The pending excitement meant I was up earlier and waking up the other members of the team….Over to Clyro for 08h30, with some of the Tredegar contingent already in place. Put up the new gazebo, acquired from the Gazebo Shop , which rather than looking more professional meant we could distribute the crap we had around a wider area.
Big queue at signing on also indicated that people were keen for the new season. Walk of the track confirmed that it was similar to last year, but with the added bonus of a better spectator area where you could view a lot of the track. For the first time, I’d brought two bikes along, the Yamaha’s MX250 and SC500 , the latter only completed on Saturday.
Also nice to see another MX, with Chris Kent on his MX360 coming along. It was looking smart though as he admitted running on the original 70’s tyres may not make him too competitive.
First out on the SC500 for practice and after a bit of a wait whilst waiting for a couple of marshalls, it was on the start line. Track was a bit slippery whilst the grass was still on top, so I took it a little easy on the beast. The bike seemed to be going really well, though I was taking some time to get into the groove.
Back to the paddock. Alan was still trying to start the XR500, which with assistance of Graham, got running after realising it had a blocked fuel filter. Then swapped to the MX250 and out for a session; the 250 felt a lot lighter and a damn sight easier to ride than the 500. Got some good speed on the bike and felt really confident.
Got an okay start in the first race (avoiding the looping bike next door) and managed to slip through a couple of places on the second corner. Good race and (by my calculation) had 10 or so riders behind me from the 25 or so on the start. However, Graham had failed to start the SC500 for the next race and bike had absolutely no spark, which was a bit of a disappointment after getting it running and having a good blast in practice. Ah, the benefits of two bikes gave me at least one to ride.
The first twinshock race saw Steve on his 1976 Maico have a poor start, which had the consequence of him making a fairly ambitious move on Mark on lap2, which saw both of them on the deck and Mark nursing a sore shoulder for the rest of the day. Wade had another off (following on from the bar-bending one in practice) but was looking good on the Yamaha YZ490.
The day was a cold one, but a race was a good way of warming up. The second pre-74 race saw me have another okay start and getting more confident on the bike and chucking it into the corners more. Also, was keeping the power on the bike (ie right gear) and managing to get down from 3rd->2nd without missing the gear. The only problem was the spark plug, which popped out on lap 2, and which meant I didn’t really finish the race.
The twinshock contingent did a bit of bike swapping for races 2 and 3, with lots of glowing reports of the XR500, though it was interesting listening to Alan and Mike explaining to Wade on how to ride a 4 stroke and getting the power from it….
Race 3 for the pre74 saw me have the worst start of the day and coming across three riders scattered across the start line on lap 2. Managed to avoid 2 of them, but hit the third, losing a few places. Managed to get a couple of places back before the finish, taking a couple of guys on the last corner….
Decided to race the Grandslam at the end also, in which the bike went well, but I found myself getting a little tired towards the end (again maybe more training required ?)
Pleased not to be lapped all day (unlike several races last year) and happy with the bike and my riding…. Great day and track and viewing better from the previous year. Thanks to Graham in the pits and Sophie for the photos (will put some more up on http://www.flickr.com/photos/malcra/ during the next few days.
Dave Gittings has the results and will look to see if I can get these up on the page at some point in the near future.