Canadian roadracer Darren James was back at the North West 200 street circuit race last week, but he didn’t get the results he hoped for.
Last year, James crossed the Atlantic to race the North West 200, but had to withdraw after suffering a hand injury in a crash (which ended up costing him parts of fingers).
For 2019, James was back racing in the Twins class, aboard a KMR Kawasaki machine (Ryan Farquhar’s team). Weather didn’t cooperate, and in practice, neither did the bike. While James had a lot of good things to say about how Farquhar had set up the bikes, his motor failure on Tuesday meant a missed practice session, which dogged him later in the week.
By Saturday’s race, James said the track was wet, but although he was comfortable riding in those conditions, he was mentally distracted. It was bad enough that he decided to park the bike after he did the sighting lap.
“My head was never in the game. For the first time in all my years racing motorcycles I could not focus …At this level racing on public roads is a whole different ballgame. On the nine-mile triangle circuit with speeds on the twins touching 165 mph you best be on your game. Especially when it’s wet and super slick. The roads are absolutely unforgiving and any sort of mistake can cost you everything. I have no one to blame but myself. One needs to be able to put it all aside when racing motorcycles at this level. I wasn’t able to step up, my bad, but it’s good to have shit to work on I guess,” he said on Facebook.
Other KMR riders had a decent weekend, with Jeremy McWilliams grabbing a win in the Twins race, and Michael Rutter getting a third.
As for James, he seemed very unhappy with his weekend, but said “I will be back next year to challenge the NW200 again.“