The next "Big Thing" !
|Date of Birth:
Place of Birth: Belfast
First Race: Nutts Corner 125 GP Clubmans 2003
Best Result: Winner of Non Qualifiers 125 race.
Biggest Influence on racing career: My Dad, Bill Simpson. Himself a former Irish Road Race Champion.
Ambition: To have fun racing and hopefully start winning.
Allstar Motorsport - Alastair Macintosh
Bison Office Supplies - Bill and Elaine Simpson
Nice 'n' Clean - Nigel Willis
Team Wood - David Wood
Silkolene - Derek Black
Trackcare - Cregan Boyd
Testing for the 2004 season is now complete.
Aghadowey and Kirkistown have both been the scenes of
improvement when it comes to getting the times down.
There was one worrying moment when Iain clashed with another rider going into the Joey Esses at Aghadowey. Iain ran off the track luckily into the boggy ground, Iain suffering a pulled muscle and the bike receiving nothing worse than some grass in the fairing.
Kirkistown saw more improvements in lap times on a windy but dry official M.C.U.I. test day prior to the Easter weekend races.
Iain is starting to look more relaxed and more at one with the bike. He certainly looks purposeful, Monday will tell the tale.
Well Iain, what would you like to say about your first B&D
Easter Monday races. No we can't print that, I'm sure he
didn't mean to do it. Anyone's chain can come off for numerous
reasons. Remember your front sprocket came off last week. So you
would rather forget it and focus on Nutts Corner next Saturday. Ok, fine.
That's it then, No comment !
Nutts Corner, I think we should have taken a Jet Ski. We had been having a few jetting problems with the bike and as luck would have it, Robert Dunlop was at Nutts Corner with William and Michael so Dr Dunlop was approached and he came up with a few idea's regarding jet sizes. Unfortunately the weather was not best suited for trying out a range of jets though Bill did do his best.
Practice was OK but the race was run in dreadful conditions. The rain was coming down in lumps. I made a load of places up as I overtook some riders and others slid gracefully into the gravel traps. Then I fell foul of a front end slide, and had to extricate myself from the gravel. Off I went again and was clawing my way back through the field up to about twelfth. Then as suddenly as it had started, the race was over.
The rain got heavier and heavier and eventually the meeting had to be called off as sections of the track were now becoming flooded. The jetting trials will have to wait until next time out at Bishopscourt next month.
After my crashes at the beginning of the season, my confidence had taken a knock. I just didn't feel comfortable going into and through the corners, I didn't notice it as much at Nutts Corner because it was wet, but I really noticed it here.
It went ok for me, I sat behind a few guys until I felt I could go quicker. I got past a couple of riders and started to feel good. I qualified on the fourth row which I was happy enough with as I knew I had to build my confidence back up again.
The race didn't go very well. I had a very bad start but I got a load of positions back through the first corner. I was lying behind the riders I was with in qualifying so I knew I could go quicker. I watched them for a couple of corners then I made my move into the hairpin, on the power out of the corner the bike would not rev above 8,000 rpm ( it's supposed to rev to 12,500 ) so I hit the bike into another gear to see if it would clear. It didn't so I had no choice but to pull in. That was my day over, we tried to get the bike fixed but it just was a very strange problem. I would like to thank Tim Stott for all his help trying to get the bike sorted on the day, Cheers Tim !
My next race was at Kirkistown which I was heading to in a real downer after all my problems.
Here I really had no confidence as this is where I had one of my big crashes earlier in the season.
I have to be honest, I was riding like an old granny in qualifying so I qualified on the back row of the grid, which I was not very happy with.
There is not much to tell about this race. I got a real bad start, I fought my way through to fifteenth and stayed there. I was starting feel slightly happier but just could not push any further.
The second race was pretty much the same. A real bad start, then worked my way up to fourteenth then just got stuck there. A real bad day for me.
Aghadowey was my next race meeting. I was in pretty much the same mood as race day approached.
Aghadowey was another circuit which i had a big crash at when someone used me as a brake earlier in the season. I reckon I'm getting pretty experienced at crashing, I know all the good spots !
I am being honest again ( Oh No ) I was even slower than a granny this time in qualifying. I have to apologise to my Dad for the way I was riding, you would have thought I was out for a Sunday run in qualifying so it was the back row of the grid for me again.
It went like every start is seeming to go, bad !. I got past a good amount of people and worked my way to seventeenth. I was actually starting to feel quite pleased with myself and was looking forward to the second race.
The second race and I just didn't get the bike off the line. I was well behind the next rider on the track which was Sam Bentley ( my college tutor ) which was like a red rag to a bull. It took me a lap to catch and pass him then I started to get my confidence back and I was really closing on the guy's in front. I was just about to make a move on three of them when the red flags went out and I finished up in eighteenth. I was starting to feel good again and actually beginning to enjoy myself ( which is after all, the whole point of the exercise ).
Next stop was Nutts corner which is my favourite track ( I have done the most miles round it than any other circuit ).
I struggled a bit in qualifying with gear problems, but we made a few clicks here & there for the races and I ended up on the fifth row.
Both races, I got really poor starts ( this is becoming a bit like a trade mark for me, unfortunately not a good one ). In both races I struggled to pass slower riders ( yes there are some ) at the start and the leading group were away and gone. The second race was was much better, I really enjoyed myself. I was back to my old self on the bike again, but during the second race the yellow flags came out and the rider in front of me slowed right down ( quite correctly ) but the rest of the pack kept pushing which lost us the tow. I finished up in fourteenth in race one and fifteenth in race two.
My next race was seven weeks away which I think is pretty senseless.
The ISB round at Kirkistown was the next race which i was looking forward to, as i would be out with all the quick men like Tim Stott.
There was a test day on the Wednesday before the races which was really worthwhile going to. I did around forty or fifty laps which was very good for my confidence.
As this was a National race as opposed to a Clubmans round, I just decided to use it as another test day. There is no way I could even dream of being competitive against the best 125 racers in the Country, I might learn a few things though ! The day was fine and a lot of my friends and my Mum came down to watch me so the craic was excellent.
I qualified on the back row but i was happy that I had qualified at all ( and I wasn't last ) !
I made my usual terrible starts bin both races but got my positions back so I was happy, thanks to people sliding off. I got up to fifteenth in the first race but i was just outside the points in the second race, finishing in sixteenth place.
I was happy with the day, it wasn't a very eventful day for me but I was happy with my races. I would like to thank all my friends and family for their support during the day and the B&D Club for all their buns and fizzy drinks ( no good for the diet though ).
I am starting to feel more confident around Aghadowey now, this track used to be the track that I disliked the most ( Ryan rainey was the same and look what has happened to him )!
It went ok for me because I tend to get quicker as the day goes on. It was my best starting position of the year, eleventh spot on the grid.
Guess what, yes my usual poor start ruined all the hard work I had done in qualifying. I worked my way back up through the pack. I got into a dice with three other riders and I knew I was quicker than them so I knew once I got past them I could pull away with ease. I got past them but made a silly mistake and all three got past me again. I got past two riders in the group and was aiming to get a good drive out onto the start finish finish straight to get past the other rider. Unfortunately on the exit of the corner I was alongside the other rider and he ran me wide and I clipped a pile of tyres which are positioned in a rather strange place. This ripped off my footrest and gear lever. That was the end of my day. This was the last round of the Championship, which unfortunately for me was not a good one !
I intend to turn it all around next year, keep your elbows in, there will be no more Mr Nice guy !