The MX250 had seen some last minute work (ie another engine change) as after the Chester debacle there was no power at all and wouldn’t run under load. I’d spent the last couple of days also looking at the YZ250 project but had failed to get it finished for the meeting (it would have been a tough ask and enough bits fell of the MX250 as it was.
The SC500 still doesn’t have an ignition as it had failed after Narberth. It’s still work in progress and has proved a little frustrating, and will potentially will look at some alternatives over the next couple of weeks if possible.
Some discussion whilst walking the track, prompted by Steve’s attire (flip-flops and flowery sun-hat) about team names, and the life and works of Hunter S Thompson . Indeed, the concept that it is the people and their actions that are more important about an event, rather than the event and the result of the event itself is indeed ‘gonzo’ style. [[ Unfortunately, there is already a Gonzo racing team in the US (car desert racing) but given the links to the Mint 400 etc, plenty of scope for next season ]]
Steve had indeed changed machines after seizing his ’76 Maico, following one or two beers too many at the Bonanza he’d acquired a Triumph Mettise. It sounded good at a decibel level that would make it unsuitable for a track day, but had a few teething problems early. Steve also took a while to get used to the bike on the track, but given the competition (it was a British Championship round) and first time out, he seemed to be doing pretty well.
Big entry (over 160) which was nice to see, and some good racing. The venue had seen a lot of action including the motocross special test for the Welsh Two Day Enduro so it was a bit rutted in places.
The ground was hard and grassy, but not dusty. It was a bit rough as my back the following day testified and keeping the 250 two-stroke on song wasn’t easy.
Mark had had to do some last minute changes to the Montesa Cappra as his front forks had cracked by the front spindle clamp and he’d fitted some RM forks. However, some testing and a couple of laps in practice determined that this was not going to work. Even some in paddock modifications meant that it was not the best in terms of confidence building.
The MX250 struggled in practice in particular up the steeper parts, so time to do some further modifications to the timing. Quick test still meant it wasn’t perfect and in race 1 the bike struggled off the line, all this after it was running well in the field the night before.
The pit mechanic in Graham had arrived on the KTM from Cardiff and following a trip to the burger van contributed to the usual fixing of bikes. The MX also lost an engine mounting bolt during race 1, as well as the exhaust tail pipe ! Not a good reflection of my spannering skills. Race 1 saw me well down the field and struggling a bit with the rough track, but at least the bike finished.
Some tightening of bolts and also tightening the spark plug and time race 2 came around after lunch the bike was performing much better. Managed to get infront of a couple of riders I was behind in race 1, and the bike seemed to be going a lot better. However got a puncture on the last lap and lost a place. It was caused by a broken spoke, so might have picked up a wooden stick etc on the way round. Ah well, but decided to give race 3 a miss, so went up to watch some more races.
Quietly, Alan had an excellent day on the XL350, with good close races with another Honda, a Kramer and a Kawasaki. Good to watch and cheer him on during the last couple of races.
One of the issues I have the Mid Wales meeting is the noise, not from the bikes but from an overly efficient PA system. Walking the track to full volume Otis Redding is a bit wierd and whilst the commentary is okay, it does go on all day and sitting down in the pits trying to talk or fix bikes is dominated by the noise. After the meeting in May, we’d parked further away from the speakers in the paddocks. Someone did disable the speaker in the middle of the paddock (wasn’t me) and maybe give people the option next time. Put the speakers up by the start end of the paddock and not further down.
Overall the racing on the day was excellent, both the Championship and club races, with some tight finishes, great close racing on the track and also some great bikes on the track.
All in all a pretty mixed day, but as always good fun. It was nice to get a royal wave from Tim Manton as he was chauffered from the track in the race van equivalent of the PopeMobile. He did ride well on the day, so plaudits all round.