In a break from testing the new Cobra Sport Motorcycle Exhaust’s at Cadwell Park one lucky Cobra Sport team member had the opportunity to sit down with our development rider Mark ‘Dogs’ Davies to discuss his racing heritage, power bands and audible emotion.
Thanks for joining us today Mark, for our readers who may not be aware, where did it all begin for you as a racer?
‘My dad was into racing cars when I was young, so the love of speed was born then I guess, I think I was just more attracted to bikes than cars personally, the sound and thrill of a bike just stood out to me more than anything’.
So at what age did you become more acclimatised with the tarmac?
‘Without going into detail, it actually caused a dispute in the family, lets just say one parent was happier than the other with my chosen path…I was 17 when I had my first road bike but I was 19 before I started scuffing my knee’s’.
And the rest is history, a simple rise to fame from there then?
‘Oh if only…it was 1996 before I got my first full season under my belt due to injury and ultimately learning how to ride properly quick, consistently. My real learning curve year was on the 125’s I finished as 2nd newcomer and 3rd in the super club championship in my first year and moved onto the British Championships. 2000 was regularly top 5 finishes and looking strong for a chance at the title then a crash put pay to any hope’s with a broken wrist’.
So how did you bounce back from that?
‘I went on to Supersport 600’s in 2001 but unfortunately at the beginning of 2002 when I was lucky enough to attract the backing from Kawasaki, a bad motocross accident when out training put me in ICU and ruined my year. I raced a few months later and still achieved some great results, then the following year managed to finish 2nd in the national MRO Supersport 600cc class before moving onto Superstock 1000’s’.
You really have covered the whole range of track bike classes then? Any standout favourite?
‘Pretty much I guess, after the Superstocks I switched to the 250cc’s and won the National Championship in 2008 and was runner up in 2009, these were the highlights for me, a properly built race bike that allowed any real racer to prove their worth’.
I have heard similar before in relation to the 250cc class, what was the reason for not continuing within that division?
‘To be honest the season I had in 2009 went down to the wire with Jason Davis, every race weekend we were at it like it was the championship decider, nothing separated us all season until a retirement in the closing stages, it was heartbreaking not to lift the title again but the competition that year was everything I had ever wanted, another niggling injury meant I wasn’t able to give it my all in the following season, I knew I had passed my peak and was never going to replicate the thrill and rivalry of the 2009 championship, a lap I did at Thruxton that year is still a track record today’. (https://www.ngroadracing.org/rctempthruxton#lapRecords)
Certainly worth noting on your CV then? You seem to be having fun out on the track, you’re making the Ninja look like a 125 with the way your able to throw it around, is that anything to do with the new silencers you have been testing for us?
‘That may have something to do with it, it has been a while since I have been flat out on track I have been looking forward to today for some time, it really is great to get back out there, and the new silencers certainly helped awaken the senses’.
Like a cold shower after a lazy summer’s afternoon?
‘Something like that yes, the added rasp of the system was noticed by quite a few up and down the paddock not just myself’.
You’re a fan of the sound then? Some colleagues like to refer to it as ‘Audible Emotion’ would you agree?
‘100%, and I guess that is a good way to describe it, it’s the feeling that the sound gives you so yeah it definitely turns into an emotion, the extra power is also very noticeable, I am interested to see some dyno results’.
Would you care to hazard a guess at a power increase before we get it dyno’d?
‘I’m going to say at least 5 horsepower, the extra sound really helps with knowing where the power is, I’m able to have a lot more confidence through the corners which is where I make most of the time on a lap’.
Interesting, I’ll make a note of that for when we get to dyno testing, what’s the wager? And speaking of money, overall would you be happy spending your money on a Cobra Sport Exhaust?
‘I’d put £20 on it and absolutely, the development team have been a pleasure to work with and they leave no stone unturned, the product speaks (or growls) for itself and ticks all the boxes, sound, power & style, I wouldn’t want anything else on my bike’
That’s a wrap surely? Many thanks for your time today Mark, if you’ll kindly excuse me I’m off to Thruxton to see about this lap record on a 250…
‘Ahahahaha, best of luck with that one mate, I genuinely don’t believe anyone is producing a tyre capable of beating that time these days but do let me know how you get on’.
You can view the full range of Cobra Sport motorcycle exhausts tested by Mark using the following link:
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