Aintree Sat 14 / Three Sisters Sun 15 June

Its a double header this weekemd.

Saturday I’m racing at Aintree - round 2 of the Aintree club championship.
I had a pretty awfull meeting there last time - broken exhause, puncture and ignition problem - so I’m hoping it’s going to be better this time.
Still not convinced I’ve got the ignition fully sorted but I’m going to do some experimenting with a couple of different silencer lengths, maybe some longer rear shocks and I’m probably going to try different gearing too.
I’m racing in the Classics 250 single cylinder and 350 single cylinder classes so I get a practice and 4 races.

Sunday I’m at Three Sisters - round 2 of the Preston and District club championship.
The tight twisty track suits me better than Ainteree.
I’m in three classes: Classic 250, Open 250 and Single Cylinder.
This means I get a practice and 6 races.

Overall it’s going to be a very busy weekend wth lots of track time (assuming that the bike holds together and that I stand up to it!).



Sounds like I’d better bring some duct tape and wire :laughing:

Saturday - Aintree.

This was going to be a bit of a testing day as I intended to try a few different bits on the bike (exhaust, carb settings, shocks).
The carb was sporting a new needle as the old one had become worn and the clip had fallen out. I fitted a shorter silencer to the exhaust, which Andrew had made for me to try it out. I’d replaced most of the electrics too after the problems at the last couple of meetings (coil, plug, cap, lead, condenser, and on/off switch). The bike started really easily which was a good start to the day.

Practice got delayed due to crashes in the first few sessions, including an ambulance job. The ‘up to 350 classics’ practice finally got out but was red flagged after a lap and a half. One of the bikes had gone down and was on fire!
There was a bit of confusion in the assembly area and I missed getting out in the repeat practice session so I went out with the over 350’s and Forgotten Era instead.
Practice was OK. The bike felt a little down on power, especially on the long railway straight where it wouldn’t rev out in top gear.

After practice we considered changing the exhaust back to the longer one but decided to leave it for the first qualifying session at least. Did raise the needle in the carb as the plug was looking very white.

First race was 250 qualifying - 5 laps.
I was entered in 2 classes: Classic 250 Single Cylinder (racing with the 250 twins) and 350 Single Cylinder (with the 350 twins).
I was given a good peg for my start position - 5th on the grid.
Got a really good start, I shot through the front row (a bit of a squeeze) and got into the lead for a moment or two till a couple of the faster twins came past into the first corner. As the race went on, although the twins were passing me there didn’t seem to be many singles coming past. The bike still felt like it was down a bit on power, but I realised that there must be a headwind down the long straight slowing me down, so maybe it wasn’t doing so bad. It was getting to about 9000rpm in top which I reckon to be about 90mph. I was pushing it hard and it felt pretty good.
Caroline was doing my lap timings and I was pretty consistent at 1:18.
On the last lap I had a couple of twins in front of me and nothing behind, but I was still pushing hard. Went into Beechers a but too fast and ran out of track (in 4th gear so doing between 70 and 80mph). Tried to stand the bike up as I hit the grass but it was too bumpy so I went rolling!

The medics at track side gave me a quick check over and sent me to the medical centre after recovery back to the paddock. The staff there splinted my thumb (using a couple of plastic spoons!!!) and advised me that I may have torn the tendon from the bone. X-ray required.

The bike had lost the right had (gear) footpeg, throttle, master cylinder, screen and fairing damage.
Looking at the official timesheet I was lying 3rd place in my class with only Roger Birkenhead’s Ducati and Dave Whitehouse’s Greeves ahead of me. I’d been doing over half a second a lap faster than the next single. Fastest lap was 1:18.251, 70.619mph. A few riders spoke to Caroline in the paddock afterwards and said I was riding really well - until I fell off!!!

Went to hospital in the afternoon. The X-ray didn’t show any broken bones but my thumb’s in a splint and might have to stay that way for 3 months to give the tendons a chance. Should know more on Monday when I go to the clinic.

Spent Saturday night sorting out the bike. Andrew repaired and helicoiled the gear change. Caroline fitted a new master cylinder and bled it through as well as sorting a bracket to fit a number board to the front (to run without a fairing). I swapped a throttle assembly over from one of the road bikes and did anything which didn’t require any strength (left wrist sore as well as right thumb disabled). We’d finished for the night by 11 so at least I could make a decision about Three Sisters in the morning.


Got up and went straight in the garage to see if I was going to be able to do anything. Could get my hand with splinted thumb into a large pair of gloves but I can’t work the throttle and brake and left hand not strong enough to work the clutch either so no racing for me today.

I guess it’s the right decision not to cause any further damage, but I’m still gutted!

Might head down to Three Sisters for a while then head to the Red Lion to watch the Superbikes with the Manchester branch.

Will keep you posted on progress.

Next scheduled meeting is at Aintree on July 12, but I don’t mind missing that one. My season there is effectively over. In round 1 I had a puncture which meant that I didn’t score points in the 250 S/C class (got a 4th in 350 S/C). Yesterday I scored no points. Three rounds remain, but I was planning on missing the August one anyway to race with CRMC at Cadwell.

The next one after that is in 5 weeks at Three Sisters, July 19 and 20. Round 3 on the Saturday and round 4 on the Sunday. I really don’t want to miss that weekend otherwise all my championship hopes for this year are out of the window.

Watch this space!

Thanks to everyone who came down to Aintree - sorry you didn’t get to see me ride more. And sorry to anyone who’s at Three Sisters today expecting to see me there.



Went to see the Physio this morning.
Should recover movement in my thumb but I’ve got to wear a splint to immobilise it for 6 weeks - no movement at all to give the tendon a chance to grow back and re-join - then another 6 weeks physio to make it strong again. That takes it to mid-September. Would have been quicker if I’d just broken a bone :exclamation:
Doesn’t bode well for my championships this year so we’ll have to see how it goes.

Going to Spa in a couple of weeks for the Bikers Classic. Looks like I’ll be riding pillion for the first time in I don’t know how long. :open_mouth:



Mid September! Does that mean no ManxGP in August? I still think you should let Caroline race the 250 whilst you have a sabbatical :smiling_imp:

I’m only going to watch the Manx (this year…) and only for practice week unfortunately.

Caroline’s not got an ACU license, and at her last eye test she failed the extra peripheral vision test she’d need :open_mouth:

I’m hoping it’ll mend quickly and I can shorten the sabatical (to about 4 weeks :laughing: ).
I might be being over optimistic, but I can live in hope.



Just been to see the the physio’s.
The first one said I definitely shouldn’t ride a bike :astonished: but the other one (who sorted the tendons in my fingers when I injured them climbing a few years ago) said I’d be fine so long as I don’t over do it :smiley:.
I’ll take the second answer as being the right one :wink:

The thumb’s going to stay splinted up for the next 4 or 5 weeks but I can get a glove on so that’s OK.
I rode the Darmah to the club meeting last night and the thumb didn’t seem too bad, a bit awkward but I’m sure it’ll be fine.

I should be OK for the next race meetings - not sure about doing Aintree on July 12 but I’m definitely intending on doing Three Sisters on July 19 and 20.



I’m definitely intending on doing Three Sisters on July 19 and 20
no way your thumb will heal if you start them multi-bird tricks …anyway, that’s just greedy - why can’t you do one sister and let two other club members have some fun - unless of course ‘sister one’ is Cinderella, leaving the two ugly’s for us :wink:

Hope things are getting back on track, thumb-wise … probably be going to Aintree meet anyway as it’s a far better way to spend the day than walking around B & Q saying “yes dear, that’ll look great in our house”…and “of course I’ll do the overtime to pay for it, love” :laughing:

I wonder if whoever bought the 350 widecase is lining up to join in the racetrack fun next year - bloody hell - possibly three club members attacking the 250, 350, and >500 classes :sunglasses:

I’ve put my entry in for Aintree but still not sure if I’m going to ride - probably not as I don’t want to mess anything up before the 2-day meeting the weekend after.
Might see you at Aintree anyway as I’ll probably go along for a while even if I’m not riding.