Callum Alderson Racing press release:
With little prep time and delays on parts coming for our second bike, we were again left running the standard Yamaha R3 Cup bike for the two race classes between rounds. Thankfully though that standard R3 Cup package is so damned good it didn’t really make for any real handicap when it came to racing!
Being only a 2 day event we were left with just 2 practice sessions on Saturday morning. Not really enough to get a full handle on the track but everyone else in the production and R3 Cup classes was in exactly the same seat as me. Both of my first qualifying sessions were far from ideal with clear laps hard to get with such big fields, a great thing for the sport for sure!
Saturday perfect conditions
Production Qualifying was ok, I felt a little uncomfortable after I came in mid session and asked for a change which I learnt about a corner or two later that it was not my best choice! I was happy with 5th on the grid though, 2nd row and a nice clean line for turn 1! R3 cup qualifying saw me come in a few times trying to find a set up I could gel with, thankfully with the help from GASD and the support from Dave and the boys at Pirelli with the awesome Diablo Corsa’s I was able to make a last lap dash and take pole position by .7. A massive confidence boost from my earlier production qualifying!
I was itching for race 1 in Production, I knew the race was most likely going to come down to whoever was in 2nd position slipstreaming 1st over the line, but I still wanted to have a red hot go and run away with it at the start. Every lap Brandon and I would go into turn 1 side by side, absolutely nothing in it. Unfortunately over the line Brando got me by .092! To pull up at 2nd from the race was great and was super happy to get on the podium with the YZF-R3!
R3 cup race was up next and I knew it was going to be no easy task! There’s some stiff competition in the field. From pole position I was able to lead almost every lap, only ever loosing out on the straights with the slip stream. Again it came down to the wire, with me only taking the win by .030 of a second, even closer than race 1 of the production!
An awesome opening day’s racing I really felt like we’d hit the nail on the head with setup. The handling of the Yamaha R3 was great, the Mupo suspension working a treat and the Pirelli Diablo Corsa tyres were giving me the grip and confidence under brakes and cornering I needed to take the podium.
Sunday looking a little ordinary
With rain looking likely on Sunday morning. The crew from Pirelli fitted us up with a new set of Pirelli wets on the rims from our second Yamaha YZF-R3. It was a brand new tyre flown in from Europe so we’d had not testing and had to take Dave’s word they were the right choice. Which as things turned out, he was right as always!
Both of the first races for the day were dry and I was able to set the pace early on in the production race and take another win for the weekend. Narrowly pipping Hunter and Brandon over the line by .150. The weather was looking a bit sketchy prior to the R3 cup race but I was determined to get out on track and push a fast pace up the front. On the first lap I was able to come onto the straight with a 1 second lead over 2nd but unfortunately there was a red flag and we were sent to grid up again, another good start put me up the front but the others caught on quickly and stuck with me right down to the line. This took me to 2 from 2 for the Yamaha R3 Cup, the pressure was on to make it a trifecta.
As expected the heavens opened up and the rain started to come down about 45 minutes before the final Production race. With our wets ready on rims we were relaxed, leaving it until 15 minutes before the race to change over just incase a dry line came up. It was never going to happen though, it kept raining. Having ridden in the wet for a while I took the warm up lap as a chance to literally test the waters, the new Pirelli tyres provided immense grip so I was again going to try push to the front straight away. Throughout the race Ty Lynch, Jack Mahaffy and Brando where pushing me harder and harder to produce good lap times. Unfortunately Jack was able to get past me, which left the door open for Brando who he took full advantage relegating me to 3rd. Disappointing but still earning quality points for the championship!
The final race of the day was up and the rain was still coming down, I was ready to have a red hot go and do what I’d been trying to do all weekend. I pushed to the front straight away but Hayes and Lynch were right on me the whole way with Mahaffy crashing out early in the race. Hayes and I were constantly swapping positions in the wet weather but unfortunately Hayes pushing a little too hard went down at turn 6, leaving me a free run to the line for the final 2 laps. It wasn’t easy though because the fellas behind me were running a good pace so I couldn’t button off at all!
12 Races 12 Podiums
The awesome Yamaha YZF-R3 is a little beast of a bike, so much fun to ride, I can’t thank the team at Yamaha enough for their work in getting this series of the ground. It’s given dad and I a great affordable category to race in, where we don’t need to be rocket scientists to be contenders!. The Pirelli tyres worked faultlessly all weekend both wet and dry and I’m stoked to have them on board, the product and technical support definitely gives me an extra edge! Usually with so much spray from the other bikes visibility is very limited, thankfully though the new Yamalube silicon cleaner helped keep my vision clear throughout. A big thanks to all my sponsors and supporters for the hard work and massive efforts and the Marshals and officials for their work! And of course my parents for letting me live the dream!
The weekend’s results have me at the top of the table for the Yamaha Motor Finance R3 Cup and in second place for the Over 300cc Production class. Whilst earlier in the year our intention was to only compete in 5 rounds of the R3 Cup, the strength of the results in Over 300 mean we’re going to hit the road for Barbagallo in Western Australia in June!