Simons sets record straight
Jevaughn Simons admits that learning from past mistakes was the key to him winning the Superbike class final at the Dockyard Grand Prix yesterday.
Simons said he only had himself to blame after being forced to withdraw from the final of the previous Grand Prix in 2015 after suffering wheel damage while leading the race.
He was ill-prepared for that race as he did not have a spare wheel to rejoin the competition and took steps to ensure there was no repeat of that disappointment this time around.
“It's been poking away at me for two years and this weekend I just said, ‘I'm going to put my head down and not worry about anyone else — I want that No 1 spot,” said Simons, who finished ahead of Sandy Benevides in second and third-place Nathaniel Bonega-Northcott.
“In practice this morning I actually broke eight spokes in my wheel rim and that was something similar to what happened last year.
“Because I came prepared I was able to switch the wheel and was then ready for the third heat and the final. I learnt from my mistakes and that helped get me on the podium.”
Despite the track posing a few problems, Simons — who qualified on pole position — said he enjoyed a fairly comfortable ride to the chequered flag.
“It's a very difficult track, very different from driving down the Southside Raceway [in St David's] or any other track,” Simons, 33, said.
“It's very uneven and can be a dangerous track if you don't have the right equipment, tyre pressure and suspension set-up.
“At the beginning CJ [Richardson], a good competitor, was there with me and I gave him a sign to say, ‘Hey, your bike is running well' and I knew I would have to choose the right lines and race hard.
“But he started to drop back because of a carburettor issue and it seemed fairly easy from then on. It was very satisfying to cross the line first after the DNF from last time.”
Simons, who previously raced in the United States, winning the 600cc Supersport and Superbike WERA National Challenge Series titles in 2008, rarely rides these days but said the lure of the Dockyard Grand Prix had brought him out of retirement.
“I actually retired in 2008 and would just come in for different races,” he said.
“Before the last one these guys asked me whether I would do the Dockyard race and I wanted to experience it. This time I knew I had to do it.”