“Hello” I mumbled
“It’s me Si, aren’t you ready yet?” Quick glance at the buzzing alarm clock told me it was 6.20 am.
“Ok give me a minute; I’ve only gone to sleep two hours ago!”
Yep the usual story from me, I actually remember hitting the snooze button at 5.30, a frantic 15 minutes followed to get all the my gear together and load the YZ onto the bike rack and we were off, had a nagging doubt that I had left something behind.
We got into the venue with overnight campers still asleep in their vans or if you happen to be a Benham great big motor home, setup the “Witley” gazebo up in the empty pit area grabbing ourselves prime real estate, walked the test twice not like I actually took any of in and did the usual chilling out waiting for the burger van to get the tea on. When it got time to get kited up it dawn on me what I left behind, race pants, gloves and a fresh tee-shirt…DOH!! Lucky for me Elliot’s last years race pants were a perfect fit, this years ones would had looked ridicules as he must have grown 6” since then, I had left my spare pair of gloves in the van from the last event so all was good, well apart from the people in McDonalds on the way home they rather I remembered the clean tee-shirt.
Elliot’s bike refused to start on the line (nothing new) so I headed off and waited for him to catch up, always nicer filming following someone. My first impression of the track was how slippery it was this might have something to do with the fact that my tyres are at least 6 events old, getting traction out of corners without spinning up or going sideways was near enough impossible on the shiny looking clay, taking the gentle approach waiting to stand it up then firing off was the only compromise. Soon enough I caught Elliot in the corner of my eye and let him through but trying to keep up was a loosing battle, the boy getting quick so just did my own thing. Track was nice and flowing with no real technical bits apart from a fallen tree you had to get over; I knew it was going to bite me sooner or later but managed to get over it in some sort of fashion. On the fast open bits never really felt comfortable and always kept the YZ singing one gear lower, every time I opened her up the back just spun up even in 5th gear.
Test went ok not fast just wanted to remain upright, over shot a corner which at the time I though lost me some time but looking at the helmet cam footage looks not to bad. By the third lap there was something amiss with the YZ but I couldn’t really tell if it was just slippery or the clutch was starting to slip either way I was not going anywhere fast and all the riders behind soon were catching up and passing, was having a real hard time passing some of the blind deaf Clubman B's. Fourth lap I could tell that the clutch was on its way out the magura hydraulic clutch lever was getting heavy and the merest bit of throttle would have it slipping, got to that fallen tree again this time I made it over head first even though there was now a little log ramp infront to aid take off, just about made it back into the pits after completing the rest of the lap, lucky there’s no big hills at Blackwood, the YZ would tick over in the pits in gear with the clutch out that’s how bad it was. Pity because I was up for it, a few more laps anyway.
Cheers Kingston MCC ace event