Friday, 24 June 2011

Desmo Due at Snetterton

Last Saturday I was at Snetterton for my final Manx GP qualification races. I dusted off the Wee Monster for a little bit of double-D action...

The aerodynamics of a .44 wadcutter - punches a clean hole...
(Thanks to regular flattrack photographer Steve Baldock for the pic)

Practice was delayed due to a water-logged track but it dried up quite quickly in the brisk Norfolk winds. Qualifying was dry... but as I passed the chequered flag it came down in buckets. I was soaked by the time I had done the half cool-down lap and 50 yards to the paddock.

Again, it dried quickly but sporadic downpours kept everyone guessing. I go well in the wet and we're all on the same road tyres so wasn't bothered. I qualified fourth... front row!

Wee Monster and Chev-dawg
Come the race and the track is wet and it's raining lightly. No problemo. Lights go out and we're off in a melee of Desmodronic thuds and spray. Being on the front row has it's advantages in these conditions... but I get boxed in and two riders get past me... by the end of the lap I'm back to 4th and on the six of 3rd.

Lap 2 and I'm into 3rd... by then 1st and 2nd have cleared off. I just need a signature for the Manx... so ride on the side of caution as the light rain turn to a biblical deluge. Lap 5 and the race is red-flagged.

Factory race-team awning for the Wee Monster

A 15 minute wait on the grid and the deluge stops but there is a flood of standing water on the track. Restart... 4 lap dash to the finish line. First lap I lose out again in turn 1, but by the end of the lap I'm up to 3rd and keepin' it steady. A bike on a mission gets past me and I let him go... a podium would be great... but a finish better.

Flat ooot - "I'm giving it all she's got cap'n!"
(Thanks to regular flattrack photographer Steve Baldock for the pic)
Chequered flag and the final signature in the bag :-) Yeah!
I give the Wee Monster a caress, a kiss and load her in the van. On the way out I stop by race office to pickup that all important race result. Almost at the gate of the circuit, I spot that the bike on a mission was a class B bike. That means... I got 3rd in class A!

Frikkin' A!!!!

Wee Monster wins another trophy - Yahoooooo!

It took me 4 years of racing to get my first podium. And I did it 3 times in one day... on the Wee Monster. And it's taken me 3 years since then to do it again... on the Wee Monster! I just robbed the bike off a race mate, removed the crap bodywork, fitted a quick-action throttle some new tyres and went racing. I've never even changed the oil.

I think she deserves and oil change.

More importantly: qualified for the Manx, medical done and TT Mountain Course Licence in the post :-)

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