First a broken leg and then a dearly departed dog make it a miserable month for the KTM UK #1…
Hi everyone, pretty busy month all round this time. Everyone’s season has now kicked off in some way and the cobwebs are slowly disappearing – for some people anyway. From when I last wrote my first race was the opening round of the Maxxis British championship at Little Silver.
Blu, Percy and I left early Saturday morning in the camper so that I could get to the Albion MX shop in Exeter for their open day as it’s a very big Fox and KTM dealership. We hung out there for a bit then made our way to the track. When we got there Steve had everything organised. I think he likes going separate to me as I always delay things and I’m always a bit late and make him panic…
The track looked cool when I walked it and I couldn’t believe they were watering it! March 6 and they were watering! Hmmmm, imagine what summer’s going to be like! Sunday went okay – it was weird in qualifying doing fast laps that actually count again, such a strange mentality and one that I need to get better at dealing with. Zach’s the king of one laps I think so it’s good to go against him I guess. I ended up fourth after a Steady Eddy Super Pole lap.
The races were okay too. Race one I had a good third after battling at the end with Tonus although the second race was crap for me even though I got third again. I was half asleep and the Yami boys smoked me which got me down a bit. The last race I was well up for it but hit someone’s bars on the start straight and nearly got all twisted up so I had to shut off and came out around mid-pack. I had to avoid a couple of big pile-ups and go off the track so the first two laps were terrible and the sun was low and in my eyes. But I put my head down and charged through to get fifth at the end – man, I hate 20-minute races! I tied for second but lost out on my last race result but it wasn’t a bad start to the season.
That next week I took delivery of a KTM 250XC and what a beauty that’s proven to be, basically it’s a cross between an enduro and a MX bike. I went out on it with Chris Hockey at his secret track which is gnarly + VAT and had a mega blast. It was nice to do something different and I always love riding in the trees. Tom Sagar was there too so it was cool to see how he rides and learn bits and bobs. The Herd and I did a seriously good circuit mid-week and we all just about prolapsed afterwards – it was awesome to do a real tough circuit again as I hadn’t done a proper one since I had gone away.
That weekend we drove up the road to Blaxhall for the first Eastern Centre round of the year and also the first run out on the track that I spent heaps of hours revamping over the winter in the bulldozer (which is for hire if anyone is interested – www.4ajcb.com). Didn’t get there till quite late so Percy and I had just enough time to run around and have a look before dark and man had Johnny done a nice job. It was better than most GP tracks look. Next morning everything got under way and the track was so much fun to ride, I didn’t want to stop. The racing was good fun, Nunny was riding for a bit of fun on his 350 and then you had all the usual top runners like sideburn Syd Bales, Aston Bird, James Cottrell, Lewi Tombs etc so it was a good line-up for their first round. I think they had 200 riders all in on the day so it was a success.
I had a little bit of drama. I won the first race on my 250F practice bike but it wasn’t running right as we were trying a different set-up so good old Steve the Holeshot King got the drop in the Hilux and drove 15 minutes home to pick up the two-stroke XC that was all ready to rock. So I rode the last two races on that and beat all the 450s out the start too. Why three-quarters of the people at local races have 450s I really don’t know. It must be so hard for them to enjoy it so why not get a 250SX or 350SXF and enjoy it a bit more instead of worrying about having a load of power underneath you. I over-jumped a table top in the second race and landed in a braking bump on the enduro suspension so you can imagine what my wrists felt like the next day.
I waited until Wednesday to ride and Graeme and I went up the FatCats again which was good until I caught my bad ankle. I felt it go and rode into the pits hoping the pain would go away. It didn’t so good ole Graeme drove me home and a X-ray showed that I had spiral fractured my fibula again. So I saw my specialist who got me into surgery the next day to have a plate inserted.
That all went well but to say I was down over all this would be an understatement. Then three days later I lost my little Jack Russell, Percy. Anyone who knows me knows how much he meant to me – he was chasing a hare across a field and went across a road and got knocked over by a car. My mum did her best but it was too late and he slipped away.
I haven’t ever lost anyone before and it’s been the hardest thing for me ever. I was down before so it’s even worse. I really understand the meaning of the expression that dogs are man’s best friend now – I miss him so much. Thankfully I have great friends and family around me. My girl Blu has kept me going through this down time for me, I owe a lot to her. Also seeing the suffering in Japan has put things in perspective.
I’m not going to come back racing until I’m fully fit so it could be six weeks or it could be 10 weeks but I’ll be doing my best.
Sorry if this was depressing to read but I’m just speaking how I feel.