Report: Mamoud Tannir on his season finale
Well ladies and gentlemen here we are, the last race day of the season. After the trials and tribulations for a lot of the riders at the last race day, Mahmoud gained the championship lead for the 1st time this season. As the say in football leading the championship at Christmas wins you nothing, it your position at the end of the season that counts.
Thursday followed the usual pattern of setting the garage up in the morning and then using the afternoon test sessions to verify the suspension settings and to check that the bike was running fine. With the air temperature being over 40oC and the track being a bit slick, Mahmoud decided that as everything was working as expected it was prudent to save energy and so the team decided to miss the 3rd session. Needless to say fluids were being consumed at a rapid rate as keeping hydrated was going to be vital.
With that the bike as given its usual spanner check, new tyres fitted and new brake fluid. With that complete the team retired to their respective homes to refresh and to keep hydrating.
Friday saw an overcast dawn with rain reported in the nearish vicinity…. The Dubai Autodrome had organised a super lap event on the race programme. These competition was first up on the programme and so instead of the usual 9am warm-up session, the warm-up was scheduled for 11am. Although the temperature was a little cooler, keeping hydrated was going to be essential for both Ian and Mahmoud.
Ian’s 1st job was to set-up the pit wall with the tv, pit board and numbers. Actually this was his 2nd task as getting the stereo going (Sixx AM & Motley Crue gets Ian “in the grove”) is his 1st priority.
Warm-up was used to scrub in the new tyres and to check that the bike had developed no problems overnight. The 10 minute sessions passed without incident and with that the tyre pressures were checked and a splash of fuel added.
Qualifying 15 minutes in which to set your best time. With 8 minutes to go the session was put on hold on account it had started to spit with rain. Oh joy, don’t tell us we are going to suffer again with the rain? Luckily 5 minutes later it stopped and after a quick track inspection the sessions went green. Of course nobody was ready… Still on lap 4 Mahmouds puts in a really quick lap which put him on class pole and 2nd on the grid (ahead of 4 1000cc bikes).The teams objective was to qualify on the front row of the grid. Thank you very much, job done, return to pits. The gap between 2nd and 10th was 1.1 seconds…. This is going to be a close race.
Race 1 well more drama as it started to spit in rain again about 15 minutes before the bikes were due out of the garage. The rain didn’t last long and it was replaced with bright sunshine greeting the riders on the grid. A brilliant start saw Mahmoud keep his class lead on lap 1. Mahmouds championship challenger Surya Raja overshot turn 1 and had to fight his way back up the field. Unaware of this Mahmoud got his head down and started to pull away from the rest of 600cc riders and even built up a 3 second lead over 3 of the 1000cc bikes. Constant checking of the pit board saw Mahmoud regulate his pace which saw him take the class win and extends his points lead. Podium time!
Race 2 updating the points total between the races revealed that only a couple of points were needed to retain the championship. Now can you imagine a racer who has just cleaned house in race 1 settling for a quiet ride at the back? No neither could Ian, so the team settled on trying to win race 2 to really end the championship on a high but Mahmoud new to ease off if required.
Mahmoud was only 2nd in class after lap 1 (a sensible opening lap!) but by the end of lap 2 normal order had been re-established with Mahmoud taking over the class lead. This time Erikas Savagas kept Mahmoud honest by keeping the gap between 05 and 1.5 seconds. The 3 1000cc bike ahead of Mahmoud were setting a pace just quick enough to not hinder Mahmouds pace. And with the laps slowly ticked by and with the chequred flag being shown the team could start to celebrate their successful defense of the championship.
Seasons Reflections taking a moment to reflect on the season after the final race reveals a championship of 2 halves. The first half Surya jump out to good lead with Mahmoud suffering 2 crashes and an engine failure. The 2nd half saw Mahmoud start his fight back by finishing all of the races on the podium and winning 3 of the last 4 races and ultimately retaining the championship. With race victories also going to Rob Nicolas and Joe Oxley plus podium visits by Erikas and Omar saw the most open championship for many years.
And as the team packs up their gear for the last time this season, they wish to thank all of their sponsors, supporters, the other riders and everybody at the Dubai Autodrome.
Of course the last question is will Mahmoud return and try and win championship number 3? Well lets just see what happens during the off season…