The “Fischereihafenrennen” (Fishtownraces) during the Whitsunday were held for the 55th time.
So it was time that I went there also to have a look and see what is going on there. This traditional race takes place in the old Fisherman’s harbor of Bremerhaven on the German North seacoast and use normal public roads. Many helping hands convert the industrial area for one weekend into a motodrome… Bales of straw border the track and cover risky spots like telegraph posts or warehouses. Over the iron manhole covers in the street they put bituminous sheeting to prevent the racers from slipping. All in all is this definatly NOT the place for whiners and talkers.
But the “Fishtownraces” are not only a race, it’s a big festival with booths, carousels, miscellaneous food and beverage –and of course stands with bikes and aftermarket parts from all leading manufacturers. This special atmosphere is absolute unique.
Not many race events in Germany let the spectators get so close to the race. On most places it’s just a bale of straw between the racers and the 30-40.000 race fans that show up over the weekend. They welcome the riders with frenetic applause, air horns and screaming to go to the limit on the 2.2Km (1,4mls) long track.
Sunday welcomed us with some great weather again, a clear blue sky and + 30 degree Celsius. I was entered in the Supersport class and Formula 2 for the ZXR400. During 2 short practices I got the hang of the circuit with the 600 and put down the 4th fastest time. With the 400 we experienced some teething problems and set a time in 17th position. Also because we raced against supertwins who could use their torque really well out of the corners.
After I had a head-start of the 1st race of the Supersport class is the race is red flagged because of a crash which left a lot of debris on the track. At the restart I came away slightly worse and after making also a small braking error I slided from 3rd to the 5th position. This is also the place in which I rode across the finish line. Unfortunately no podium but in the afternoon there is a second chance.
The time schedule has been altered because of many red flag situations and the race is shortened from 12 to 6 laps, really a sprint race. After a reasonable start I find myself in a 4th place and the entire race I’m in a duel for the 3rd place. I can place my bike beside my opponent several times but because of the nature of the circuit there is no room for error. So I finish in 4th position with a narrow difference. Just a pity, no rostrum but a fun race and the lap times were again better.
I had decided not to start with the 400cc bike during the formula 2 races. I wanted to concentrate on the 600, the 2 races for both classes were straight after each other. The gearing was way too long, could only get in 2nd gear. The adjustments to the ZXR400 are almost ready now, so with the S100 in July we could seriously go racing there.