Sunday, 1 July 2012

King's Lynn Bikes and GI report

 Stu was there on his neat DT400. It's for sale. £2000. It sounds great, seems to run well. It's on 18s with VanVan Dunlop K180s. Leave a comment if you're interested.
Apologies for my crappy phone pic, but I travelled light. This is Mark (I think, let's call him Mark for now) on his brand new Co-Built KTM. Co-Built built the chassis and some parts and Mark had some extra brackets brazed on for the rad. Not sure why he did it that way. Co-Built's welding is neater.
Anyway, Mark was there with his dad and they seemed to be having a blast, despite neither of them being in the first flush of youth. The Novice class was really strong again - ten bikes on track.
James rode to the race on his 73 Bonneville. No lights, no reg plate, no worries. 'I only live 7 miles away.' This was James' first flat track race and he marshalled all day and loved it. He's got the bug. Thanks for marshalling James (and everyone else who helped run the meeting). If you want to marshal, check out the dates at Short Track UK and get in touch.
Drogo picked up a trophy, third in the Novice class. The first of many?

I had a great day's racing. I don't think about my own races much between events. A couple of days before a race I check my bike's nuts and bolts, clean the chain, check the carb and that's it. My own expectations are very low, so it's rare I'm disappointed. I got into the semis for the TT (flat track, with lefts and rights and a little jump on the infield), through the the last-chance, but I was tired out miss the last chance (I wouldn't make the final) and decided to concentrate on the Thunderbikes final - that was run on the oval, not the TT track.
I'd qualified 9 for the 12-man final, out of a field of 20-odd.
For the finals, each rider can choose their grid position, in turn, so the number 1 qualifier isn't on the inside, dirty gate. Often it's better to be on the outside of row 2, than the inside of the front row, for instance. Les (#44) qualified 8th and ignored inside on row 2 for the outside of row 3. I took my chance with row 2 and got a decent enough start.
I was behind super-smooth Paul Sheldon. The track was quite pea-gravelly in places. Paul Baleta came past me (he does that a lot). And I knew he'd stuff it up the inside of Sheldon soon. My plan was to follow him through. Baleta got through, but I couldn't. We were nose to tail, when Baleta slid off. The other Paul, Sheldon, couldn't avoid him and hit him hard. Sheldon stayed up, but rolled off the throttle. I nearly hit Sheldon's KTM, just missed tangling bars and rode on, waiting for the red flag. It didn't come, so I kept racing. By the time I'd done another lap of the 360-metre oval, Baleta was already on his feet. I could hardly believe it.
In the end I came 6th, I think. I saw Sheldon in the pits. The impact had bent his KTM's brake lever  back 90 degrees. Baleta was walking around. He'll be aching today. The impact had torn out the back stretch panel of his (very old) leathers, but because he was wearing a good back protector (not the crap sponge you get in a lot of leathers), he was pretty much ok. If you're racing, wear a back protector. I choose a Knox under my Icon leathers. G


Paul Baleta said...

Amen to the back protector. I'll get some pics up soon of the damage... without the back protector, it would have been nasty and I'd have left in the ambulance.
Nice racin' Gary.

Anonymous said...

Good racin, thunderbike final was race of the day for me.

Anthony Brown said...

Thanks for your help yesterday stevie, it was great to see your getting better. I too loved that final it was great. BTW Gary its Mike Jnr and Senior not Mark. Both of the Mikes seemed to have big smiles at the end of the day and it was great to see 3 Co-builts in the novice class, made us feel proud.