Anglesey - a rare report
Arrived late Thursday evening, wasn't expecting to be there till Friday night so wasn't booked on the test day. Thursday night and Friday morning's weather showed this wasn't much of a bad thing but it started to improve and at the lunch break the sun was out and the track was dry all over. Unfortunately Andy Taylor had paid up but couldn't get there so a deal was struck and I did the afternoon sessions. With new rubber hoops fitted I went out to scrub them in and got down to 1:25s in the first session, one of my favourite tracks in splendid conditions, things were looking up!
Quick waz round in warm up then it was prepare for the real stuff. New club and a new format, qualifying was via a race instead of a free session, championship positions determined grid positions for race 1 and subsequent races took their grids from the finishing places of the previous race. The class As took up the front 12 slots then a blank row meant I was in P13, on grid slot 16 but pole for class B with Miles and Jim Robinson next to me, this meant I expected to be 15th at best into turn 1 due to their combined weight being the same as my first dump of the day. No surprise, I was 15th going into turn 1 but Jim had made his way to mid track and heading into the pack of As in front. This slowed him a touch so, very uncharcteristically I decided to go for the outside line, a wise move by me! Steve Baden tipped in and onto Jim's front wheel and down went the wee fella causing carnage behind but I had a Moses moment, everything opened up in front of me as the whole pack seemed to go for the apex, I went for the outside at turn 2 and the same happened again. Passing 9 bikes in 2 corners meant I was heading towards Church corner in 6th spot overall. Quite a few passing manoeuvres between Awesome and myself, most quite hard but all fair, and the retirement of Steve Mason meant I robbed a 4th overall and a great grid position for the next race.
I'd been taking the first 3 corners really well and this helped no end with each race, getting me up with the front guys and helping me draft them on the long run to Rocket. A good start and fast line round the banked corner in race 2 set me up for another 4th, I was never going to catch the front 3 with their extra oomfff on the straight but they did give me a nice target to keep up with and just in front of Awesome over the line. I was well chuffed once again.
After another superb DD get together on the Saturday night and a swift Sunday warm up it was back to business. From 4th again I got a mega start, once again I went round the outside at the first 3 corners and was 2nd round Church. Dallas came past on the straight but I had the better outside line at Rocket so back into 2nd I went, good drive up to Peel and round the outside (surprise surprise) of James Gerrard meant I was 1st down the corkscrew. If only I could hold on till the line! Not only did I manage it but stayed there for 3 laps, never before had I led a race and it was quite scary. Being the first into view meant at some point everyone there was watching me, this was also accompanied by cries of "what the hell is he doing?" by spectators, the commentator (to himself at the time but he did ask me later that day) and also by myself. Unsurprisingly Andy Claridge was hunting me down and on lap 4 he came past on the run up to Rocket, I actually felt relieved in a way to have situation taken out of my hands. I continued to thrash the daylights out of Badger to stay with Andy and it paid off, the gaggle behind held themselves up with their place swapping which allowed me to take the flag 2nd overall a gnats chuff behind the slowing down winner.
P2 on the grid for the final race, my first ever venture onto the front row! The lights went out and a rather giddy right hand gave a bit too much gas and the front popped up, not too much of a disaster but it cost me a place by turn 2. Instead of running a constant throttle round Church I was outside Steve Mason and was accelerating, the rear tyre didn't like this and gave up it's hold on the tarmac for a split second causing me to have a little slide, an underpants malfunction, some air between me and the seat and a loss of 2 more places. I got back past Awesome and Steve thanks to separate errors on their part, James binning it meant I was back into 3rd spot. Gritted teeth, hard braking and fast cornering helped me stay somewhere near Dallas and Andy C till the flag in 3rd place.
All in all a fantastic weekend that left me needing 11 points from the remaining 2 meetings to secure the class B championship. Apologies to any of the class A boys I got in the way of and a huge thanks to the DD paddock again helped along by a North Glos racing club that actually puts it's riders ahead of it's bank balance.
Looking forward to Cadwell and another brilliant race weekend, thanks for reading! TTFN.