Yamaha YZF-R3 | Gassit Garage | Long Term
Something battered, something blue – that was the refrain from Editor Dobie after Round 1 of the R3 Cup
Our long-term Yamaha YZF-R3 racebike went into the opening round of the 2017 R3 Cup series at Wakefield Park, Goulburn, looking almost as good as new following our recent fibreglass repair (Vol 66 No 16). Unfortunately, with my limited racing experience and the constantly changing conditions, I managed to throw the bike down the road twice during the two qualifying sessions, logging a total of four laps. This led to frantic action in the pit area where Phil and the team from Race Center set about repairing the damage while I was sent to the bike wash to clean all the mud from the R3 and myself.
The good news was that I managed to keep my crash damage spend to just a set of footpegs. Everything I’d bent on the bike simply required a bit of straightening and race tape. Sure, the old girl is looking a bit second hand at the moment, but it’s nothing a new fairing won’t fix.
My dismal qualifying performance saw me start Race 1 from 15th on the grid. It looked like I had made a brilliant decision as one of only two riders to be on dry-weather tyres, until lap three when the heavens opened again. Having already hit the deck twice I headed for the pits rather than risk it, so a DNF in Race 1.
Race 2 was a wet affair which suited me fine. I enjoy the rain. A series of awesome battles ensued as I pushed through for seventh – a personal best.
Race 3 was dry, and our little R3 carrying almost 100kg of 50-year-old lard was no match for the 40kg youngsters behind me. Most of the field zoomed past before Turn 1, and everyone else got me on the run up the hill. The shortened race distance meant I had just seven laps to make amends. I battled through to 10th position before the chequered flag.
The big news from the weekend is that we are building a new YZF-R3 Cup bike for the next round at Winton Raceway on 28 April. The team at Race Center, who do a brilliant job of race-prepping our R3 long-termer and keeping it running across the race weekend, will be channelling all the knowledge they gathered during the inaugural year of YZF-R3 Cup racing into a new bike for yours truly. It will be a sad farewell for Old Blue who should be awarded a medal for her service as a media test bike and then a racebike. It’s been a tough life, most of it with the throttle at the stopper and the tachometer needle at 11,000rpm. During this time, the only work carried out has been changing the oil and general servicing. I can’t think of a better advertisement for the quality of the little LAMS sportster.
By Chris Dobie
Photography Russell Colvin