I signed off last time after visiting a round of the AMCA Championship, and the last two rounds took place at Shobdon and Branston. While Shobdon was taking place I had a weekend off from dirt bikes and swapped it for concrete and smog – visiting the big smoke for some sightseeing and visiting the finest eateries in the land, hand-picked by my good lady.
Both title chases had a good old tighten up at Branston and I’ll be at the next round to take it all in it first hand as it’s at the Whitby of the South West, Brookthorpe.
I keep a close eye on the AMCA series for a few reasons. It’s where I started off my racing days all the way back in 2002 when most bikes had a steel frame; laminate tear-offs were only for Oakley sponsored riders and James Stewart started his, what I would call his 13 year – the way things are with him right now – pro career. Plus there’s a bunch of local racers that I know gunning for the MX2 title – as well as the MX1 title actually – so I like to keep an eye on who’s doing what.
Also, for a few seasons I span the T-Bars for James Lane in his twilight years of the championship, right up until he stood down from duty at the end of 2013. This was a great experience and probably the next best thing to being a racer in my eyes. I just love being at big race meetings and prepping bikes so to get that opportunity a few times a day was ace!
Yes, I’m aware that’s a little weird, but there are plenty of like-minded people in the pits across the world that do the same week in, week out.
I’ve been riding a fair amount these last few weeks, including a couple of Wednesday afternoon sessions which is pretty rare for me. Once down at Marshfield and the second time at a brand new track near Thornbury, Bristol – fist pumps from all in the motocross game for a new track opening up.
I ground out a personal best race result at the latest round of the series that I race in, with an 11th in the opening moto! I’d had a 12th, 13th, and a few 15ths over the last three seasons so to beat those results outright make the long nights in the garage prepping the scrammy thoroughly worthwhile.
My right hand man at racing (@englishmx) congratulated me after with an impromptu game of rock, paper, scissors, which I thought was a little odd. Turns out he was just bumping knuckles but I went for paper anyway… I chalked that up as a win.
My previous championship round was a write-off due to a wayward chain through the engine case in the first moto and that had taken away any realistic chance of making the top 10 in season points.
I’d achieved top 10 over the past two seasons so I thought I may as well take a trip to the Welsh capital for the Speedway GP and have a couple of pints in the sun with old @englishmx and his fire-fighting bro-in-law Mick.
I placed my first ever bets and went for Nicky Pedersen and Darcy Ward. I wouldn’t say I was a speedway fan and didn’t know that 73-year-old Greg Hancock was leading the championship until after placing my bets. I’ll do my research next year and win big!
While there, and I know it’s happened before, I was thinking how cool would it be to have a supercross in there? But they could use half the pitch for the track and have the riders pits on the other half, inside the stadium?
Perhaps the pits would need to be closed once racing started but I think fans, existing and new, would totally get in to it if they could walk on the track and meet the riders in the pits. At the speedway you were in your seat and that was that – unless you had some punk on your row who decided to walk out to get a round of drinks during races.
How he didn’t end up over the balcony in front I’ll never know, as he certainly angered one chap just along from me.
You can find me along with some occasional f-bombs on Twitter: @theDanielGrove