Racing March 15-16 Anglesey

I’ve finally finished putting the bike back together so I’m ready to start another season of racing on my 250 Ducati single.

Last year my main results were:

ACU NW Region Single Cylinder : Champion
ACU NW Region Classic: 2nd
Preston and District 250cc: 3rd
Preston and District Classic 250: 4th

This year I’m going all out with the Preston and District Club and with the Wirral 100 Club. I think that I can get good results with these.
I’ll also be doing some (possibly all) of the Aintree races.

My first meeting is 15-16 March with the Wirral 100 Club at Anglesey.

Saturday 15th is a practice day (most meetings do not have practice days, just a few laps in the morning before racing starts).
Sunday 16th is Round 1 of the Wirral 100 Club championship.

I’ll be racing in the Classics (up to 250).

The new Anglesey track has been open for nearly a year now. It’s much bigger than the original one – it’s been designed to attract Superbike races in a year or two.
For spectators it’s pretty good. There are vantage points from which you can see most of the track.

At the club meetings the paddock is open, which means that you can come along and help out or buy us a brew while we’re fixing things between races!!!

Hope to see some of you there.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Barry and Angela Jones of Classic Ducati. Their sponsorship is helping to fund my racing this year.



Anglesey – March 15 and 16, 2008

Saturday March 15 – Test day

One of the few opportunities to give the bike a good run and to try different lines, etc.
Most meetings just have a short practice at the start of the day then that’s it. The opportunity to have 4 non-competitive sessions on the track is great.
Also, of course, it was the first time back on the bike and back on the track since the last meeting of the 2007 season in October.

The track was a bit wet from the start, but at least there wasn’t any strong wind – quite unusual for Anglesey.

Caroline did my timings throughout the day (and for Sunday’s morning practice).

First session out I got 8 laps in. After the out lap I was consistently doing 1minute 47’s and 1 minute 48’s until the last 2 laps when I picked the pace up and got in a pair of 1 minute 42’s – an improvement of 5 seconds.
Still getting a little bit of chatter on the front in the high speed corners, but no where near as bad as last year – Maxton have really improved the front end.

Session 2, track still damp, no really dry lines.
After the out lap, my times were 1m 42s, 1m 41s, 1m 44s. I then got black flagged – the bold came out of my rear brake actuating arm, it slid of the splines and was hanging on the end of the cable. Well spotted by the marshals but it put an end to that session for me unfortunately.

By session 3 it was raining much harder. Times were between 1m 45s and 1m 49s.
Starting to get a little bit of vibration, but couldn’t put my finger on where it was from.

I nearly didn’t go out in the final session it was raining so hard, but decided it would be good practice for if the weather didn’t improve on Sunday.
Lap times started at over 2 minutes, but came down to 1m 51 by lap 5.
Tried out a few different lines to use for overtaking, particularly going into the slow corkscrew and into the fast banked corner.
Came in on lap 8 as starting to get more vibration, but overall quite happy with the practice day.

Sunday March 16 – Race day. Wirral 100 Club Round 1.

I’d got the bike scrutineered after the last session on Saturday, so I just had to get my gear scrutineered and sign on which saved some time.

Spend a bit of time checking out the bike. Eventually found that the steering head bearings were getting a little slack, which would account for the vibration I was picking up towards the end of the test day.

Sunday started with a damp track but it didn’t rain so the track improved as the day went on. It was quite a bit windier though – the side gusts while going flat out at the start of the hill were quite disconcerting at times.

Morning practice went OK. Didn’t feel like I was going as well as Saturday, but still managed to put in a couple of 1m 42’s.
The forgotten era bikes were practising with the classics, including a novice on an 888 which he binned going into the blind left-hander at the top of the hill – a difficult corner.

It was then a long wait until race 1.
Grid positions for the first race were determined by championship position from 2007 and known ability with the front half of the grid being filled by the 350’s and 500’s with the 250’s behind them. I was allocated 16 as my start position, directly behind the only other Ducati in the classics.
My start went OK, I got past a couple of bikes and almost alongside the other Ducati into turn 1. Half way round turn 2, the fast banked right-hander, while surrounded by a pack of bikes, my ignition unexpectedly cut out. Managed to avoid colliding with anyone and rolled it off the track. Not the best start to the racing season!

After the race I got recovered back to the paddock and with Caroline we started to work our way through the electrics. Every time we changed anything and got the bike back on the starter rollers it would fire up fine, then die a few seconds later.
After 2 ½ hours we’d cleaned and checked the points, bypassed the switch, checked the wires, changed the plug, cap, lead and fitted a borrowed coil. Eventually we changed the battery and that cured the problem with about 15 minutes to spare before I had to assemble for race 2. The battery was a brand new sealed one and the terminal voltage appeared fine. It had run all day Saturday and been charged overnight so it was the least likely culprit.
Just to add to the panic, my starter rollers had a bearing failure just as I was starting up for the race so I had to us another set of rollers which another friend of mine was using.

Race 2 was the last race of the day. Grid positions were determined by race 1, so I was at the back. The race was for trophies and championship points.
With the exception of the one other Ducati, all the other 250’s were 2-stroke twins – a Yamaha, a clutch of Suzuki’s and an Arial. As ell as the 250’s and 350-500 classics there were also a few modern 125’s in the mix.
I was slowly reeling in the other Ducati, but he got past a couple of other riders – the Arial and a 125. I ended up tangling with them and lost out to them in the end in spite of lots of side by side action. I was faster on the corners but kept getting held up and I didn’t have the speed of the 2-strokes on the straights.
I tried a last ditch move coming down the corkscrew on the last lap, but couldn’t make it stick and finished half a second behind the Arial.
It was a little frustrating but great fun (and good to watch I believe).
Although I was the last of the six 250’s which finished, I did at least finish and picked up 4 points.
Lap times in the race were faster than in practice, started out with a few 1:40’s then 1:39, 1:38 and finally a 1:37 on the last lap.

Overall a slightly frustrating, but enjoyable, start to the 2008 season.

With the cancellation of the Preston and District Club meeting at Teesside next weekend, my next scheduled meeting is with the Wirral 100 Club again, this time at Oulton Park on April 12.
There’s also a CRMC meeting in April, on the 25th and 26th at Anglesey which I’m looking into to make up for the cancelled Teesside meet.



Good effort all round mate - and I’ve told you before - ignore the two strokes, they are at best toys, and at worst, the work of the devil :smiling_imp: Just invite them for a 200 mile jaunt and see if they make it… :laughing:

I’ve put a photo from Anglesey on the ‘Place your pics here’ section of the forum. Also added a couple of older photo’s too.