Monday, 5 May 2014

Gary's Leicester DTRA Report

As promised, here are some of my own snaps from the first DTRA round at Leicester. 
The weather forecast didn't look great, but, in Britain, you've just got to saddle up and go. Sometimes you waste a tank of diesel for a rain-off, but not very often. As it turned out, it rained for about one-minute all day and I got a sunburnt nose.
I was so excited to be back out racing I couldn't sleep the night before. I stormed the first heat, winning by a few bikes lengths from some very good riders. Even then I was thinking, The season can only go downhill from here. I was right, but at least I proved I can still win a 12-man heat.
Oily Rob, above, has retired his home-built Ducati Monster race bike and bought a DTX bike. He felt a bit conformist, so he made this new painted and studded race jacket. 
Leicester had the biggest entry of any UK dirt track race ever (except the Dirt Quakes). Two grids of Thunderbikes, two grids of novices, Pro class, restricted, Juniors and the new Vintage class. Above is Bon Zorro who competed in his very first dirt track race on his old Triumph road bike, after bringing it to the track in the back of a people carrier. He had a blast.
Also in the five-man inaugural Vintage class was DTRA regular John Boddy on his 750 Triumph twin (feature on this bike coming soon). Below is the seat, giving a pep talk before every race...

Frank Chatokhine and his Metisse Triumph, both featured in Sideburn 17, dominated the class, but he was hounded all day by his good friend...
Dimitri Coste, who was in his normal all-action mode before stalling on the line in the final and gifting second to...
Nick Ashley, who was riding a Cheney Triumph. Yes, it has a front brake disc and caliper, but the lever was removed so it didn't work. This is his road bike.
 Me and Drogo in our new FTWCo team kit.
 There were some new bikes, and some older ones given make-overs, like Adam Waller's Husqvarna.
Before the race, Ross Herrod was trying to cut some life into his wrecked rear tyre (the UK importer were out of the Maxxis CD5 compound he wanted). He looked like he didn't know what he was doing, and admitted as much, then won the Restricted final. Classy.
Dimitri's trailblazing, coming over from France to race, then raving about it, has generated a mini-French invasion. One French rider who debuted at Leicester was Christophe Decombard on his tidy, home-built Suzuki DR600. He went very well, but slid off while leading his novice class.
Another Frenchman making his DTRA debut was Hubert Bastie. Hubert raced at last year's Dirt Quake, riding his TW200 road bike and making a lot of friends. He came back with a 450 DTX, stayed in Sheffield with friends he made at Dirt Quake and rode like a demon.
It's great to see Dirt Quake acting as a feeder for the DTRA, like it did with Ross Herrod and Oily Rob before.
Tom Neave turned up with this Chinese-made WK in DTX trim, it's based on the £3999 450RX, to put on display. Tom is road racing a WK 650  (ER6-alike) and doing very well on it. More details on this bike when we get it.
A spectator turned up on this lovely Norton P11, taking advantage of free entry.
And this Dirt Quake hopeful turned up for approval too. You're in. Get your entry in now.
Health and Safety: Carb strip with a fag on?
Next race is 18 May at Coventry. GI


Mick P said...

Fag-on bloke is clearly Ray Winstone. Good to see him showing an interest.
Great mini report GI, some tasty bikes.

Diedre Greenshields said...

is that a TY80 tank on the the #96 Husqy?
Looks real neat.

Mike Chesy said...

Looks like I missed a great day ( had to work ), but should be at Coventry to help out with the marshalling.

Marcus @ MarcusMotoDesign said...

WK engineer might have looked at Honda CRF450 from time to time I guess.... :-)

OILY RAG said...

That track was very nice. For a day that forecast rain it even got a little too dry. Last restricted race was an absolute scrum . I'm glad I came out the other side in one piece. I'm looking forward to Coventry . I seem to remember that being a nice big track.