15th of August 2010. What an awesome course! With the bike all repaired and oil tight we were up for this. I say we as because of it being a short course it was run as 6 hour two man team event. I had already teamed up with Hoody, who is quicker than I am, on his WR450F.
We decided that because Hoody was quicker he would start. We were on row zero so we would start from the front. At 10.30 Hooday was off but after 20 mins I was starting to get worried. The fast boys were lapping in 8 mins – the word came that his bike was cutting out every time he opened it up so I got ready for when he got back to the pits.
He turned up and it was my turn. The first wood section was difficult – steep climbs and drops and lots of rocks. At the top there were easy and hard routes. On this occasion I took the easy route. I couldn't make it to the top and had to pulled up by the marshalls. Along the top were rocks and boulders and then back down to the quarry. This was all single track with some really rocky sections. Then onto the MX track for a couple of hundred metres, then into a small but easier wood section, then return to the MX track for a couple of jumps. At the bottom of the MX track was a blue tape area. We then entered a small wood section with an up hill U turn which thankfully rutted later in the day. The torque on my bike is amazing and even with some wheel spin always managed to climb. At the top the this section it was back onto the MX track with a lot of little nadgy bits thrown in. I think to start with I was managing 12 min laps. I finished two laps and passed the batton back to Hoody who had sorted his bike.
Hoody completed 3 laps and I was off again. I was carefully picking the parts where I could go faster and I was starting to really enjoy this. Whilst Hoody was out again I refuelled and oiled the chain.
On my third session it was all starting to come together. I believe my laps times had come down to the 10 min mark but on my second lap I was reaching the crest of one of the climbs and my bike died.
I managed to drag it to the top sideways and then tried to bump it down the other side. Absolutely nothing! I spent what seemed like an age trying to kick start it but it wasn't going to happen so I jogged in full kit back to the pits. I thought Hoody would go out – but no he offered me his WR450F - OMG!!
I was off again on a 450F set up for a rider who is approx 6ft 4 and 18 stone!! I couldn't even touch the floor. In the 2 laps I rode this bike I must have fallen of or stalled it half a dozen times – I was scared!
I was not used to the instant power, or the size. It was killing me but I finally finished 2 laps by which time my arms and shoulders had had it. I would have to leave the rest of the riding to my team mate. I gathered some tools together and headed back to my bike. It was stuck in the woods with no way to get back to the pits because I would have to push it through a river which would be OK but the banks would be too steep. The only other viable route would be pushing it along a single track against the flow of track – which obviously was a no go.
I emptied the carb, stripped it down and cleaned it out, checked the fuel float and the air box. I took the kill switch off and still my bike wouldn't start. Finally I checked the spark plug – no spark. That really was my race run. I returned to the pits to find Hoody sat with his foot up – he had twisted his ankle and that was his race run.