THE imaginary Sutton IT department was about as useful as the might of the actual Johnston Press version at the weekend as the feckless feckers forgot to update my antivirus software, or something, meaning my immune system was hacked and long story short I needed defragging.

After flicking the on/off switch a bunch of times I eventually rebooted to a more or less satisfactory state and with my hard drive mostly intact. Phewsh.

Since I spent most of it in a feverish state I don’t actually remember too much from the weekend, although I am aware that Gary Macdonald won the Scottish Pre-65 Trial on a BSA Bantam (and was leading the SSDT itself in a five-rider tie for the lead on Monday evening). 

As a fan of all aspects of off-road motorcycling – (sorry, but road bikes do nothing for me) I love looking at images of all the old bikes that are used in events such as these. 

I’m not too up to speed on the eligibility rules of the trial but assume that so long as the bikes are built using technology that was widely available/used during that era, then it’s all good.

When mulling over things for this piece I was amazed to realise that 1965 is closer to the start of World War I than 2017. It’s also bonkers to consider that a BSA Bantam has never won the SSDT outright. 

During that period the C15 was considered the more potent weapon and to prove that point Arthur Lampkin won the 1966 edition on one – the last occasion a four-stroke would win until James Dabill managed it on a Montesa in 2007! 

What’s interesting about many of the top finishing bikes in the Pre-65 bash is the fact that weight – and lack thereof – seems to be very important. Gary Mac’s Bantam is definitely ‘bare bones’ considering the competition machines of the sixties.

I guess that one thing Pre-65 competition offers is 50-odd years of development. If you can’t make something amazingly awesome in half a century of trying then it’s probably time to give up. I guess this also means there’s still hope for Yamaha’s range of two-stroke motocross bikes. Boom-tish! 

At the end of the day though, trials is all about the rider and, as well as being a highly-skilled rider, Macdonald seems to be in full beast mode right now after a tough winter of cyclocross competition and hill running. 

As a former runner-up in the six-day event there’s a chance that Gary could pull off a surprise double, although five days is a very long time in the Scottish Highlands. 

I guess we’ll all know more at the end of the week…

And finally, a big get well soon to Apico Husqvarna’s Kristian Whatley who bust a femur on the weekend. 

Obviously there’s never a good time to do this but Kristian nailed the optimum moment in the opening MX1 moto at the Maxxis on Sunday. 

With race rules dictating that 50 per cent of the race must run for a result to stand, Kristian banged himself up just after the 12-minute mark which meant that race direction could act swiftly and throw the red flags out immediately rather than wait for a certain amount of time to pass before making a decision on the grounds of ‘safety’.