Greenhous Vauxhall Master Technician Barry ‘Baz’ Furber had what he what he called a faultless week with his bikes and was very pleased with his practice and race performances. The North West attracts the very best road motorcycle racers in preparation for the upcoming Isle of Man TT.
As a newcomer Baz was supported by colleagues Steven Herring and Steve Smith from Greenhous Vauxhall in Shrewsbury. They are both Master Technicians like Baz. Greenhous Vauxhall provided Team Vauxhall with a dedicated Movano van and Baz’s new bike, a 1000 cc Kawasaki ZX10R.
Vauxhall are also the main sponsors of the 13 round British Superbikes Championship. The Chairman and Managing Director of Vauxhall Motors, Rory Harvey and Gordon Hannon, the Retail Operations Manager for Vauxhall, were on hand at the North West 200 to present the winners with their trophies.
Tuesday and Thursday were practice days and the weather stayed fine with lots of sunshine. Baz managed 4 sessions on his Kawasaki and his Suzuki SV650. Thursday evening saw the first of the actual races and Baz competed in the Superstock on his Kawasaki finishing 26th with the fastest speed by a newcomer at 190mph through the speed trap, averaging 113mph for a lap of the 11 mile triangular circuit.
On his Suzuki in the Supertwin Class he finished a very creditable 15th and he was the second fastest newcomer. Baz says of the racing: “I didn’t know what to expect, especially with the big bike for the first time in a race on a large circuit. Everything went really well and both bikes worked like a dream.”
On the Saturday torrential rain and sunshine alternated dampening the sprits of many of the riders and it was difficult for the team crews to decide on tyre selection. Baz set off in the first 7 lap Superbike race on his Kawasaki on wet tyres and he came 16th after an exciting ride with his rear wheel free spinning at 180mph!
It was back to back races for Baz for, as soon as he crossed the finish line, his team were moving his Suzuki into position for the Supertwin race. It was a case of leap off one bike and onto the other. With wet tyres on the track started to dry and this made handling more difficult. However, Baz got a great start and he eventually finished a magnificent 8th and was again the fastest newcomer. This race was won by Bridgnorth’s Michael Rutter.
“It was a case of finish that race and then straight onto the Kawasaki again for the last Superstock race“, explained Baz. My team had prepared my bike brilliantly, though in this race there are competitors on bikes that are modified for racing and they have an extra 40bhp over my road bike. I finished 26th. The week could not have gone better and I am so grateful to the two Steve’s, Greenhous and Vauxhall for their support.”
Baz leaves Shrewsbury on Wednesday 24th may for the Isle of Man. The bikes are prepared and have new engines and the benefit of the hard miles of racing at the North West will surely give him the confidence to be highly competitive at the TT. Baz was duly rewarded for his fabulous North West 200 perfromances with the award of Best Newcomer.
Photo credit to Steve McDonald.