Sam Osborne, Lane Motorsport’s sponsored bike rider, claims not to like Snetterton, venue for the latest round of Thundersport 600 Sportsman races but, this year his test day went really well and he felt really good from the get go. Sam and his team had a good suspension setup and he was able to hit all his markers.
Sam’s main problem was lack of power after having to scrap his superbike motor and replacing it with a “stocker”. “I must’ve been 30bhp down on some of the bikes and this was proven by the speed trap results, so I knew my only option was late braking everywhere.” Says Sam.
Sam was happy to qualify 15th overall and 3rd in class – not bad at all for one of the slowest bikes out there.
Sam got a good start in Race 1 – up to 9th overall and 1st in class. “The bike felt really good and I soon found my rhythm, putting in consistent 1.13’s and holding my own. Then bikes started coming past me on the back straight like I was standing still, which was so frustrating as I knew I was faster than them in the corners, this meant I had to push myself on the brakes. When they came past me on the straights I’d manage to re-pass them back on the brakes.” Says Sam. On lap 11 just as he was deciding to settle for 2nd in class coming into Coram I bottomed out the forks and tucked the front on the right just before the final left. Luckily the bike and I weren’t too bad – or so we thought.
After working on the bike the night before Race 2, she was ready to go. The race was damp with a decent dry line, which didn’t stop Sam from having a few “brown pants” moments on the damp stuff, but he got a good start again and was up to 8th overall and 1st in class. 3 laps in disaster struck and he had what looked to be a blow up on the start/finish straight.
“As I tipped into Riches the back came round so I sat it up, went straight on and unfortunately couldn’t hold it up on the grass. This was a big off for me at a very fast part of the circuit, of which I feel lucky to have walked away with only concussion and a few other bumps.” Sam recalls.
For Race 3, Sam’s K9 was a no go, so the team let him have a go on the “beast” (K3 superbike). Sam had ridden this before so felt confident he could push from the off, this time having the straight-line speed to match the top boys. During the warm up, he noticed a strange weaving when he tipped into corners so he didn’t push and came home 9th in class and second from last overall.
Sam later discovered his bike hadn’t gone bang and in fact crash 1 had led to crash 2. When it went down on the right-hand side in Race 1, it bent the oil feed pipe, which pushed the hoses leading to the radiator onto the downpipes, which then led to the downpipes melting through the hoses causing the oil to leak out and cover the back wheel.
Sam’s final words – “To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement. It could’ve been a great weekend with some comfortable podiums. I am really in need of some luck at the moment. I also think without this missing bhp I’m sure I could’ve taken another second off my lap time.
“Anyway, I did take away some positives. I’ve never felt so comfortable on a race bike before. My K9 gives me so much feedback and is great fun to ride. Every time I ride it I feel like I learn something new and can push that little bit more in places.
“We’re off to Cadwell Park for the May bank holiday next, lying 6th in the Sportsman Championship. I know I’ve got so much more to offer as I get to know the bike better, hopefully with some added horses.”