Dan gets to grips with his new bike

KCW Racing rider Dan Mackay
KCW Racing rider Dan Mackay

KCW Racing rider Dan Mackay has had his first outing of 2013 at the Melville Motorcycle Racing Club.

He was racing in the Scottish Championship round held at the East Fortune race circuit just south of Edinburgh on July 6 and 7.

This season sees the 26-year-old from Hadston, riding in a new class after finishing runner-up in the 2012 PI600 Championship.

He has moved up to the Scottish Lightweight Championship on his race-prepared Suzuki SV650.

The weather couldn’t have been better for the riders with track temperatures hitting over 47 degrees during the weekend.

Saturday morning saw the practice and qualifying sessions get under way.

Dan used the practice session to get a feel for his new bike, having never ridden it before, and after practice made some adjustments to the riding position and the rear suspension to try to find a good base setting before heading out for qualifying, which is a fast and furious affair, with just 10 minutes to get out and set a time.

Dan headed out at the front of the 25-strong field and set his fastest time of 1:06.094 which saw him heading the second row of the grid in sixth place.

It was a real achievement considering his machine is currently running a standard engine against much more heavily tuned bikes.

After qualifying was over, the weekend’s racing got under way and he scored a seventh in the first race and was running fifth in the second until a mistake on the last lap saw him drop to seventh.

But it was the third race of the weekend that showed the potential of both Dan and the bike. A lightning start left him in fourth place by the end of the first lap and comfortably in touch with the leading three.

He began to settle down into a rhythm that saw him set the third fastest lap of the race on only the second lap, an impressive 1:04.796, almost a second-and-a-half faster than his qualifying time.

Then, towards the end of the fourth lap, Dan made a small mistake and crashed at the hairpin.

He walked away uninjured and the bike was relatively undamaged, but the decision was made to sit out the last race of the weekend to save any unnecessary stress on both the bike and rider.

Despite the crash, he was happy with his performance, saying: “To come here on a new bike and, first time out put it on the second row of the grid, then push the lap times we were doing with no previous testing, is much more than I could of hoped for at the start of the weekend.”

Dan is treating what is left of this season as somewhat of a training year with the plan to compete in and hopefully fight for the Scottish Championship in 2014. Visit www.facebook.com/kcwracing