Aintree Club Racing - Saturday May 17th.

The Aintree season starts this Saturday.

I’ve got my 250 Ducati entered in the Classics 250 (single cylinder) class as usual and I’ve also entered the Classics 350 (single cylinder) class to give me 4 races (a qualifier and a final in each class).
My racing number is 107 as usual.

Aintree’s not been my best circuit in the past – it’s more about speed than agility.
It’ll be interested to see if I can hold more corner speed now that I’ve had my forks sorted by Maxton.

Practice is usually underway by 10am and racing by 11.

As well as a few classics classes there are loads of modern races, including sidecars.

Aintree may not be the greatest track for spectators, but it should still be an exciting days racing.

Hope to see some of you there,



Saturday May 17
Aintree - Round 1

My worst meeting for a while!

Practice started off OK. Good corner speed, handling improved from last season with forks uprated by Maxton. Still down a bit on top speed compared to some of the other single cylinders, but corner speed should compensate for this a bit.

After a few laps of practice, engine note went very loud. I came straight back into the paddock, only to find that my silencer had sheared off – the steel had torn through. Not a good start to the day.

Very loud without a silencer, so I made an end cap for the open bit of pipe remaining, clamped it on with jubilee clips and drilled the end to let the gas out. Noise level acceptable but more restrictive to the gas flow.

250 qualifying race.
Down a lot on power due to exhaust mod but otherwise running OK. Lost a lot in terms of acceleration and top speed so came in towards the back of the field.

350 qualifying race.
A lot of waiting around in the assembly area while problems with the sidecar race got sorted out. Had to switch engine off to prevent overheating too much. Race was much the same as the 250 qualifying. I wouldn’t expect to be in the higher positions against the 350’s, but had a few reasonable scraps with the slower ones at the back of the field.

250 Final – points and trophy race.
Put the bike on the starter only to find that the back tyre was completely flat. I’ve got a spare rear wheel so had a mad 10 minutes changing the wheel, including swapping over the sprocket carrier and wheel adjusters to maintain alignment and gearing. Didn’t quite make it in time. By the time it was ready the 250’s had already done the sighting lap and were under starters orders so I didn’t make it out.
There was a thick piece of wire which had gone through the tyre and tube.
I was not a happy bunny!

350 Final – points and trophy race.
More waiting about due to accidents on the track. Eventually got out on the track. On the sighting lap it became obvious that I’d got a problem. The bike wouldn’t rev at all above about 7,000rpm (it normally goes up to 10,500). It was like someone was flicking the on/off switch at random with the engine cutting in and out – most disconcerting when cranked right over on a bend!
It was like that throughout the race, if anything it got worse. The only thing I could do was to change up very early which, of course, lost me more speed and acceleration.
I did keep it going for the whole race coming in 4th of the 5 single cylinder 350’s (most were twins). I couldn’t really believe that anyone was slower than me – some people must have been having even worse problems!

Overall a pretty poor day.
Broken exhaust, puncture and (unknown, but probably) ignition problems all in one day!

Silencer is back with Andrew for welding – he’s also in the process of manufacturing a new silencer for me too. Can’t thank him enough for all the work he does to keep me on the track.
I’m in the garage tonight to start with the oil change, engine checks (to see of anything’s loose) and ignition investigation.

Hopefully all will be sorted and back together this week as I’m due to be at Anglesey next Monday (the Bank Holiday).



So, I don’t turn up at Anglesey and you crashed; I turn up at 3 Sisters and you get great results; I didn’t make it to Aintree, and the Gremlins run riot … just how much am I worth to the team as a lucky charm then Rog? :laughing:

…and worryingly for Team NP, I’m away to the IOM at the weekend, so you’ll have to do without me at Ynys Mon (I’m sure you’ll cope :smiley: )

How does “the same rate of pay as the rider and the rest of the team” sound?

Have a good one on the IoM.

Andrew’s doing well with the silencers.
I’ve taken the head off and everything looks OK, doesn’t look like I’m suffering burned valves or anything like that. You can see on the piston where the valves touch when they bounce, but that’s normal (isn’t it?).
Primary drive pinion nut is tight as is clutch basket. Big end feels OK.
I’ll change the coil in case problems in the last race were electrical.

I should be OK for Anglesey on Monday.