Yeah right, why not, Sandra Stammova (SVK)?: "The brief was that all I had to do was win! Haha O right that's all, just pop over to Costa Rica and do a bit of testing, a little media and win. Simple plan, I like simple plans, I can't believe we didn't have that plan in BSB."
Got to love her race reports - Catherine Green (GBR): "With two remaining championship rostrum positions yet to be decided and a bunch of us all in with the chance of raising a shiny pot, a win it or bin it approach was the one and only strategy to adopt at Brands Hatch this weekend! A wet and cold track awaited the Motostar competitors for the first session of the day on Friday and the 'bin it' option of the strategy was clearly at the forefront of most riders' minds as we teetered around the track, dutifully sweeping the tarmac for the other classes."
Sensing the eagerness, anyone? Sandra Stammova (SVK) before her final BSB QP1 of the year: "QP1 is the same afternoon, and I am sat ready about 20 minutes before excited and eager as an eager thing from an eager shop to get on track."
Catherine Green (GBR) on how to learn a new track: "After an obscene amount of hours around Assen on the Xbox, I'd succeeded in developing an elite competence in leaning from side to side on a bean bag in front of the TV, amassing a wide range of abusive vocabulary thanks to the frustrating consistency of my ghost rider!"
A little fan thing going on with Sammi Tasker (GBR)? "When I came back to the gazebo I couldn't wait to get my helmet off because I was roasting! My mum shouted on me and I couldn't believe who was sitting on a scooter beside her! JOSH BROOKES! I ran and hugged him while everyone took photos. I think he had taken a wrong turn and ended up lost. But I was so happy that he ended up next to our gazebo."
Avalon Biddle (NZL) about a not-so-well-known circuit in Italy: "Varano Autodrome is quite a small track, and the surrounding area Parma very hilly and natural. A short and bumpy track in the middle of nowhere: I felt right at home!!"
Wendy Kristen Leber (USA) on how to introduce your loved ones to racing: "When Russ brought the poor R6 back, Nick Finken snatched her out of his truck to go wash off the dirt and blackberry bush remnants. By this time, Steve Barta (my boyfriend) showed up at the track. What a great introduction to motorcycle roadracing!"
Sammy Tasker (GBR), once more: "I got a MUCH better start since I was paying attention this time. Hehe."
Catherine Green (GBR): "So Practice 2 was a bit experimental with a few tweaks here and there. It did the job and we felt we were able to come up with a good compromise for speed and longevity. As it turned out though we needn't have worried about engine longevity because by half way through the first qualifying session it was the broken clocks, fairing, front wheel and bent forks that posed more of a hindrance to popping in a good lap time!"
Zoe Rem (USA) keeping her cool: "Life continued, racing happened and I struggled to figure out how to ride the 848."
Also: "Though 750 Superbike and Formula 1 caught me off guard with millions of swarming bees diving into turn 2 on the start, Open Twins brought the civilized manner of racing back."
And on keeping an eye on your competition: "A little bit of me wishes I hadn't been racing [in the same race] so I could've watched Christie ride because I hear she was a bat out of hell. Hopefully next month I'll have a front row seat for that show... or, even better, I'll just hear her behind me."
Sammi Tasker (GBR), not exactly spoilt for choice at the first round of Melville: "I got ready for my five minute practices. My dad said that if I go out and my number one Aprilia still had a spitfire then it would be going in the back of the van. If I went out and my number two Aprilia's gears weren't working right it would be going in the back of the van. And if anything was to happen with my GP bike then I would be watching for the rest of the weekend. :("
It's another Tasker Adventure - Sammi Tasker (GBR) from Knockhill: "I was just about half way through my last session on the GP bike and the heavens opened. It was rain, and sleet and snow all at the same time! It was a disgusting kind of sludge. HA. [...] Race2 GP: There had just been a small drizzle so we had wets on, and so my dad put extra tape on my radiator to stop my temperature falling below 50°C. He put a bit too much on so after my two warm up laps coming up to the grid, I had to get off my bike and take a bit off. But dumb-ass Sammi takes the tape off so that it sticks to my glove. I couldn't use my other hand because I had to use that to keep the bike running. So there's me standing next to my bike on the grid waving my hand about in the air. And the red flag man thought my bike had stopped so he was telling me to move to the side, and I was like NO, NO, come and un-stick me from the tape. He did and I got back on my bike."
Melissa Paris (USA), 2010 Daytona 200: "As my first stint went on I picked off rider after rider and worked my way up to the top twenty or so. I *almost* felt bad when my RM Racing tuned R6 would just motor by people on the banking... but only for a second! [...] With about ten laps to go Cory West came by me and I had a laugh that I nearly drafted right back by him on the banking... Have I mentioned how fast my R6 is?"
Sammi Tasker (GBR) on how to win a race: "It started great. Good start ect. I lead to the first corner then the second then for the rest of the race because I never looked back until I crossed the finish line."
Catherine Green (GBR), BSB at Brands GP 2009: "Having joined in with the rest of the paddock whinging about the dismal weather on Friday morning [very foggy] Saturday delivered blue skies and beaming sunshine so everyone got to complain about the heat too!"
Ever the optimist, Sammi Tasker (GBR): "So I was out on my Aprilia first and managed to get pole with a time of 1.04 point something. I was pretty happy with this but I knew it was pointless being on pole unless I got a good start which was quite unlikely. HA." Again: "My last race on my GP bike was a surprise because I won." Also: "I was really pleased with myself for a move like that - it's not like me to pull a move like that off!!"
Martin Knighton about Jenny Tinmouth (GBR): "Tinmouth's engine blew, trailing a plume of smoke for a short while before realizing and pulling off the circuit. As she was dismounting there was an impressive burst of flame for a second or two, proving that Jenny really does light up the series!"
Catherine Green (GBR) on 125 racers' mindset: "Anyone would have thought we were fighting for a podium but in reality it was just the difference between points and a duck but that's the beauty of 125 racing!"
Catherine Green's (GBR) checkliste: "With a hastily repaired fairing and crossed fingers we sparked the bike up for first practice. All seemed well. Ring-da-ding sounds - check. Smokey stuff - check. Grinning idiot on seat - check."
Catherine Green (GBR) getting nasty on competitors' power-to-weight ratio: "It was time for desperate measures so I treated as many of my competitors as I could with the rest of the sponge cake between sessions and waited for some clear track to give myself the best chance. It worked. Shaving another 2 seconds off my lap I'd got it down into the 1m 43s so with that and a grid of competitors lugging around some weighty butter icing I'd moved up to 16th place by the end of the session!"
Sammi Tasker (GBR): "So I was 3rd until after the chikane where I strangely enough went underneath Stuart and round the other side of Liam. I was shocked too."
Sammi Tasker (GBR) NOT getting started on her Honda RS 125: "After the race my dad was asking me why I got such a rubbish start and it was because I couldnt see the lights ??? as the bikes in front of me were HUGE compared to my wee 125 - my dad said my bike looked like a mini-moto on the grid as he could not even see me. So when I saw the bike in front of me move I moved!!!???"
Melissa Paris (USA) on two good starts in the CCS series at Jennings: "I started on the inside of row three. I was a little nervous about launching the 600 after having ridden the 250. Apparently I had nothing to be worried about though, because when the flag dropped I rocketed up to P3 all the way from the third row... I was laughing to myself picturing little thought bubbles above everyone's heads with "WTF?" inside it... [...] On the restart I got to start from the front row, which was pretty cool. I bargained with Mark that if I holeshot it he should buy me a milkshake, but he seemed to think I should just get the holeshot just because."
Melissa Paris (USA) about turn 8 at JenningsGP: "There is this one turn, turn 8, that is a tight left. There are a ton of scape marks in the pavement from people crashing there. Well, Friday afternoon I figured out why."
Melissa Paris (USA) about riding in the wet: "I will never get over what an odd feeling it is to drag a knee in the rain. The frustrating thing is trying to get a feel. You just don't get many warnings in the wet, so you have to be extra smooth. In the end, I always feel like I could have gone faster. I even said to Josh [Hayes] at one point, "I know I could do better on the brakes... I haven't had a single scary moment". Josh just laughed and told me that in the rain you don't usually get "scary moments" you usually just fall."
Melissa Paris (USA) 2009 in her report from Daytona 200: "The weirdest thing is that this huge flock of sea-gulls had taken up residence in the grass inside of the international horse shoe. You could actually see bird poop all over the track (it didn't seem to affect grip, oddly enough)."
Melissa Paris (USA) on round 1 of CCS/ASRA 2009 at Daytona: "I was determined to be aggressive in turn one so I could try to latch on to the fast guys at the front. The plan didn't quite come to fruition unfortunately. As about 40 of us hauled off into the International horse shoe all at once, I zigged when I should have zagged."
Melissa Paris (USA) 2008 after her win in the Expert Leightweight GP class at CCS Race of Champions at Daytona: "I swear, when I pulled up to the grid one of the guys next to me started laughing, I think because my bike [Honda RS 250] and I looked so small compared to most of the other machines."
Melissa Paris (USA) 2008 when first seeing her 2000 Honda RS 250, "quite literally, the nicest bike I've ever owned": "As they wheeled it off the truck, I was practically doing backflips. But looks don't count for everything. And NO-ONE wants to be the slow guy (errr... girl) with the super cool bike. I started to get nervous."
Melissa Paris (USA) 2007 after a massive fall at Roebling Road: "Ram air ducts, bodywork, air box, throttle bodies... it was like a real yard sale, right there in turn nine."