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Oultan Park 5th April

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Oultan Park 5th April

Mon 31st March. We unload the van putting the bike in the race preparation centre (my living room) and i start to look over it seeing what i will need. Just crash bungs and some of the little sliders that go in the foot pegs, so i jump on the pc and place my orders. Now its all against the clock as i can't do anything until the crash bungs arrive, as the lefthand side one is bent right over and needs to be cut off. This means that i can't get the fairing off. Well i could but i might not be able to get it back on, an Oultan is only a few days away an i don't want to get caught out by stuff not coming in time. Also means i can't look in to the splutter as the fairing needs to be off to undo the carbs.
Nothing arrives till Friday no time to do anything, but cut the bent bung off and replace it with a straight one. At least it don't look like its been up the road recently. We load the van and head off the the pub. This is my local circuit 3 miles away so we can just roll up in the morning.

Race day
I wake early and put the news channel on praying that the forcast has improved overnight, no its still shit but looks like it should be getting better in the mid afternoon. Although the rain that should of come overnight has not arrived, i'm outside an as i look at the sky with my morning coffee its gray but not as dark as i thought it might be and with brighter skys on the horizon. Hope is starting to build. My mate (Carl) comes round and we make the short trip to the track.
Once we arrive we unload the van and i put my leathers on and take the bike to technical inspection, while Carl starts to put are big tent up. When i get back we finish putting the tent up and get settled in as my farther turns up. I'm in the 2nd practice session and as the 1st group go out it starts spitting, looking up at the sky i'm unable to see which way this is going to turn. Can't decide what to do for a few minuets, i run down to the collection point and it is declared a wet race and as i run back the heavens open and it starts to pour down. As i get back i say "i'm having the wets on" a little protest from Carl "we don't have time" I just look at him and say "i don't care there going on" 10 mins till my session, we set about changing the wheels. I do the front with my farther, two man job, as it needs some one to hold the spacers and wheel while someone else does the spindle, and carl does the rear. After my little run and rushing with the wheel i can feel my self getting all prickely bloods starting to boil. still not done i jump up and start riping my leathers off my shoulders. My farther tells me to stay carm " i haven't got time to stay carm, i have 10 mins to do a fucking 20 min job"
I don't think i got it done in time but as i roll up to the collection point they are just letting them out, I think everyone did the same and the whole session went out late. I'm still very hot under all my gear as i head out on track through turn two and all the spray hits me off the bikes in front and at the same time my visor steams up its at this point that i realise that i still have one of my dark visors on and i can't see shit. As i go along lakeside straight i try cracking my visor it clears but as i sit up going in to island bend it slams shut again and steams back up instantly, this is horrible, very slow round shell oil i can see standing water on the inside as i exit i feel the plutter and i'm unable to driver through it as well as i did last week, don't want to snap the throttle open as hard as i was. As i make my way round i'm not paying attention to the track 1 because i can't see 2 because i'm spending all my time trying to lift my visor a little to clear it. Any confidence that i thought i had in the wet after my session last week soon disappears, but at no point did i feel like i was lacking grip. It might be my local track but it may as well be a road i don't know i have only done 5 laps round here before and that was last year, April. I do my laps and i pull in after the session, hated every minuet of it. Riding down a road you don't know as fast as you dare when you can't see shit is an experience in its self.

Qually race 5 laps
Its still spitting but only very slight and the track is only damp not fully wet, but there is still some standing water, an i still have my wets on, an i have changed to a clear visor.
I don't know why but they put me in 10th on the grid, the only thing i can think of is that they think as i live so close that i must of done loads of trackdays round here, how wrong they are, or they talk to other clubs that i run with and they say good thing (that would be nice).

I should mention that this is a multiclass race and i'm on the grid with the open 500's which is a mixed class on its own (125 2strokes, and up 500cc 4stroke 4 potters) so there is a right mixture of bikes on the grid 40 of them, 19 of us are on 650 twins. the grid is layed out all the 650's 1st the the 125's at the back the others inbetween.
I only have the results in the split classes, but a 125 finished first on the road in both races.

The light go out and i'm a bit tame off the line the weather is playing on my mind, as we go in to turn 1 i'm swamped by the other riders from behind and lose a few places.

I start to settle in and only lose 1 more place before the lakeside straight, the track round island bend and into shell, it is soaked still and i take a wide line,  i'm fast through 6 but a 125 dives up the inside of me going in to the chicane turn 7 as we exit i'm able to get back past as we go over hill top, going down in to Hislops this is whare the club circuit joins, and the old road from before the circuit changed a little are still there. i'm still unsure of which one i'm going up till i get closer, i slow to early and he is there again, round knickerbrook and i see standing water right on the line that i should be taking, i go wide trying not to run through the puddle and not clip the very wet curbs and the crazy fool on the 125 drives straight throught it and over the curb he stratches away. As i climb up and over clayhill this is another part of the track which i don't yet know enough to be going flat out, but i hold my own and continue round. I cross the line to start lap 2 and i'm starting to get my confidence back and push it a little more and i can see myself gaining on the bikes in front we make are way round, i'm still unsure about hislops but its easy when you are following somebody and i make my move as we hit the slight left kink at the top of clay hill an another fast left kink as we exit its on the brakes for druids i down shift go to tip it in and i realise that its all to quiet. fucking false nuteral again, but 25 years riding experiance kicks in and i stamp on my gear selector, i feel the click and then the rummble of the engine, the road looks soaked so i can't bring my self to brake harder so i stamp on the selector again, its at this point that i realize my mistake, race bike gear selectors work the opposite way round to road bikes and i have gone up two gears not down, no engine braking here, i'm going to fast for druids and i can't bring myself to throw it in when the road looks this wet. only one option, i stand it up and run straight on in to the gravel. i manage to drive straight through and come out the other side where there is a gravel path that leads back to the track.

It feels like an age has passed, and loads of bikes have gone by, as i look over my shoulder rejoining the track i see a 400 coming round but i half expected to see the leaders  Mad  i'm angry with myself as i carry on towards lodge turn 16, i tip it in and give it a fist full of throttle as i exit, ive give it to much partly because i'm angry and part because i know i have to force it through the splutter at 6000rpm, and the rear brakes free and steps out and then grips which then spits me out of the seat an into the air, i manage to keep a tight grip of the bars and i swear for a split secound i'm face to face with my own front number board. as i land square in my seat i notice some of the crowd pointing with gasping expressions on there faces, saved it (jammed it)  affraid it don't put me off and i keep pushing hard till the end of the race, i did get a few riders back it felt like i passed a few and i rode well for the rest of the race 17th out of 19 on the split not sure about overall.

between the races i'm talking to other riders and they tell me that round druids its brand new tarmac and we are the first to use it, and its not as wet as it looks, maybe i could of thrown it in. god dam

championship race 6 laps
same lay out as qually race 125's at the rear 650's at the front and i'm in 16th somebody is not playing
its a long gap between races and the track has dried out, and it looks like the sun is trying to poke through, about a hour till start. I go down to the collection point and the wet race sign is still out, but talking to riders from different classes and they say its bone dry, when i get back to the tent i notice others putting there dry tyres on and i do the same, i'm looking forward to the next race, can't do any worse. 10 mins to go and i'm all set drys on and i'm keen to get out, and then it starts spitting, well i hope it stops as i just don't have time to put the wets back on as it is declared a wet race its my own fault but i'm not alone, 4 mins to go and it hasn't stopped spitting if anything it has got a little heavier, i make my way to the collection point. once there i look at every one elses tyres and there is a mix of wet and drys some even have a wet front dry rear, now the sun is still trying to get out but its still trying to rain and i'm looking at the ground to see how wet it is becoming and i can see its getting damp and as they wave us out on track it stops woohoo.
The lights go out and i'm aware that the track might be a little damp so i don't force it (really need to invest in some tyre warmers) i lose a few places to the quick 400 and 125 guys and a twin gets me as well. into shell for the first time and i see a line appear on the bikes tyre infront of me, its still wet here but as we exit i'm able to hold my ground and i just try to settle in half way round lap two i'm starting to feel a little more comfortable and find my self pushing a little harder, i get in to a scrap with a kawasaki 400 for 2 laps before i finaly drop him and catch the next few up, i do gain a few more places but as most of them are 400 and 125's it don't mean much. i thought i rode well and got quicker and quicker no mistakes, finished 14th on the split still don't know about the overall placing. i know i need at lot more laps round this place and more miles on the bike, before i'm going to be on the pace. the good thing is that the lads round me are saying that i'm quick for someone who has done so little.

my lap times on dry tyres in the championship race were only, 2 10ths quicker than in the wet in the qually race

so when i get home i pull my bike apart and set about trying to cure that god dam splutter, i know its costing me loads of time. as i take the airbox off its got fuel in it oh no, i do a compression test and my front pot is 50psi down i fear the worst
over the next few days i strip the cylinder head down. and i'm so pleased not to see any damage when i take the top off don't know what it is but i have ordered 4 new valves for it 2 inlet and 2 exhaust. now its a waiting game again. parts take ages to come. but with how the clubs work i need to pay my fee's 2 weeks before race day, so i'm going to miss the next two meetings
1 at Tonfanau 20th April
1 at Oultan park 26th April
hoping to be back and ready for Aintree 17th may
je11yfish 15

Location : England, Cheshire
Posts : 513

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Oultan Park 5th April :: Comments


Post on 4/19/2014, 11:13 am by LethalHoudini

Very nice report Stevie however I fear you are becoming more merican redneck god dam it LOL.

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Post on 4/20/2014, 1:44 pm by je11yfish 15

don't know about that but the bike is an American import can tell by the frame number.

just like to add.
its done, feels loads better, compression isn't perfect but its a lot beter, over 40 psi back an i can live with that. front wheel going nice and light when accelerating again. also i think that i had fouled the throttle linkage arm last time when i put the carbs back on and thats why i had the fuel issue and splutter

as its a v-twin the two carbs are far apart but clamped in a craddle type thing the throttle linkage arm keeps them working in time
can't wait for Aintree

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