RAF Wittering Supermotopedathon 11/09/2010
About a week prior to the event I was approached by Dave 'G' Giffould with a proposition to ride his bike at the upcoming 6 hour moped based endurance event.
G already had a suitable(ish) bike, and wish a donation to the cause organised myself and friend Dave Currie were down to ride.
On arrival at RAF Wittering early one Saturday morning, gaining vehicle and people passes from the guard room and then immediately getting lost driving aimlessly around the base...we did find the track eventually.
Then I clapped eyes on our bike. It was a fairly stock looking Honda C90, stock frame, seat and wheels. Front end from an MT-5, Renthal lookalike bars, knobbly tyres, pitbike footpegs and a pitbike exhaust. I had a quick ride of it to get used the semi-auto gearbox and it was surprisingly quick, lifting the front when changing gear.
The start, in the tradition of all great races was a Le Mans start at approximately 11am.
We drew 8th on the grid, and got off to a decent start.
I will admit to binning the bike in free practise, although luckily there are no photos or footage.
After a 20 minute stint from G I took over for a roughly 20minute stint, I put in lap times of around 1m 35s across the tarmac, grass and dirt circuit.
We circulated consistantly, each taking roughly 20 minute slots until I was up again, circulating well, battling well with a few different teams. There was quite a lot of shoulder to shoulder contact, but it was good, hard racing at its cheapest.
As I entered one of the muddy turns round the back of the track, I had the outside line, but a fair bit more corner speed, a rider went up the inside of me, on a bike quite brilliantly decorated to look like a Red Arrow. As we exited the corner, power on, he drifted wide, whether by choice of a blocking line, or by the front pushing wide, or just by not knowing I was there, we locked arms, my right to his left which turfed us both out, off the track via the tyres and quickly onto our arses. My bike was on my left leg and his clothing was caught on one of my chain adjusters. The race was quickly red flagged and we were swamped with marshalls.
I got my bike off me after his clothing was cut free and I walked it back to the pits, passing his concerned family and giving them as best update as I could.
I stood staring the ambulance that was still on the track for a good 15 minutes after I'd got up. Then I felt progressively worse as the ambulance left the track with him still in the back of it.
But shortly after the race was restarted and his team were still circulating and his family still at the track, so I'm hoping he's not too badly injured, current rumour is a torn ligament in his neck. Get well soon chap!
Carried on our stints, without major event (other than a puncture) right to the finish where G took the chequered flag.
You may notice Dave and I have very similar leathers, which are in fact, the same leathers. My leathers. With a bit of a misunderstood reading of the rules, it turns out that Kevlar suits do not mean textile suits and Dave's textiles would not be allowed. So during the day Dave and I swapped a nice sweaty suit (and goggles). But I think it all added to the fun of the day to be honest!
and we were crowned 11th out of 26. With our pit mates claiming 24th but after being awarded best dressed. Not bad considering one of their team had an off that finished their race, and two others just had little lust for the day. So that 24th place was gained with pretty much one rider. So kudos to Mark!
Some of the competition was stiff, this bike, without looking much was one of the quickest, and I think won quickest two stroke.
This contraption, running a c90 engine in what looks to be a cheap chinese chassis was very quick, with the riders clearly having some motocross experience, not entirely in the spirit of the competition I feel, but quite a machine!
It also gained a lot of competition spirit when with about 2 hours to go the frame snapped.
This bike was probably my favourite, completely stripped, lightened, knobbly tyres, tuned 2 stroke motor and riders that appeared to be fairly well honed track riders.
A fantastic day, and good god I ache afterwards.(Click here to view all photos from event)