The Alex Mann Diary 2023

The Alex Mann Diary 2023

We are proud to sponsor Alex Mann again for his 2023 season.


We will be documenting all the action in our blog. You can follow him on facebook here.


11th December 2022

After a fairly decent 2022 on the minitwin, I decided to call it day on the twin. Also, I didn't know what 2023 would bring due to the financial situation everyone is in! Step forward our main sponsor Michael Jones Jeweller who has gone above and beyond to bring in new sponsors and managed to retain current key ones! So the plan....a full season at Bemsee in the Thunderbike sport class! I'm so excited to try something new and a different bike, there's a huge amount of work gone on behind the scenes to get the bike as competitive as it can be for the season (mostly by Grant Radish Berry sorry mate 😬) I will be riding a Honda Cbr600rr which has all the right bits, but will looking even better when Carbody Banbury LTD and Tangerine Red are finished with it! It's going to be tough to be up there straight away but I'm quietly confident I can fight at the front!!!! So I'd also like to welcome Banbury Car And Van hire onboard this season and Venture Caravans who have been kind enough to give us a full seasons support!! Can't wait to get going and hope everyone manages to pop to a race or too this seasons!!! So huge thanks to 2023 sponsors, it generally is down to all the following that we are on the grid next season.

24th January 2023

2023 Bike Complete -
Certainly wasn't an easy task for anyone this year! But I'm well pleased with how the bike has turned out! Thanks to Tangerine Red and Car Body Banbury Ltd for piecing it all together!!

Can't wait to get going now! Thanks to this year's sponsors!

14th February 2023

"Busy day Saturday, meeting a couple of new sponsors for 2023, then off to Donnington Park to load the bike up ready for Spain. Nice to have such great local companies and people on board to support us this year! Nearly time to go!"





 14th March 2023

"Bemsee Round 1 Complete.

Still adjusting to the bike in very difficult conditions with a short qualifying I didn't really recover from. A solid start none the less.

Thanks to all that help and support, and of course those who make it possible for 2023.





9th April 2023

"Bit delayed on getting this one out, been really busy and had was in all honesty putting off writing this one! Not through laziness but disappointment!!!! Probably my worse race round to date, bike problems, a new track, and I certainly under performed.

Had a full day Friday to try and learn the circuit and get some well needed seat time, enjoyed my dlforst couple of laps of the session 1 until the bike started losing power.
6hrs later and from some investigation work from my dad and Andy Smith ATP Racing found that the starter motor was failing and shorting out my bike!!
Thanks to them I got out for a couple if sessions! Also thanks to my uncle who was willing to pick up a starter for us in Wolverhampton 4hrs away!!
Qualifying wasn't bad and was front row for a few laps but I hit a big section of traffic and decided to save the tyre.
Ultimately each of the 4 races shared the same problems, wasn't aggressive enough, wasn't fast enough and wasn't good enough. I never felt comfortable on the bike at the circuit and the harder I tried the worse I felt, still struggling with transition from the minitwin for sure. Working with Teut from tw suspension and some guidance from a couple I trust I'm sure it won't be long until I get to where I want to be especially on some circuits I know. Still came away with 4 decent points finishes but not where I should be!
Despite a pretty disappointing weekend it was great to be on track! And see friends and to experience a new circuit.
Thanks to all that helped at the weekend Jeremy Hill, kieth Povah, Andy Smith, Lee Mayes and my Dad.




7th May 2023

"Bemsee Round 3 Snetterton

Following the huge disappointment which was pembrey last time out, and pretty much the start of the campaign. I Entered Snetterton with zero expectations, the worry of our electrical gremlins returning (which they didn't) but I did have a feeling Snetterton may be the turning point. It was.
I got out on track in the morning for 3 dry sessions, in those sessions I seemed to be more comfortable on the bike than the start of any other previous day I'd had on it. (Probably because it worked 😄) I managed a couple of sessions with Keith Povah which helped hugely as I needed someone to tell me straight what was needed, anyone who knows KP will know he'll do just that 😄 🤣
The afternoon was a complete wash out and most sessions were interrupted by biblical rain and storms!!! Did enough to make sure everything worked.
We were mid timetable and it was drying but SLOWLY, I saw this as two options
1 flying lap on wets (as mr hill did), or try and get some heat in the new supercorsa and build into a fast lap. Last minute we went for the latter but out a front wet in, by lap 4 I had enough to put myself p3, way off dry pace but enough. Best Qualifying on the new bike to date.
Race 1
Felt really relaxed into this, just as we did line up on the grid the classic mental rain came, I personally felt really calm and the warm up lap felt good. The excitement of being back on grid for Elliot Fricker was too much and he went down on the warm up lap, along with 3 others! So rightly so the race was delayed to allow wets to be put on if wanted. With nothing to lose and no more rain I stuck with the drys. 90%of the grid on wets, which I didn't see lasting if the weather remained. My plan seemed to be working as the group of 5 battling for 2nd came back to me mid race, until the rain came 😑 nearly lost the front going into oggies so bought it home.
Race 2
The wettest race I'd ever had!! I'd never ridden this bike in the wet. Teut from TW Suspension Tech put some wet settings in her, and was virtually bang on from the start. A solid finish.
Race 3
This one was cruel, starting p6, I and a good launch (not as good as Jeremy Hill though 😉) I had good pace and went with the group behind jezza, he'd actually got a 10 sec penalty so at this time my 4th was actually a 3rd. I rode hard and well to reel in Andy Denyer for a pass into the final corner on the last lap, Murrays a 2nd gear left hander, changing down from 4th around corams. When I went for 2nd nothing happened, I looked down and the shift hod holding the quick shifter was hanging off, complete bad luck. She plodded out the corner in 4th, Colin Walkey ran into my side has he must had thought I'd missed a gear. Over the line 4th, I was gutted especially as hadn't been up the front all season!! Still my best result to date though of.
Race 4
I was fired up for this one, straight out the blocks into p4, and geld onto the front 3. Jeremy managed to get away as myself andy denyer and Tony russo battled it out, I felt I had faster pace but struggled to get a pass to stick, I did on lap 3 though and held onto p3, I closed the gap massively on tony on the last lap but just ran out of time, 4 secs of the win. My first thunderbike sport podium BUZZING!
So all in all a fantastic weekend. Things are defo moving In the right direction now.
Thanks to Keith Povah, for the help all weekend, the threat of a dividing wall in the awning unless I started performing seemed to work.
Jeremy Hill for his advice and help as always.
Tina Hill for sorting out my bodily aches and pains!
My uncle Lee for being crew chief single handed all weekend!
My wife katy for supporting and helping when things got tough for me with racing.
Teut Wein for his expert knowledge and getting the cbr in the direction we want.















 4th June 2023


"Bemsee Donington Park Rd4
Was looking forward to this, felt like there was something to really build on after Snetterton getting our first podium of the year and 3 other solid results.
Friday was great but very busy, the new surface at Donington is incredible, I instructed in the morning and paid for a test day in the afternoon. The bike OK, but as we got faster I couldn't hold a lien at higher speeds, Teut TW Suspension Tech got a spring delivered that evening and fitted in time to go back in the back that night. LEGEND.
Got out reasonably early and managed a a decent lap early on, on new slicks with that rear shock the bike felt awesome and new I could go quicker. The mix of the super twins on the grid made it difficult with the F900s on track, both types having different strengths so we're holding each other up in places! I did however have a fairly un interrupted last lap to take 4th overall and p2 in class with a 15.9.
Race 1
I needed a good start if I had any chance of being close to Jeremy Hill (has been impossible all season for those who have watched the class) I got a grat launch and managed the hole shot (in class ) think maybe 3rd overall into reigate. I ran a bit wide in the corner and Jeremy got the run down craner, it was worth a try!
I managed a lap or so behind Jeremy but as soon as he got by the BMW in front he went. I rode consistently for a p2. 1.15.8
Race 2
Started P3 just behind Adam Jamison the 2022 champion. I got another good start and got ahead of AJ, he thought back instantly and we swapped places all lap, over the line I was 3rd behind AJ, read my board and already had a 0.7 lead over 4th, decided to hang on for a pass on AJ as I thought it would slow us up, we were doing low 16s which I thought would be enough for we maintained it ahead of the group behind.
On the last lap I noticed the group had closed to 0.3. I had to go or otherwise I'd lose the position, I made a move at the chicane to take 2nd. Unfortunately this tactic meant the guts behind got a better time, I should have gone sooner. Never mind.
Race 3
New this would be difficult, starting down in P6 and 11th overall. All riders in our group separated by nothing meant it would be a tough ride. I had a great start and made places into T1 although a couple of eager BMWs pushed me out so I lost the places. I just couldn't get past in the race, to try and rectify for the last race I hung back a bit and got a good last lap in for a grid spot. P6
Race 4
Starting P3 just behind Biswell and Glynn Davis on the BMW. I got a good start and got in front of Biswell. Glynn got a better start and got to the front. I managed to get behind Jeremy Hill for 3 laps maintaining the gap and trying to work out where I may be a bit stronger and of course more than likely weaker 😄
Jeremy Hill made a move on Glynn and this was cue to do the same. As I went for the move, Biswell on the yamaha did me into the redgate! He had pace, and we had a great race, fast, aggressive but clean moves. I managed an outbreaks manoeuvre into the chicane to take my third 2nd place of the weekend.
A 1.15.006
So close to a 14, I think I had another second in me, but always seemed to be in the battle, but I suppose that's what is all about!
All in all a solid weekend with big points, moved us up the table, and more importantly up to where we should be on the grid. It's been a very difficult and frustrating start to the year and I'd like to thank everyone involved for the patience and help to get us back up there.
Thanks to the team for all the hard work this weekend, there's always something to be done and you lot were on it.
Of course thank you for the opportunity this year and support from my 2023 sponsors.
Great to see a couple of the sponsors at this round to enjoy a bit of the racing!
Venture Caravans
Carbody Banbury LTD
Michael Jones Jeweller
Reg's Cafe
Tangerine Red
Esprit Group
Tw Suspension"




 2nd July 2023

"Cadwell Park Bemsee Round 5.
For the first time this season I'd entered a round with maximum confidence with what I could I do on the bike after finally feeling comfortable on her and what appears a good run of good behaviour and no electrical issues!!
Friday was fun, instructing Jack Bettis and Simon Harvey in the minitwins, was good to see them both make big steps and such a demanding circuit. I felt comfortable and managed to get up to a decent pace in one session! Weather interrupted the day so the sessions were cut short later on.
Timed this perfectly, we were first out and didn't want to be in the first wave of riders. I waited until just after final call and as I rode down into hall bends I had some clear track!! I got my head down on my outlap Jeremy Hill came past so I had the perfect marker to get up to pace. I managed p3 behind himself and Tommi Caldwell who put in a late fast lap as I pulled in. Happy with front row at a track so narrow, so Qualifying is really important here.
Race 1
Lost the first corner warm up battle with Jeremy!!! Got away well with the start. Elliot Fricker had a rocket start and slotted into 2nd infront of myself and Tommi behind. Jeremy got away as usual and after a couple of laps I decided to try on Elliot into Park, oddly he broke a little earlier than the lap before with me directly behind, so I closed off and got a bit awkward with where to go! Tommy capitalised on this and took us both. I could see Tommi now gapping us, and I had riders behind so on the last lap I went for the same move on Elliot this time it worked! Until I went down the gears 6th to 3rd and hit a neutral!! Never happened on this bike and it wasn't pleasant!! Finally find a gear and it was 5th, so I crawled out of park and lost two places. I recovered well into hall bends and was close enough to the two in front, but a back marker made a pass far to risky!!!
Race 2
Lost the first corner warm up battle with Jeremy!!! Had a decent start but was 4th going into turn 1 as Andy Denyer had a belter, Tommi got away with Jeremy so it left myself Denyer,Biswell in a 3rd place battle. After race 1 I'd decided I needed shorter gearing to save so many changes through sector 2. Bad move, I was revving out so early down the Park straight I was losing out massively! It was done and I just saw the race out.
Race 3
Woke up feeling ready for this one, back on the right gearing.
Lost the first corner warm up battle with Jeremy! Got away well and got round the outside of Elliot and Charlie's out to move into 4th behind Biswell and Tommi. Tommi made a move into Biswell into Mansfield and ran himself wide, I picked up the pieces and slotted into 3rd. I got my head down and gapped Tommi, I felt I had the better run round the gooseneck so on lap 7 I made a move down into Mansfield, I nearly didn't get stopped in time! Biswell shut the door on me and I had no choice but to pull out! That was the momentum done and bought it home for 3rd!
Race 4
Lost the first corner warm up battle with Jeremy! All year I've been managed to get this bike off the line so well, but I think the anticipation got the better of me on this one and I got away terribly. Dropped to 5th, I got past Denyer quickly and then went for Tommi who by this point on lap 3 was 3 secs up the road. I Pulled it back and got him into the mountain. Biswell was out of touch by this point, so another podium finish.
Another solid weekend of points finishes. A couple of mistakes by me meant the Saturday could have been better and race 4 should have been better!!!
A massive congratulations to Jeremy Hill who wrapped up the thunderbike sport championship this weekend, for anyone who has followed all year will know he has been faultless all season, except his little jump-start at Snetterton!
Well done mate ❤️
Thanks as always to the Team/Family/Helpers, for the support and prep that goes into the weekend before during and after!!
Thanks to TW Suspension Tech for the support and set up on the bike, as you promised by the end of the year we'd be comfortable and have a well set up bike! I think we are about there now!! Thanks mate!
Thanks to all my 2023 sponsors.
Tangerine Red
Carbody Banbury LTD
Grant Radish Berry
Michael Jones Jeweller
Venture Caravans
Reg's Cafe
Esprit Group"


3rd September 2023

Bemsee Round 6 Snetterton

After a long break it was time to get back on it! Had a couple of track days over the break to keep my eye in and was feeling good. The last 3 rounds have been very different from the first 3 and now starting to get bit of form on the bike. My dad and uncle had worked very hard leading up to this one on changing a few things on the bike. The sudden and tragic death of a family member who was unfortunately killed on a bike leading up to this one, meant there was a bit of a sombre mood leading up to this one. I was determined to give this one my best shot, so Wayne this one was for you bud 💙.
Friday was mixed conditions with plenty of fallers. Instructing was very interrupted with the weather and bike issues with the rookies ect. We all got some laps in and felt a bit more in tune with the circuit by the end of the day.
Qualifying went OK. Couldn't really get a good feeling and we were still bottoming out the forks but struggling to find a setting for the front as a compromise! Managed a front row in p3 but was disappointed with a 2.05. Big changes from Teut at Tw after this one set us up nicely!
Race 1
Got a half decent start and needed to get behind Jez, the usual caranage unfolded into turn 2 (which would come into play again this weekend as a bogey corner!) Malvern May and Shaun Wallis went straight through the middle and I got caught up a bit! I worked my way back through the pack and was got behind Tommy on his R7 and Russo, I made a move on Tommy under the bridge as Russo had got past so I didn't want him going anywhere! Made a repeat move on Russo a lap later as I knew I had better pace so kept behind.
P2 with a 2.03.014 which was enough for pole next race
Race 2
My first pole of the season got off to a great start. Jez only just got past into turn 2 but I was close enough to hang on, and I did for a few laps but he just took time out of me bit by bit, and I had nothing left! Russo had hung onto us a bit, and I was approached the bridge on the last lap my oil light popped on! Which has never happened! I covered the clutch waiting to pull it in! All this distracted me a little and I missed a gear which meant Russo dragged me to the line by 0.007.
Frustrated with a P3!
Race 3
Starting 3rd and there was a few new bits of rubber on the grid! New it would be a quick one! Tommy got a good start and Jez went on his new supercorsas!
I got past Tommy and as i went over the line I saw the gap to Russo go. 1.5, 2.4, 2.8. All I had to do was maintain this in the low 2.03s job done. Came into turn 2 broke at the same marker, maybe ran a little deep but nothing major and tucked the front, I was gutted as I felt I hadn't done anything different or wrong!
Race 4
Didn't lose confidence after the crash, and was starting P2, got a good launch but had a wheelie that I struggled to get under control and lost places!
Went back to p5 and plugged away hard in the first two laps to get back to p3 but both jez and Russo had gone, Russo did come back to me towards the end as I was putting in faster times but to risk but was a little to late and pushing anymore would be silly at this stage so settled for a p3.
Despite the crash it was a solid weekend, championship still looking strong and now comfortable running at the front and building confidence all the time! The win is coming I can feel it!!!
Big thanks to the team for getting the bike back together and running me all weekend, Teut for giving us a decent set up, and all out 2023 sponsors that have made this happen! See you at brands for the big Finale, I'm well up for it!!!
Michael Jones Jeweller
Venture Caravans
Tangerine Red
Carbody Banbury LTD
Reg's Cafe
TW Suspension Tech
Grant Radish Berry
Esprit Group








 1st October 2023


Bemsee Round 7 Brands Hatch.
A round not without dramas and running things right down to the wire!
Being ill for 2 weeks prior to this weekend meant this weekend was already a tiring one!
Over 6 months since I first raced at Brands hatch on the bike for first time and what a year of learning it's been. I had an awesome day instructing on the Friday with lots of rookies and even taking Mark Puttick round on his first ever race meeting, was great to see how buzzing he was throughout the weekend! With the nice weather managed to drop 3 secs from my best time from my last visit to brands at rd1. 51.5 I knew would be a decent pace for the races and actually ended up going a second faster than that.
I came into this round 34 points ahead of Andrew Denyer in 4th, here's what happened.
The bike felt good in qualifying and I stayed out for the duration to put a 50.8 on the board, my second pole of the year but first one in qualifying. Jeremy Hill was second and Denyer 3rd. It was only me and Jeremy in the 50s so I knew that would be enough on the rest of the field..
Race 1
James Kelman had blinder of the line and squeezed through at paddock, didn't need to panic though as I felt myself closing as the lap went on, more importantly instantly gapped Denyer, and the group behind. Lap 2, Druids, no warning front tucks.. just like turn 2 at Snetterton the race before, the crash was near identical. I was gutted. Denyer got 3rd but was demoted to 6th due to a jump start. Gap now 24 points.
Race 2
Bike repaired, was a mess but only cosmetically! I tried not to lose confidence with the crash as I didn't think I did anything wrong, although I was worried as to why it was happening! Starting from p8 due to not having a time, I retained my postion, and just settled into the race, I had the pace of the group so would work my way forwards. I passed may and russo to slip up to 6th. As I came into paddock mid race my clutch lever went slack and I had no clutch for the rest of the race! I had to settle for p7 as could barley change gear! Turned out the clutch adjuster on the engine was damaged in the crash. Gap now 13 points.
Saturday night Teut TW Suspension Tech took the forks to bits and found some horrors in there! One part was so badly worn that fork was locking! This was almost certainly was causing my front end issues! He worked is magic through the night and got them to me first thing for warm up!
Race 3
Starting p8 again, I got a decent launch but lost out to Baker on his bmw900, the lap or so I spent getting past him meant the lead group of Denyer, Russo and Fricker pulled away. Hill had obviously checked out by now. I used this opportunity to use the couple of seconds gap in front of me to put a time in and rattled out a 50.5 fairly quickly.
I watched the 3 of them trip each other up and I saw Fricker battle desperately with Denyer for 3 laps. On the last lap I went to make my move but almost ran into Russo at Druids and lost momentum, a drag to the line saw me 5th, Denyer 2nd. Gap now 4 points.
Race 4.
The maths was simple, I could finish one place behind Denyer longs it wasn't him 2nd me 3rd as that would bring us level on points and he'd win on podiums. I made it easy in my head, just finish in front dead simple. A good chat with Jeremy before this race saw me nervous but calm, I had a plan. I launched well from p2 and nearly leveled jez into paddock but he didn't exist in this race. I settled into qualifying mentality and put in 11 laps all in the 51s in one part only 4 hundredths apart over 3 laps. I had excellent communication with my team on the pitboard, and bought her home in P2. Denyer P3.
Gap now 8 points.
Job done. I'd finished my first season on this bike in a podium position. I've won a championship and been close to others and it may seem a lot of fuss for a P3, but this season was testing. I didn't get going until round 4, I hated the bike for 3 rounds, mechanicals, handling issues, confidence smashed. However we all worked hard and built something I now love.
This season has been the biggest learning year since my rookie season after selling my beloved minitwin!
Well done to all in Thunderbike Sport who rode hard all season to produce some fantastic racing, to Jeremy Hill who rode faultlessly all year to be the deserving champ. Jeremy has given me so much time this season particularly in the later parts of the season, helping building me mentally.
Thanks to Keith Povah my unofficial team mate; who certainly got me going at round 4 with some harsh Povah words 😄 🤣
Elliot Fricker for the CBR knowledge and for the laughs in the paddock!
Teut at Tw Suspension for putting together a fantastic handling machine.
All the staff and officials, marshal's at bemsee for running a great year!
Thanks to my Team, who have been they all year to support us and help us. My mum, wife Katy, auntie Cheryl who have looked after us at each meeting. My dad and uncle Lee for maintaing the bike and keeping her running sweet. My uncle Stuart for basically putting the whole thing together and keeping it running! My inlaws val and Steve for helping us out with childcare and maintaining our caravan so we have some decent to stay at the weekends!
Thanks to you all.
Of course the 2023 sponsors who ahev made this year possible.
Carbody Banbury LTD
Michael Jones Jeweller
Reg's Cafe
Venture Caravans
Tangerine Red
Esprit Group
So 2024.... there's been a few changes in the past couple of days and there's a few ideas and options on the table so we'll have to see what happens. But right now 23 has been great and it's time for a break!!
Thanks to everyone who has followed us this season.