You can see how wet it was from the spray and the wash ahead of the front tyre!
All very close with Tony Rudd!
Sunday dawned wet and bloody cold! My neck and back were really stiff now after yesterday's off..... But in the rain, I should feel confident! So ...... wet tyres on and ready to get out for practice...... as I rode down I could hear a clonking noise..... clutch ? Gearbox? something was definitely amiss!
Doh! Unwelcome Gearbox Noises
So.... practice missed yet again......... Fortunately chief Mechanic Johnny Gilbert arrived in his waterproofs having ridden up from Grantham in the rain.... no time to waste he was set straight on dismantling things!
Immediately we found a gear tooth floating around and a very obvious gap on the first gear where it had come from! So Jonny set about cleaning everything whilst I ran around begging and borrowing! Fellow Lincolnshire rider Tony Rudd came to the rescue with an Li150 box to borrow.
So with everything replaced it was time for our first race. We sat forming up in the holding area for an age , only to find a marshall walking amongst us with a sign saying oil! It was raining....... heavy...... and in the previous race a bike had managed to dump pretty much a whole tank of fuel ALL around the circuit and it was all over the racing line... with fallers going straight off on it.
The rain continued to fall as the circuit staff and marshalls applied cleaning agents and swept, washed, brushed the whole circuit. It became apparent pretty quickly that the whole circuit was affected. At one point we felt the meeting could actually be cancelled. It was very grim..... very cold..... very wet.
After 3 1/2 hours waiting we had the call that a few test dummies would be offered a few test laps around to approve as safe. So representatives from each class went out on circuit and broadly passed it as safe - (ish!)
So..... we lined up as the rain continued to fall...... the sighting lap gave us the chance to at least see where the problems were - there was a lot of chalk down at various parts of the circuit.
From the start I immediately passed a few people including Rob Sumner..... game on....... as we lapped in the rain i was loving it! Bizarre I know.... but these conditions are when I ride best!
The grip from the Sava Monsum tyres is just awesome in these conditions and you can ride with such confidence. I soon caught and passed Doug Turner and Dan Lewis so this was new territory for me...... along with Tony Rudd too .
On lap 3 the rain came down heavier and I was sideways through Mansfield with the rear sliding out, but just rolled off and got it straight then whacked the throttle open again .... no doubt grinning like a Cheshire cat!
On the 4th lap i went a little wide allowing Tony Rudd to get back past me. I reeled him back in but ran out of time really to get back past him. My visor was steamed up, hands were wet and leather soaking but i was absolutely loving these conditions!
Yes - Its Wet!
My best race of the year by far!.
As we came into the paddock Dave Crampton and I were just grinning ear to ear. A few people came over telling us how awesome it had looked with 35 or so scooters in those conditions. They also said we were F%*&ing crazy too - but hey - tell us something new!
So it was time to get everything packed away and head nack to base with just teh one race today after the delays.
But spirits were high in the van driving back!
Dave and I had both finished and really enjoyed the wet race!
It was a brilliant day for us! And yes - I think we must be a bit crazy!