Start of season 3

On the good side, the weather was great, as was the track, organisation and the entry, a total of 116. On the bad side, I did 4 out of 6 races and came back with two non-functional bikes. A nice spectacular crash in the 3rd 250 race also added to the mix,

Also, the tuning work on the MX250 seems to have had a positive impact, starting in 2nd and plenty of power, so a blueprint for further engine building. After a pretty sedate practice was followed by the usual red mist blast from the line in the opening 250 race (see video), where I managed a good start and though lost a couple of places, still managed 13th (ish) out of 25 on the line.

Prior to racing, decided to have a wander round the track on the hunt for pre74 Japanese bikes, with the aim of writing an article for the VJMC . Manage to find Yamahas (obviously), Honda’s, Kawasaki’s and one Suzuki pre74. Funny how things change for the twinshock class. 50% of the pre74 line are CZ’s, maybe more (?).

The 500 race had fewer riders, but the bike went well and it is easier to ride, but as per last season, I don’t seem to push it so much as the 250, maybe because it is easier.

The Tredegar Twinshock contingent saw regulars Alan and Mark, Honda 4-stroke and Cappra mounted respectively, along with new member Lee, on a Husqvarna. Alan won race 1, after holding off Mark for most of the race and following all the normal excuses (worn rear tyre etc), he managed to get the better of him for races 2 and 3 to claim the meeting honours. No Steve on his Metisse and whilst Kevin came to watch, his trick Honda XL remains a work in progress, hopefully appearing at Hawkstone Park at the beginning of May.

As is becoming usual for Llanthony fixtures, the first block of racing was interrupted by the arrival of the air ambulance , after Jo Chell decided to jump out the back of the sidecar, He went to Hereford hospital but came back at the end of the meeting, bruised and battered, but nothing too serious it seems.

After a bit of poor cornering in the first over 250 race, my own ‘proper’ crash in race 3 happened in about the same place near the finish line, and happened after I ran out of space battling with Sam Gittoes (after another pretty good start for me). Luckily the bike and I decided to do separate cartwheels and it didn’t stall and I managed a quick remount to overtake 4 of the guys in front of me. The peak on my Bell lid got trashed, and I recovered the side panel later on.

The SC500 decided to give up after a false start in race 2 and with no clutch and no neutral, it was a bit terminal. The 250 also played up when going out for another race and revved hard after starting; seems like an carb inlet airleak, but again more research needs to be done back in the workshop.

So returning to Bwlch with no functioning bikes and two weeks of travel for work doesn’t give me a lot of time before Pontrilas and I’m thinking the 500 is not going to be an easy fix. Hopefully the 250 is something I can sort in plenty of time.

All in all, a good days racing at what was a quick track in excellent weather. A good start to the season.

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