Had all gone to plan at Brands Hatch ten days ago, then this weekend’s
Anglesey round near Hollyhead in north west Wales couldn’t come soon enough.
As things stand, with me, the Tuono, and my championship hopes all taking a
pounding at Brands, I’ve been willing the clock to slow down. And not
because I’ve just turned 30!
Spares for the Aprilia Tuono are hard to come by from breakers, savagely
expensive new, and slow to arrive from Italy when ordered. If everything
went my way, it was always going to be very difficult to get the bike ready
in time. My luck hasn’t changed yet though, and the bike is still in
pieces. This is club racing – there isn’t a big truck out the back with
enough spares to build two whole bikes.
Thankfully, there are still some incredibly kind people in the world, one
being Rob ‘Nobby’ Garland, who loaned me his second bike at Brands to ride
for the three races after I crashed the Aprilia on spilt oil. Another is
Mark Hooper, who works with Rob near Heathrow and has offered to take the
bike to Wales and save me a 200 mile detour with my box trailer. Gentlemen,
scholars, bloody good blokes.
With a bit of careful packing, I should be able to squeeze all my stuff into
the car and leave the heavy box trailer at home, which should take some of
the sting out of the 300 mile trip. I’d feel daft turning up with the
trailer and no bike, that’s for sure. Having run out of fuel in a race
earlier in the year, no doubt some paddock wag would suggest I forgot my
The disaster at Brands left me 107 points behind in the championship. Being
without the Tuono at Anglesey means I have no chance at all to regain ground
and changes the aim to remaining second overall. Rob’s Honda FireStorm is
his wet bike and isn’t capable of winning in the dry, but it’s a sweet
steering and grunty thing that has a good shout at finishing top five
throughout the weekend. If I can manage that then I’ll stay second overall
by a small margin ahead of Chris Matthews and Keith Smith, ready to take the
battle to the last round. The plan is to have the Tuono tip top
by Rockingham so I can end the year on a high note. Until then I’m hoping to
enjoy the awesome Anglesey circuit and some good racing.
Posted by John. Last modified: September 8, 2009 at 12:00 am