Obviously, this guy wanted to race his bike pretty badly.
From a press release issued by Tech Benelli (copied from RRW magazine):
In its very first race the production model Benelli Tornado jumps in the deep end in the National Superbike class run at the October 19, Phillip Island MotoGP meeting. Running a basically stock production Tornado, just a race muffler & ECU remap, Victorian ‘Expert’ John Orchard qualified the bike in 24th position in a field of 30, made up of Australia’s fastest factory & wildly modified GSXR1000’s, R1’s & CBR954’s and a sole Ducati 996, most sporting 190 hp engines and full race spec suspensions with Australia’s fastest riders aboard.
RACE 1, 17/10/03
DNS (did not start), after completing the warm-up lap, small stones collected in the airbox from following other riders through the unsealed Superbike paddock had worked their way past an improperly fitted aircleaner element causing major internal engine damage.
RACE 2, 18/10/03
After driving two hours back to the Melbourne workshop and working all through the previous night to repair the internal engine damage with nothing but a file to smooth the mangled piston & cylinder head, John arrived back at the track at 9am the next morning having no sleep and also not having the days previous race to use as valuable set-up & testing time in the Tornado’s very first race outing. From the 6th grid row John managed to leap past the 5th row at the start only to be left in the wake as the 190hp monsters blasted to turn one. Finishing 27th from 29 finishers, happy in the thought that we were still the first European bike home, and with a rider that had a frantic previous night with no sleep.
RACE 3, 18/10/03
With only a ½ hour break between races on the 30° C day the bikes had barely enough time to cool as they lined up for race three, with some riders and machines failing to make it to the end of the race, the Tornado finished 20th from 23 finishers, again the first Euro bike home and happily running with big horsepower machines due to the impeccable handling of the Italian machine.
John, not having raced since returning from the US in 2001 and only just having had a pair of titanium knee replacements only two months earlier says; “the Tornado is a fantastic bike, once we get into the engine and unleash some more performance as the other teams have done and set-up the original suspension for track use I think we’ll surprise a few people”.