The second time I got caught cheating went very differently. This time I was about 20, racing in the British Superstock Championship. I was racing for quite a big team with quite a big sponsor. It was a sponsor that I had originally brought to the paddock, and one that was, at the time, ploughing serious sums of money into the BSB paddock. I’m talking six figures.
It was fairly early on in the season at Oulton Park and I’d finished the race in the top six so I was pretty happy as that was quite good for me at the time. During the post-race parc ferme the scrutineers took the bike off me to weigh it. There was nothing abnormal about that. They would routinely check various things on various bikes after every race or qualifying session. One weekend they’d want the bike on the dyno, the next they might take a sample of the fuel to test. I wasn’t overly concerned.
On this occasion though, I should have been. Because when they weighed the bike, it was deemed to be underweight. I can’t remember the numbers but I think the bike was a kilo or two under the legal weight limit. It looked like I was going to get disqualified. I should have been disqualified.
If I’m being honest, I wasn’t too upset about it. I felt like I’d rode well, and I didn’t feel too responsible for the ‘technical infringement’ because I hadn’t built the bike. I was just gutted about the fact that I’d lose some decent points.
Cheats sometimes prosper
But rather than lose the points, what happened was this. Half an hour after the race, a bulletin was issued by race direction, informing everyone that the new weight limit for twin-cylinder bikes in superstock (my bike was a Ducati 1098R) was now 2kg lighter than it had been before. I couldn’t believe my luck! They ‘backdated’ the new regulations, so I was allowed to stay in the results.
If you ask me, on that day I was ‘cheating’ a lot more than I had been seven years earlier on my Superteen bike. But this time I’d got away with it because I had a big sponsor. And money talks.
To read part two of Confessions of a Motorcycle Racer ‘Cheating’, click here
And to read the next part, part four of Confessions of a Motorcycle Racer ‘Don’t steal my sponsor’, click here