WA Modified Bike racer Mick Day recently won his first event at Perth Motorplex, but it came with an unplanned engine overhaul.
In the first round of racing Day’s Suzuki sounded unusual but he got lucky when his opponent had a foul start. Day chose not to even make a pass, accepting his green light and an automatic win.
Back in the pits, the team found that a carburettor cover had been left on and had gone into the high horsepower motor.
“I didn’t have any idea what the problem was, I thought it was maybe a spark plug lead or something,” he said. “I didn’t even think about the carb cover. It wasn’t until we got back we went oh no.”
There was an usually long amount of time between the first and second rounds, with the team having almost three hours until they needed to be out next. Day had to make a decision on whether to pull apart the top of the motor to remove the material or give up there and then.
“At first I was unsure and thought maybe we should pull it apart when I got home. But we had plenty of time so we decided to start,” he said.
“We had the carburettors off, the exhaust off, the cams off and the cylinder head off. The material was burned under three valves in cylinder one.
“Then it went back together, we filled it with fuel, it fired up fine and sounded good so we went out and ran an 8.73sec. time on our 8.72sec. handicap.”
Following the effort in the pits, Day could have been forgiven for not being on the mental game, but he said each round win gave him more confidence and he found his rhythm returning quickly on the bike, which is capable of accelerating to 240kmh in under nine seconds.
“All I had to do was concentrate on pulling a light (a good reaction time to the starting lights) and hitting my shift points, I didn’t want to get too excited,” he said.
“For the final I had to go out there and just go through the process, keep my nerve and do what I was doing all day.
“It was a close race and we didn’t know at the top end who had won until Ryan (Learmonth, crew member and former owner of the motorcycle) came to pick me up from the end of the track. He gave a fist pump and I knew, so I was screaming and shouting and enjoying the moment.”
Mick’s father Kevin formerly raced at Ravenswood Raceway and Mick said he had always wanted to follow in those footsteps.
“It’s in my blood,” he said.