Motocross

Up to speed

Up to speed

NOW THE game is really starting to gather some momentum. NOW THE game is really starting to gather some momentum. I was at home for one week on my return from the States and spent the time riding my new steed at a few local tracks and catching up with my mates Brian Steele and Phil McCullough. After a few days testing in the UK it was back to the frequent flyer club again as the team was entered in a French international near Lyon in the south of France – sounds nice doesn’t it! I guess I should have figured out what was ahead when we arrived as people were walking around the airport with skis and snowboards. Practice for the race started at 8.30am – with the temperature at -2° – and having arrived a little late I had no time to walk the track. Entering the first corner me and my Honda came to grief – the front end just skated away on the frozen surface. Note to all! Do not ride when the ground is frozen, it’s so dangerous because you can’t read the surface and when you fall off it’s like crashing on a very uneven road surface. I remember my dad telling me when I was younger about Mark Eastwood’s old man, Vic, who was a great rider in his day. His career was cut short by damaging his knee in a crash on frozen ground. In moto one I was up with Demaria and was getting pelted with frozen lumps of mother earth. Eventually I finished fourth, feeling a little pebble-dashed. Moto two was better and it was a great feeling to get the CAS Honda up front. I won the moto, making passes on some of the top GP runners with ease. In the third moto, after crashing, I picked myself up from dead last and rode back to 16th – I ran out of time to get any higher but we’d accomplished what we’d set out to do. The team then packed up and headed for Belgium to test in the sand. When we arrived the ground was frozen solid – so much for the sand testing! While in Belgium we took in a race at Leopoldsburg. The track was at an army camp, frozen rock hard and with three jumps. I rode conservatively and finished tied on points with Bervoets but he was third overall with a better last race result. It was a relief to get back to the UK to find that the weather was somewhat milder. After more testing on the bike I spent three days shooting the new Onfire catalogue – so, to get a page three shot of yours truly, get the new Onfire catalogue! Hawkstone was always going to be a weird race, everybody was taking mouthfuls of sand and crashing by numbers. It was also my first time riding in sand this year that wasn’t out of Iceland! Races one and two were spent stalling and crashing but for the final race of the day I felt good and started to enjoy myself. The 125 guys got away first but as I’d spent all day riding through the pack from my numerous incidents I was having fun carving my way to the front. On the last lap I caught Jussi and made a pass but I ran wide at the bottom of the hill so he held on for second which he was well pleased with. Fair play to Marc de Reuver – he was long gone by the time I got through the pack. The results in the pre-season racing are not so important – but the way you feel and ride are. I’m feeling really great and I’m looking forward to the first major race of the season at Canada Heights, round one of the British championship. I want to win the British title back and a top three overall result at Canada Heights would be a solid start. The GP series will be very interesting. Everts is really motivated to beat Pichon who has lost a few weeks preparation due to his appendix operation. Smets is also riding fast but making way too many mistakes. There’s talk about me racing the 650 class (the old 500 class) which I would love to do as I’d enjoy racing in two motos – but we’ll see what happens. My focus will remain on the Motocross GP class as that is the premier division and the class that Honda want to win this year. So there you go, it’s going to be serious business from now on. Oh yeah! I forgot to mention that I’m doing my advanced driving test and by the time you read this I should be in my new Honda Type 3 (for those who don’t know, the Honda Type 3 is the coolest of cars and currently raced by Alan Morrison in the British Touring Car champs). The next sporting occasion in my diary will be when me and Matix, my new mechanic, go to watch the Ireland rugby game at the weekend. After that we’ll take in the Irish Motorbike show in the RDS. Talk to you all after Canada Heights! Gordy PS Finally, a big thanks to the Bridgestone boys…