Racing Monday May 26th Anglesey (Bank Hol)

The bike looks like it’s going to be OK after the problems I has at Aintree last weekend. Not found anything serious yet so I’m expecting to get it back together by this weekend.
Andrew’s well on with fixing the old silencer and with manufacturing a new one.
I’ve done some engine checks and I’ve not found anything which concerns me (valves touching the piston when they bounce is normal isn’t it?!!!)
I’ll be changing the coil in case that was my problem in the last race at Aintree last weekend.

I’ll be at Anglesey on Monday for round 3 of the Wirral 100 Club championship. Probably going down on Saturday afternoon and camping at the circuit - the forecast looks OK.

I’m just in the one class (Classics - up to 250cc) so it’ll be a practice and 2 races.
I’m currently about 6th in the championship, but hoping to improve my position if I can - there are a few 2-stroke twins in the 250 classics with the Wirral club this year, so it’s hard get really good results. Should be fun though.

Anglesey is a pretty good circuit for spectators so I hope to see some of you there.



Wirral Hundred Club - Round 3
Anglesey Coastal Circuit
Monday May 26, 2008

Monday proved to be a difficult day for me at Anglesey.

After the problems the previous weekend at Aintree, Andrew had fixed the exhaust and I’d found a break in the wire to the points, which had caused the problems in the last race.
My previous trip to Anglesey a few weeks ago with the CRMC had ended prematurely when I crashed on the morning of the second day, so I was keen to prove to myself that I could do well here.

The conditions were dry at least, but cold with strong winds, quite gusty.
There were a few of the top riders missing as they were in the Isle of Man for the Pre-TT Classic.

The rear suspension has been bottoming out a bit so I decided to try experimenting by going one notch harder in practice.
This proved to be a mistake (but better to make mistakes in practice than in the race). I’d got no grip at all on the back end (possibly worsened by the gusty winds) and the bike felt very unstable. On the second lap of practice I had a coming together with a Honda 350 K4 who tried to squeeze round the outside going into the banking. We locked together for a few seconds (it felt like it was forever) and I thought we were both going down but we managed to get apart - he went off the track but I just managed to stay on (he kept it upright on the grass and managed to continue the session). Another scar on my fairing!
After 3 laps I came in - the back end was too unstable and I was in danger of crashing without achieving anything.

For the qualifying race I put the rear suspension back to normal. I also softened the damping on the front a touch and knocked a couple of psi out of the tyres with the aim of getting better grip in the cold, windy conditions. This proved to be another mistake on my part.
The first race (6 laps, qualifying) started well. From a starting position of 10th on the grid I made up a few places and lost a few. I was doing OK, but after the first 2 laps the front end started going off. Every time I tipped it onto a corner it would suddenly tuck in. This got steadily worse to the point where I could barely hold it in the corners. Lap times went from 1:38.3 in lap 2 to 1:45.9 in lap 5 and 1:56.3 in the final lap by which time it had become almost uncontrollable. I finished in 16th position overall (of 19 finishers).

For the last race (8 laps, points and trophies) the tyre pressure went back up (to slightly above normal in the front), as did the damping in the forks.
This time the handling was good and, after a blistering start from 16th on the grid, the lap times came down (at least initially) to a respectable 1:36.3. This was 2 seconds a lap faster than the Aermacchi and on a par with one of the Suzukis (who I held off for a while) and the Montesa (who I chased for a while). After about 3 laps a slight misfire developed. This steadily got worse, though I managed to cope with it for a while - still doing 1:38.2 by lap 5.
In lap 6 my time was down to 1:44.2 and the Aermacchi finally caught and passed me.
By lap 7 I was lapped by the leader - something I was thankful for as that lap took me almost 2 minutes to coax the bike around and it wouldn’t have made another lap, the misfire had become so bad.

I finished in 15th place overall - the last of the 250’s - but at least I finished and scored points moving me up from 8th to 6th place in the Wirral Hundred Club 250 Classics championship.

I can at least take the thought that when the bike was running well I was getting close to some of the 2-strokes and getting good times in spite of the windy conditions.

Now just to find out the cause of the misfire before my next weekend which is in mid-June with Aintree on Saturday 14th followed immediately by Three Sisters on Sunday 15th.
If I enter the same classes as last time with the Aintree and Preston clubs it will mean 2 practices and 10 races over the weekend. That should be a good test for the bike and for me!

I think I’m going to try a few changes at Aintree - longer rear shocks, shorter (and lighter) exhaust and possibly slightly higher tyre pressures. If I can get it right at Aintree then I can use the new settings at Three Sisters where I’m most competitive.



P.S. Thanks to Caroline, Andrew, Judy and the boys for giveing me support, helping me out and staying to the end in spite of the weather (and me being grumpy!).