during race weekends. You look after our children, homes and pets so the team has peace of mind and can concentrate on winning races and scoring points! Your support and help is never taken for granted so thanks to you all.

Mike is already thinking ahead to 2015 and, if possible he would love to begin racing at a National level. He has made some inquiries and has begun talking to sponsors – plans are in the early stages so please check back here for more news ……. !

Trophies from 2013 before being handed back!

Trophies from 2013 before being handed back!

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Our younger supporters:

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Such amazing results:

2014 Pit Board

George

The following photos are courtesy of our sponsor Chrissie at Route 1066 Cafe:

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Round Eight: Snetterton 300 6/7 September

Round Eight – Snetterton 300 6/7 September

TESTING:

Mike had a really good test day – the weather conditions remained consistent which meant he was able to make changes throughout the day to improve the handling and feel of the bike. The positive day gave Mike confidence and he was so happy with the feel of the bike, that for the first time ever, he put slick tyres on for the final test session of the day.

SATURDAY:

Going into this round Mike knew he had been, and would continue, to struggle to compete against his main rival mostly because of his bike’s age and it’s lack of bhp – but the productive testing had given Mike a boost and he started the race weekend in a positive frame of mind.

Qualifying:

Mike had a good qualifying session – the bike felt good and he was happy with the slick tyres. He put in consistent lap times and qualified 1st Clubman, 5th overall.

Race One:

Mike started the race from 5th on the grid, however he didn’t get off the line very well. Despite the poor start Mike regrouped quickly and put in some amazing lap times – setting a brand new personal best time! At the beginning of the third lap the race was red flagged causing a complete re-run.

Mike got off the line much better on the restart and managed to maintain the lead Clubman position for over half the race despite missing his gears on a couple of occasions. Sadly the bike’s lack of bhp was highlighted on the straights and Mike was overtaken finishing the race 2nd placed Clubman and 3rd overall.

Race Two:

After the first race the rear tyre was fairly torn up on one side, so in an attempt to maximise and extend the life of the tyre, it was turned round on the wheel. Ideally a brand new rear would have been put on for this race but unfortunately budget restraints wouldn’t allow this.

Mike didn’t get a brilliant start from 4th on the grid and he worked hard to keep with the leading riders, but sadly his main competitors were on brand new rear tyres and they had more confidence and grip then Mike did on his used rear! Despite his best efforts, Mike just couldn’t do any more with the bike – he needed more rubber and bhp! He still finished a very respectable 2nd Clubman and 6th overall.

SUNDAY:

Race Three:

This race Mike probably got his best start of the weekend from 6th on the grid and managed to keep with the leading pack. He absolutely rode the wheels off the bike in this race – putting the power on as quick as possible and braking as late as he could in an attempt to get maximum drive in / out of corners and onto the straights. He closed the gap on the leading Clubman and was literally showing his front wheel going into the corners, but the leader was riding defensively and Mike didn’t have the grunt to make a move for the overtake. He was trying so hard that he lost front end grip a few times, despite this it was a thrilling race and Mike was so close to the leading Clubman exiting the final corner, but he lost out in the drag race to the chequered flag finishing in 2nd position by 0.1 of a second, and 6th overall! Once again Mike set a new personal best lap time which was amazing.

Race Four:

Mike started from 6th on the grid and at the first corner he had to take avoiding action to miss a rider who had made a mistake – this caused him to lose position and he lost time trying to get the position back. He was on used tyres for this race so didn’t have the same grip as the race before which meant he couldn’t push as hard as the bike wasn’t so planted. He couldn’t close the gap to the leading Clubman and finished 2nd again, 5th overall.

Despite losing the lead in the Clubman championship this weekend there were many positives to be taken – the bike was set up well and running the best it had for several rounds, Mike was feeling much better physically regaining confidence in himself and the bike. He finished in 2nd position to the same winner who was riding a much newer, more powerful bike and who was using new tyres each race which enabled him to have maximum grip for all four races. Unfortunately on machinery, power and budget Mike was always on the back foot this weekend, however this didn’t dampen his enthusiasm, determination or natural riding ability which is how he managed to achieve new personal best lap times twice which he has taken heart from!

Huge thanks must be given to Perry at HM Racing for his help and advice throughout this weekend.

Mike will be as determined as ever and will not give up the fight for the Clubman Championship at the final round at Brands Hatch on 4/5 October.

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Mike finished 0.1 second behind in Race Three!

Mike finished 0.1 second behind in Race Three!

The rear was tearing up so much!

The rear was tearing up so much!

Honey Racing are pleased with this weekend's achievements.

Honey Racing are pleased with this weekend’s achievements.

The following photos are courtesy of Jenny Triker Wells:

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Round Seven: Brands Hatch GP Circuit 9/10 August

Round Seven: Brands Hatch GP Circuit 9/10 August

After the difficult last round at Cadwell Park, the bike and Mike went away (separately!) for some well deserved R&R! The bike was stripped down and given a thorough check – a few faults were identified and repaired – it was collected just a few days before the test day which meant although it was mechanically fixed, it wasn’t fixed cosmetically so still looked a little worse for wear!

TESTING:

Overall the test day enabled Mike to get some valuable track time, but due to the changeable weather, it wasn’t possible to get the opportunity to try out different settings on the bike – so at the end of the day Mike still didn’t have dry or wet settings that he felt totally comfortable with or that had been tried, tested and tweaked! He did make some other significant changes to the bike that improved his lap times, but the test day was on the Indy circuit and the changes didn’t prove to be beneficial when he was pushing on in the Qualifying session which was on the GP circuit.

SATURDAY:

Qualifying:

The qualifying session was the first time Mike had been round the Brands Hatch GP circuit since the round there in 2013, so it took a couple of laps to familiarise himself and get into a rhythm. As he settled down his lap times improved, but it was a full grid at this round and Mike found it difficult to get clear track to allow him to produce his previous best lap time. After the session Mike said the changes made to the bike during testing were not assisting him and they were reversed. Despite the challenges of the session Mike qualified 2nd Clubman and 14th overall.

 Race One:

Mike got a good start from 14th on the grid but unfortunately got a little boxed in on the first corner. This allowed the leading group of riders to pull away and Mike was unable to close the gap to them which meant he ended up having a lonely race. He maintained concentration producing consistent lap times and finished 2nd Clubman, 13th overall. Mike explained after the race that he didn’t feel happy with the feeling from the front of the bike which means he cannot feel what the front tyre is doing ie. Gripping the track or sliding across it, so post race there were plenty of discussions about how to improve this.

 Race Two:

Mike began this race from 15th on the grid – he got a brilliant start and made up a few positions by the end of the first lap. Unfortunately another rider had a very fast crash which caused the race to be red flagged and, by the time the medical vehicles came off the circuit, there was not enough time to restart the race due to the noise curfew and the track was closed for the day.

 SUNDAY:

 Race Two Re-Run:

Mike didn’t get away from the restart very well and quickly got boxed in. The bike was sliding around and he wasn’t able to get the power on quick enough when exiting the corners – this meant he was losing time to his rivals and, being down on bhp already, Mike was not able to stick with the leading pack. He also got pushed wide on a couple of occasions, making him touch the slippery white lines, causing highsides that he had to recover from and costing him even more time. Despite struggling to find the right set up for the conditions, Mike still managed to finish 3rd Clubman, 11th overall.

 Race Three:

Mike got a good start from 10th on the grid but the weather conditions quickly deteriorated and by lap two, the sudden downpour caused a red flag for safety reasons as most riders were out on track on dry settings and tyres. All riders were given just ten minutes to make the necessary changes and to be back on the grid for the restart! Mike got away really well when the race restarted and got up to 5th position by the first corner, but the track was greasy causing the bike slide even on the straights. Mike was determined to have a good race and fought hard to overtake some of the powerbike riders and he kept improving his lap times despite the track beginning to form a dry line. He finished an impressive 2nd Clubman, 3rd overall!

 Race Four:

Mike started this race from 3rd on the grid but, despite his good start, he continued to struggle getting the bike out of the corners quick enough. He tried to push harder but this just made for scary moments with a few near high sides – so for the sake of bringing the bike across the finish line, Mike had to ease off slightly just to make it round each lap! He finished 2nd Clubman, 6th overall but slightly frustrated with his performance.

This weekend was an improvement from the previous couple of rounds but it was also frustrating in that Mike was not able to make the bike work for him in the way he wanted it to – he could not find the settings to give him the feeling he needed from the front end of the bike which, in turn would give him the confidence to push as hard as he would have liked. Changes were made during the weekend that improved the situation but it wasn’t completely right – however the main thing is that Honey Racing were determined and are heading in the right direction! We know the bike is vintage compared to all its rivals, lacking in bhp and traction, but once the right settings have been found we all know Mike will ride the wheels off the bike try to maintain his precious lead in the Clubman championship!

Honey Racing would like to extend special thanks to Dave and Perry at HM Racing as without their help the bike would not have been race worthy this weekend. Their time and input has been invaluable and is greatly appreciated so huge thanks to you both!

Our sponsors also play a vital role in helping Mike race at every round and we are always grateful to them and it was fantastic to see so many of them at Brands Hatch – their support is so special and gratefully received by the whole team. Extra thanks is given to Mick at G&H Technical Services, Richard at RP Testing Solutions and George, Ron, Ken – The 3R’s, all of whom gave additional sponsorship this weekend.

 The next round is at Snetterton on 6/7 September.

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Richard said he was off to do his paperwork! Hmmmm ...... !

Richard said he was off to do his paperwork! Hmmmm …… !

The weekend was too much for Richard!

The weekend was too much for Richard!

 The photos below are courtesy of Amy from our sponsor G&H Technical Services:

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Thanks to Mick @ G&H Technical Services for his additional sponsorship this weekend!

Thanks to Mick @ G&H Technical Services for his additional sponsorship this weekend!

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