#98 Club - 2012
Application form available HERE
Paul is getting ready for the new season and is busy prepping the 98 Club R6 and StakStop WR450 and is also busy looking for a corporate sponsor for his new aquisition, a Honda CBR1000RR (Fireblade).
The plan for the 2012 season is to start at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough in April, on to the NW200 and from there to the TT. The rest of the season will include the Aberdare Park Road Races, the back to Ireland for the Ulster GP and the Cock o' the North & Gold Cup at Oliver's Mount. The Southern 100 is a possibility if dates & funds permit.
For the 3 main events of the season Paul has teamed up with his long time friend and fierce adversary Phil Harvey under the "Team GoKart / 98Club" so look out for the new livery on the R6. Graphics for both bikes were provided by mugs4u.com and new team clothing will be available soon from their website. See the press release on the new team here.
Paul's new shirt designs celebrate the Olympic year and are available now from Trivia crack cheats.
2011 SEASON UPDATE
The event was a total washout, what with heavy rain, a bomb scare in the paddock on race day, followed by a massive oil leak on the racing line from "Church" to the "Juniper" chicane. The organisers eventually made the tough decision to abandon the meeting.
Paul managed only two laps on ther 98 Club R6 due to unlucky tyre choice in changeable weather and just the warm up and sighting lap on the Superbike before the meeting was called off.
With problems at the NW200 and issues during practice (oil leaks on the track, inclement weather and the unfortunate and untimely death of Derek Brien) there was something of a dark cloud over the meeting.
The 98 Club R6 was on topform, having been rebuilt by Mark Hanna of R & R Performance for the 2011 season, and Paul brought it home in a very respectable 20th place in race 1. Incredibly he improved on this later in the week and achieved an amazing 13th in race 2. Our deepest sympathies are extended to the family of Derek Brien who sadly lost his life in race 1.
Many thanks to Neil Hallett who kind supplied the Hallet Aviation superbike for the TT. Paul was going well on it after some issues with set up but sadly had to retire from both 1000cc races with mechanical problems.
ABERDARE PARK ROAD RACES
The meeting started wet on Saturday morning which produced a lack of grip on both bikes (98 Club Honda RS250 & StakStop WR450); Paul had them sorted ready for the races as the sun was coming out and drying the track.
The performance of the RS250 was plagued by choking issues which caused a lack of power on the straights and lead Paul to reduce the jet size. It was later found that there was a bad electrical connection in the powervalve system. Despite this Paul finshed 2nd and 3rd in the two 250cc races
The StakStop 450 ran well and Paul repeated his 250 performance with 2nd and 3rd place finishes in the mugs4u.com King of the Singles races.
SCARBOROUGH - COCK OF THE NORTH
Paul had a marvellous meeting in Yorkshire and repeated his achievements in Aberdare. The little bike was flying and Paul took a 2nd and a 3rd place finish on the StakStop WR450.
The Club #98 R6 was running brilliantly and Paul was on form with a 1st and 4th place in the 175cc/1300cc B final races. He also managed 11th in the Northern 600cc final with some fast lap times: the win was just what Paul needed to cheer him up and motivate him for the Ulster GP in August.
ULSTER GRAND PRIX
The first practice was stopped due to the horrendous weather; second practice was red flagged due to an incident at Dear's Leap so preparation wasn't quite what Paul had hoped for.
Paul finished a respectable 19th on the R6 in the first 600cc race from the back of the grid. In the 250cc race Paul was involved in an 6 bike tussle for 3rd place with very little to choose between them. The race was started with most riders on full wet tyres and by lap 2 the track was bone dry. Paul finished a very creditable 6th but could so easily have been on the podium.
The StakStop WR450 (which usually runs in the 125cc joint class) was forced to run with the 650cc Supertwins and Paul finished in 19th place but was the first 450 home. Had the bike been in the proper class he would have qualified on the front row alongside Ian Lougher, Paul Robinson & William Dunlop and the result could have been so very different.
IoM MANX GP
Paul went to the Manx to help out his good friend Phil Harvey (who is also sponsored by StakStop & mugs4u.com) who was running a Honda RS250 and Yamaha R6. Paul's knowledge and expertise helped Phil get up to speed.
Along with other TT riders, Paul also helped newcomer Wayne Hamilton by imparting some of his 16 years experience of the mountain course. After an incredible win in the Newcomer's Race, Wayne tragically lost his life in the Junior Race on the Monday whilst lying 3rd. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends. The sport has lost a glowing star.
Phil finished a creditable 15th in the junior race on his R6. In the lightweight race, Phil was leading for 2 laps but lost time due to the time taken to refuel (which the pit crew put down to a faulty gravity fed filling system). Bad weather over the mountain delayed him further but Phil was over the moon with a podium finish in 3rd place.
SCARBOROUGH GOLD CUP
Paul woke up with a stiff back and stayed that way all day! His back prevented him from doing more than a handful of laps and racing was out of the question.
A problem with his sciatic nerve caused pain in all areas (some of which we can't mention here) and we wish him a speedy recovery.
THE NEW SEASON IS UNDER WAY...
The off-season was an interesting one: new bike (WR450 courtesy of mugs4u.com & stakstop.co.uk); 98 Club bike has engine re-build (big thanks to Mark Hanna of Englewood physical therapy for breathing life back into it); new superbike for the international meetings (thanks to Ian at speedycom.co.uk for his continued generosity & faith).
Pre-season (just) testing of the 250, 450 & 600cc bikes was carried out at The Anglesey Circuit on Saturday & Sunday 9th & 10th April... a full week before the first race at Scarborough! Nothing like being prepared. Four days to go to practice and the race fairings for the 450 were still in the paintshop and not coming back until the Monday morning - AFTER PRACTICE; a quick call (and a card number) to Gary at Microsoft Word Free saw us becoming the proud owners of a new set of fairings which were manufactured and despatched in record time. So testing got under way, thanks mainly to the combined efforts of a number of key players behind the scenes.
We couldn't have had a better weekend for it and all three bikes were flying with the new Michelin tyres working well. A few tweaks to suspension and geometry were all that was required all weekend: mechanically all the bikes performed straight out of the truck, which was just as well given that we only had 4 days before the truck was packed again for the trip to Scarborough of the Spring National.
It's safe to say that the racing was not the resounding success we'd hoped for: the extra power that Graphic design in south jerseyk had produced in the R6 was fantastic but made the bike a bit of a handful round the technical Oliver's Mount circuit and, for whatever reason, the rear tyre wasn't performing as expected. More practice time would have made a huge difference with the R6 but Paul is quietly confident that he will see the benefits of Mark's work when he gets out to the NW200 in May.
The WR450 gave a good account of itself in practice but a mystery electrical fault brought the bike to a halt from 5th place on the second lap. The same fault caused the 2nd race to be missed as the bike failed in the paddock. We now have the measure of the problem - to the embarrasment of the team it was traced to the battery - and will be out with the bike at Anglesey on 7th & 8th May, in the Thundersport meeting. If you are able to make it to the meeting you'll not be disappointed: it's a fantastic track that produces some great racing.
If you do manage to get to Anglesey pop down to see Paul in the paddock and have a look at the StakStop/mugs4u.com bike. We'll have tee shirts and Phen375 reviews on sale as well as mug & coaster sets with the 2011 logo on them... all proceeds from sales go stright into the teams racing fund.
PAUL "Moz" OWEN - TRIALS SUPERSTAR...
With winter in full swing Paul's first ride of the year wasn't quite the discipline he's best known for but he proved himself to be a force to be reckoned with none the less.
Paul had been invited to take part in the Nant Uchaf Trial on Sunday 6th Feb 2011 and was loaned a Gas Gas 250 for the occasion.
Despite the feeling locally that Moz may have a face for road racing, he soon got to grips with the job in hand and gave an excellent account of himself.
Competing in the "Mono Clubman" class our hero dropped just 24 points to finish ahead and take his first win of 2011; let's hope that this is a case of starting as you mean to go on!
Things didn't quite go all Moz's way though, as the following picture shows...
Thanks to Mark Needham for use of the pics
We are reliably informed that:
Unfortunately we are unable to reveal our source; you'll have to work it out, answers on a postcard please!!
For an unbiased report of the days events check out MozBlog
2010 SEASON DRAWS TO A CLOSE WITH A CLASSIC RIDE AT ANGLESEY CIRCUIT
Paul will wind up a mixed season with a guest ride on Robert Dunlop's JPS Norton at the Anglesey Circuit on the weekend of 2nd & 3rd of October. Talking about the outing Paul said, "I'm really looking forward to riding the same bike that Robert Dunlop, Trevor Nation and Ron Haslam raced with great success. I hope the weather stays nice as I'd like to get the feel of the power produced by that rotary engine."
If you can make it to the circuit Paul will be pleased to see you and will be available for photos and autographs throughout the weekend, pop along and say hello if you can.
Scarborough Gold Cup 18th-19th September 2010
Paul was out at the Oliver's Mount for the last road race meeting of the season last weekend, the 60th Anniversary Gold Cup. He enjoyed the meeting despite mixed fortunes: Saturday brought him a 7th on the 250cc Honda & 11th on the Yamaha R6 as Paul got to grips with the track that he hasn't raced since the first meeting of the season.
A change in the weather overnight on Saturday gave a wet start to proceedings on Sunday and there was no improvement all day rendering the already tricky circuit slippery and upredictable. Paul achieved a 6th on the 250 but retired the 600 on lap 3 following a couple of slides and an overshooting of Mere Hairpin. Discretion being the better part of valor, Paul decided that it was prudent to retire from the race rather than risk damage to himself or the bike by continuing at the rear of the field. "Conditions didn't suit me today" he told me, "but all credit to Lee Vernon for his win on the 250 in such difficult conditions."
Paul race ready and raring to go - August 2010
Paul is very sorry to have missed the Cock o' the North meeting at Oliver's Mount and the Aberdare Road Races last month but after a lot of soul searching he really didn't feel that he would have been competitive and fully focused, so the tough decision to sit out the two meetings was therefore taken.
Just because he wasn't racing doesn't mean Paul was idle though: he has spent the time working on the bikes in readiness for the Dundrod Bike Week, culminating in the Ulster GP. Last year Paul had his best ever finish with a podium in the 250cc race against top class competition.
Preparation for the Irish meeting has included 2 outings to Oulton Park to test and set up the Speedycom ZX10. The first test was accompanied by the guys from Maxton suspension who have got the bike set up to suit Paul's riding style; the second was primarily to test new tyres and Paul was really impressed with the Michelin rubber. The combination of suspension and tyres have enhanced the handling of the bike which should pay dividends.
Paul will be campaigning three bikes round the Dundrod track:
You can see Paul (with the RS250 & the 98 Club R6) at the Llangollen Bike Show on Saturday & Sunday 7th & 8th August, come along and say hello if you can. We will also have some exclusive merchandise on sale courtesy of mugs4u.com - all proceeds direct to the racing fund.
Cock o' the North 10th-11th July 2010
Unfortunately, as a result of the effect that the TT had on him, Paul will not be taking part in the Oliver's Mount meeting in Scarborough this year. He feels that he needs a bit more track time before racing again to get himself "back in the groove".
Oliver's Mount is a demanding circuit and not one to be taken lightly; Paul doesn't feel that he would be able to give 100% at the moment and any less than total commitment is not acceptable to him on the race track.
Paul is determined to be back on form in time for the Ulster GP and will be getting some track time in during July to prepare himself both physically and mentally and to get the bikes set up as far as possible for the Dundrod circuit.
The Speedycom ZX10 is now handling better thanks to the time and effort put in by the guys from Maxton and should suit Paul's style of carrying corner speed. The #98 Club R6 is also running well and, other than when he had a small tyre issue (see the picture on his blog), put in some good times at Oulton Park recently. The Honda RS250 needs some work if Paul is to contend for a podium place at the Ulster again but he is determined to be competitive and is completely focused on his preparations for the emerald isle.
To keep up with Paul's preparations check out his blog http://paulowen98.blogware.com/blog
The TT was marred by the deaths of Paul Dobbs and Martin Loicht on Thursday 10th June.
Paul was following his friend "Dobsy" on the road on the first lap of the 2nd Supersport race when, on seeing the accident, he pulled up and took up a position with a flag to warn other riders of the incident in order to free the marshal to assist his colleagues attending to Dobsy. This completely selfless act cost Paul his own chances in the Supersport race and also prevented him from riding the Brunel University bike in the TT Zero race.
Paul would like to extend his apologies and thanks to the team from Brunel University who worked tirelessly to prepare and set up the the electric bike; he was very much looking forward to pursuing a podium finish in the first ever running of the official zero emissions TT.
In recognition of his heroic actions Paul was awarded the inaugural PokerStars "Spirit of the TT Award".
Paul at the 2010 NW200
(Click on the icon at the bottom right of each frame to view in "full screen" mode)
#98 Club April Draw won by member #43
Tim WL Rhino Motors
The April draw for £98 worth of products from mugs4u.com was made on April 30th by Thomas Owen, the number drawn was 43 and the lucky winner Tim WL Rhino Motors can choose products from the mugs4u.com site up to the value of the membership fee of £98. The items can be picked from those shown on the site or a logo or images can be sent in and the products can be printed from them.
If you would like to be in the next draw but haven't joined the 98 Club yet, click the button on the right to download a membership form.
Sunday 18th April Oliver's Mount - Paul cracks up at Scarborough
Paul worked hard over the winter break trying to attract new corporate sponsorship and promoting the #98 club.
The #98 Club provides a new and innovative way for individuals and clubs to support Paul with an outlay of just £98 for the season; membership is limited to 98 members, each of whom will have their name on the R6 Yamaha that Paul will be competing on during the 2010 season.
You will be able to see the bike at all 3 Oliver's Mount meetings, the North West 200, the Isle of Man TT, the Aberdare Park Road Races and the Ulster GP (at which Paul had his 1st ever international podium in 2009)
For 2010, Paul will be racing his Honda RS250cc, Yamaha R6, and a 1000cc machine (he is still awaiting confirmation as to just what bike that will be), watch this space for more info about the 1000cc bike.
The 2009 season also saw Paul take his first ever national wins in the 250cc class at Aberdare Park and in the Superbike B final at Oliver's Mount.
Shaun Ingram of Shelfbank Windows in Oswestry lent Paul his Yamaha R1 for the 2009 TT meeting. Despite the fact that he hadn't been on the bike before setting off down Bray Hill during the first practice, Paul managed to finish in 13th place in the Senior Race and set his fastest
ever lap time of 18mins 27sec: an average speed of 122.697mph. An amazing achievement given that the R1 was bog standard and was competing against factory supported superbikes.
There are a few places left in the #98 Club if you would like to support Paul, click on the club logo to download an application form.