by Brooke Penny
Here at Catalyst we are always interested to hear about what our staff do when not working hard, sat behind their desks. We recently got behind one of our developers, Jarrod Irwin, with his action packed hobby of motorbike riding. Catalyst is now one of his main sponsors, and he has a swish Catalyst logo on his bike. We were excited to hear about his latest endeavour at the Victoria Motorcycle Club Winter Series event at Manfield raceway in Feilding... And, we were stoked to hear that our sponsorship can directly help him mend his bike after a left hand corner went slightly haywire.
Jarrod has been with Catalyst for 1.5 years and has been riding motorbikes since 2010. He was all geared up on Saturday 30 April to compete. Split into two different events, 'Trophy' and 'Sprint', he had a total of six races to partake in.
The first race didn’t begin with a hiss and a roar as he had hoped and he rode a lonely ride around the track. However, we were thrilled to hear he made a new personal best: Lap: 01:18:703. Great start in our opinion!
The second race saw a much better start (for Jarrod at least!); a handful of bikes failed to complete this race as a few bombed out around the slick corners. Jarrod finished up beating his PB at 01:18:530.
Jarrod rides an SV650 ProTwin, which is around 70hp at the wheel. In an event that is largely free of rules and restraints on what improvements you can make to your bike, Jarrod was up against other riders whose bikes were around 85hp. Race three came around and Jarrod managed to tag onto a faster rider so had someone to chase for the duration of the event. “It was great, I was riding really well”. He came in 7th and clocked his best lap for the weekend of 01:10:046.
In the fourth race, Jarrod managed to get off to a great start, but the top guys all upped their paces and Jarrod failed to keep up. Hardly surprising given they are riding at 85hp. Determined until the end, his best lap for this race was 01:19:405.
Amped from race four and determined to finish the last two races on a high, Jarrod started race five with full revs. Unfortunately his bike couldn’t keep up with his thrill seeking mind and a left hand corner ended up seeing Jarrod come off his bike (and narrowly missed by another competitor!) as a maximum lean angle was not supported by what Jarrod describes as “an old and slightly cold front tyre”. Thankfully, Jarrod managed to walk off pretty unscathed and aside from a bit of buffed up paint, his bike had little damage. It did however mean he failed to start the final race. A video of the crash is available here.
Overall, Jarrod was extremely happy with how the event went over the course of the two days, even with a DNF and a DNS for races five and six. Not only is motorbike riding physically hard going, mentally it's incredibly challenging too.
Well done Jarrod – a great weekend. We look forward to seeing you race in the next event in June, hopefully with a new front tyre and a lick of fresh paint on your SV650.