Classic Racing Motorcycle Club
Cadwell Park  3rd - 5th June 2016

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Action shots: Sport-Pics.co.uk

Croft surface was very abrasive and I wasn't sure if the tyres would make all four races over the Cadwell weekend so an order for another pair of £365 shoes for Nancy.

Again we had warm up which went well and Nancy was flying so confidence was once again high.

 

I was placed 4th on the grid for the first race as by now I had now gathered some points but still as I'd missed the first round, Pembrey I was 4th in the championship.

Warm up lap done and a practice start the light went out and Nancy was off like a rocket, absolutely flying, had a tussle with Kevin early on who made his normal lightening start but I passed him as we started lap three and got my head down with a clear track.

 

I pulled a big gap quite quickly and ultimately took the win by 8 seconds.

 

Nancy had also smashed the lap record by almost 5 seconds setting a new one at 1:41.93.

There were actually 5 races for the FZ's over the weekend as there was so many of them but we all only had four races in which we would compete.

By some means of lottery we all had to sit out one race, no one could work out who or why the grid was done this way but at least I could watch one of the Junior Production races for a change.

Paul broke down in practice and the first race so I was hoping to see him have a good ride in this race but once again Myrtle stopped after a few laps.

 

Back in the awning we worked out it was something to do with the fuel tap so he borrowed another tank from a competitor and all seemed to be good again.

On pole position for the next race, I fired off the line and was hot on Kevin's heels.

 

Then as we exited Mansfield, and on the opening lap, approaching the chicane just when it all seemed like it was going so well Nancy's motor let go with a huge bang and rattle.

Rolling to a halt at the chicane I could see oil in the belly pan (never a good sign) I took my helmet off and jumped over the barrier and watched the rest of the race from the chicane, it turned out to be number 3 con rod broken and poked its head out to say hello.

 

We thought the weekend was over, but generously Paul Firth lent me ‘Myrtle' for the last Junior Production race on Sunday.

We swapped Nancy's wheels over as my tyres were in better condition but as I hadn't finished the previous race, I was put 31st on the grid, it was almost outside Mr. Chips in Louth!

- I can't ever remember being that far away from the front row, definitely in another postcode, there was only one person behind me!

 

As we rolled out of the pit lane to run down to the grid Myrtle was playing up again and was holding back then bursting into life again, I thought it was fuel again so decided to run the race with the fuel tap in the ‘prime' position and it seemed to work.

I rode hard, and give ‘Myrtle' her due, she did everything I asked, and although the clutch started to slip towards the end of the race, we had worked ourselves up to 2nd by time the last lap flag was out.

 

I was catching Kevin if I'd had one more lap, I would have caught him.

But catching someone, and then passing them is a different matter.

 

Paul was made up seeing his machine going so well getting the quickest lap, but not quite as quick as Nancy, I was pleased too getting another race in when we thought it was all over.

Home to think about what to do about Nancy and her popped motor.

I trawled all the regular online auctions, emailed loads of breakers, put out appeals left, right and centre, but to no avail there wasn't an FZ600 motor to be had anywhere. I even considered buying a Yamaha Radian machine and robbing the motor out,  but even those bikes are commanding relatively strong money.

Almost three weeks after Cadwell, Steve Fry (a fellow competitor) got in touch to say he'd bought a complete bike, it was a bit of a barn find, and not in the best condition being outside for the last 10 years, but if I wanted the motor, as was, un run, it was mine for £100 – geographically could he have got any further South from Harrogate?

Oh yes he lives in Southampton, but it was the absolutely only engine on offer, so had to be worth a gamble.

I finished some development riding at Bruntingthorpe on Friday afternoon, drove off to see Steve, and was back home with Nancy's replacement motor by midnight that evening.

Over the weekend, I dropped out the existing engine, and gave the replacement a bit of a basic clean up – it did look in a sorry state, as it had been stood for years, with fuel leaking out of the tank taking all the paint off. But on closer inspection it had the original front sprocket fitted, there was wear on it but not much so I took this as a good sign. I was really in a bit of a dilemma as to what to do with it, whether to spend any money on it, as we didn't even know whether it was a runner.

Steve McNichol came to give me a hand, and we planned to just bang in the barn find connect it up, and change the oil first as that was really contaminated from years of being stood then hit the start button. We couldn't believe it as it first up immediately and sounded as sweet as a nut.

 

So then we dropped the motor out, gave it a thorough clean up and a right good coating of Frost Barrel paint – just as well I read the instructions, for a change, because although it's touch dry in a couple of hours it actually takes 5 days to cure, so would only just be ready in time for Anglesey!