It takes a special kind of crazy to drive a machine that has almost a 1 to 1 power to weight ratio, revs to the moon and has only two wheels. So, someone could say that if you where to get a machine like that make it even faster and then race it wheel to wheel would be pure insanity. Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the Cyprus Superbike Speed race by CY.M.F at Achna speedway.
Hold fast !
If you were ever privileged enough to drive a superbike you know just how ridiculous fast these things are. 0-100 sprint it is a matter of feathering the throttle whilst stopping distances can be as violent as they get. Racing a superbike brings its own set of challenges since, although the smaller 600cc engine could be misleading, these machines are able to generate an astonishing amount of forces that the pilot must wrestle with his hole body to tame these beasts.
Controlling the bike during the curve, and at its exit becomes a real challenge, and at the same time is crucial to get the best lap time, especially with the 1000cc’s. The driving style and lines play also a big role, and despite the regulations that level the competition, they must be adapted and refined for each model, that requires a good bike setup & feel ,and understanding of its “character” to be confident : for a smaller engine bike you will favour curve speed aiming directly for the apex of the curve, while more powerful bikes prefer a “trail braking” driving style, with a delayed line aimed at straightening the bike as soon as possible to release all of the bike power without finding your butt on the track.
Ready for war
Even though, the stock fairings have been replaced with aftermarket lighter items almost on all the bikes competing. You can still identify the origins of each bike.
As you may have spotted already most of the bikes are from the land of the rising sun. From two-wheel racing to four-wheel racing when it comes to finding reliable performance with a shoestring budget you cannot go wrong with Japanese steel.
Regardless, there was an interesting selection of makes and models in the likes of YAMAHA, HONDA, SUZUKI, KAWASAKI, DUCATI, TRIUMPH and with their ages varying from 2007 to 2020.
Past and present
The speed races appeared in 2011 with the completion of the Achna speedway where it lasted only until 2013. Unfortunately, the reduced participation in the races during this period due to the financial crisis forced the Federation not to continue the championships.
Bringing a championship back to life and becoming ”mainstream” it is a massive challenge. Although in the words of Mr Ζαννέττος Κουμάση president of ΚΟΜ: ”We feel very optimistic that we will be able to lead the speed races where they deserve to be because it is a very spectacular, impressive and adrenaline-filled sport.”
CY.M.F invites you to come to the track to watch the races and see Cyprus best riders on high-performance machines going head to head on some epic dogfights! Or even to join in the racing if you think you got what it takes!
Photography: Mixalis Pipponides
Words: Odisseas Sophocleous
Technical input: Gianluca Pierallini