Gault report

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Race 2:

Now, the plot thickens. Remember his crash at Knockhill? The petrol tank had been damaged. We did a fantastic repair job that was until I had put the amount of fuel in, which I thought would be needed for the 12 lap race, a leak was found. Now I used the time we had to try and seal the leak. Nothing was sure so I went with a little bit less fuel than I would have liked, but this kept the level slightly below where the leak had been.
Now, I don’t normally say what I think as I don’t think it’s a Dad’s place to boast about what goes on. I much prefer others to say, but Alex had a spectacular race. He looked strong from the off. At New Era meetings, they mix the 400 grid with the 600cc Honda Hornets, by lap two Alex was leading the 400 field and starting to make inroads with the lead hornets, by lap 5 he was in second place overall and closing down the leader. Then red flags came out. Someone had crashed and been hurt. Again, as it was getting late, would the club call it a result? And if they had a restart it would mean extra lap or so, would Alex have enough petrol to finish?
It was a go’er, announced over the public address system the remaining 6 laps would start after another warming up lap! They lined up on the grid in the order they were on track before the red flag came out, so Alex was on the front row. A good ‘ish’ start seen him go into the first corner in 3rd place. He must have used the first lap to settle and get some heat back into his cold tyres. Up front, Ivan Lintin had a commanding lead with Jonty Dixon. Both on Hornets in second, It looked like Alex had a lot to do.
Then into second and started chasing down the leader. It gets a bit difficult to tell the full story here as the official results were taken over the aggregate times from both parts of the race. I’m almost sure Alex took the lead on track on what would have been lap 11 of the race. In the official results, this did not happen until the last lap.
Anyway, he had done enough to take the outright win. I worried about the fuel situation all race. On the last lap I prayed “Please, please just let him get by the finish line.” I couldn’t take two catastrophes in one day. As you know he made it with fuel to spare!

How good was his performance?

Out of 28 starters only 19 finished (Donington is notoriously slippy in the wet) Alex took the outright win. The closest 400 machine was Nick Chadwick almost 31 seconds behind. Ritchie Welsh, the championship leader, was in third almost 42 seconds behind Alex. He’s had some fantastic races this year. This must have been one of the best!
We’re next out at Knockhill on the 26th /27th then he’s off for a jolly to Valencia to test for a ride in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, then back to Snetterton on the 2nd/3rd September for rounds 8 & 9 of the CB 500 Cup. So a busy few weeks ahead. Will keep you posted!

MCN checks back in with club racer Alex Gault on his performance at Donington Park for the latest round of the CB Cup. Alex suffered a nasty crash at Knockhill during the Scottish championship the previous weekend, but things are now looking a bit brighter for the teenager.
Well where do I start??? Lots of lessons learnt over the past week! Do you know? It’s a blur, so much has happened it’s hard to recall. He’s got no chance of winning the championship now a crash in the last race put paid to any hope. However, like I said lessons were learned. In Saturday practice Alex was not happy with the bike’s handling.

At Knockhill on the Saturday you get 2x 20 Min sessions for £50. The first session was not very useful as we didn’t know what was happening with the bike, putting it down the awful track conditions. Oil had been spilt almost right round the circuit. Not the best condition to test under.
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The second session was a disgrace, red flagged after only two laps. And as the circuit took so long to clear the track, the group only got another two laps before they closed the session. Although Alex said the bike was not right, I couldn’t be sure if it was the Bike, the condition of the track or was it because the last bike Alex had ridden was the 125 GP round here at BSB, which handles a lot better than any 400!

Eddie Stone of ERS suspension soon put the problem down to the rear shock needing overhauled but for various reasons this had not been done and now could not be done until after the weekend. Sunday and Alex got his wish. He knew if it was wet he could manage with the bike the way it was, this bourn out by him Qualifying pole on the slippy. However, it dried up for the first race and Alex could only manage a distant second to Craig McClelland after a race long battle with Lewis Farrow.
New tyres for race 2 and Alex knew it was all or nothing. He said the tyres had made a big difference, but when he pushed to stay with Craig he lost the front end and that was that game over!
Now, this is why this report is late. We were off to Donington the following weekend for the CB Cup but we had also entered him into the hotly contested 400 championship on his now smashed bike. So, all hands to the pumps and every effort was put into getting the bike repaired, both forks and damper were taken over to ERS for overhaul, and you know we might be a bit unlucky but things seem to fall into place. We had friends from Halifax staying with us for a few days. They took the damaged body work down to Specialised Coatings, who repaired and painted them. I got the bike repaired and we picked up and fitted the newly painted body work at the Specialised Coatings works on the way down to Donington on the Saturday.

Round 7 Donington Park:
Round 7 of the CB500 Cup took place at the ever popular Donington Park Circuit; this round was planned to be different as there would only be 1 x 12 lap race instead of the usual 2 x 6 lap races. As I have said, we had also planned to race his 400. I haven’t allowed this as I think it is difficult for Alex to get the best out of both bikes racing them so close together.
It was the CB he was out on for timed qualifying and I could only describe it as messing about. He had said previously this was no fun any more running around at the front himself. He qualified 7th. I asked what was wrong? He laughed and said, “Um, I think the tyre pressures are too high.” I transferred the transponder (a little box about the size of a box of matches, which is used to electronically time the bikes on track) over to the 400.
The weather on Sunday was very uncertain, you know? Back to the good old British weather for August. Not sure if it’s going to rain, dry up, stay damp. As time got closer we opted for a wet set up and as the qualifying session was going to be longer, I took the dry tyres as we would have time to change them in the pit lane. After one lap Alex came in and said there’s a dry line right round the track and wanted the dry tyres on!
Decisions? Decisions? I took into account the conditions. the way things were going, I said go out with the wets and bank a time. Thinking as things were running late, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the club started cutting the sessions shorter to catch up. In he came and we change to the dry tyres, he didn’t even get a flying lap in before the session was stopped. Good job I’d sent him out. That one banked lap was all he got!
As we looked at the results sheet for the 600cc Hornets and 400cc time sheet, imagine our surprise when he’d qualified 6th overall and in 3rd place for the 400 race.
So things were looking good as before we came, we didn’t know how he’d have faired in this class of field.
The CB race was scheduled to take place before lunch and with Alex still looking for improvement with the 400 handling, it was a busy time. Everything done and the CB’s were called to the grid. Unusual to see him on the second row! Flag fell and off they went, into 3rd before the first corner, as they came back round he was in the lead closely followed by Andy Burbridge.

The two diced for about 6 laps Andy taking the lead on lap six as they entered Redgates. That was enough for Alex. He put his head down and won the race by about 5 seconds. That was until we discovered I hadn’t put his transponder on. It was still on the 400. The rules state NO transponder NO result. The win was awarded to Andy. I was fuming. I said, they showed Alex the last lap flag, they waved the chequered flag at, everyone knows he won. But the decision stood. Rules are rules.
I much prefer when he makes the mistakes. Then I can shout & scream or better still, look on smugly with a wry smile! Being so stupid is still annoying me!

Anyhow, that over I didn’t need to move the transponder to his 400 before its race. Tyre choice was easy too as the heavens had opened before the 125 GP race and there was no way the track would dry before Alex was out on track

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff