Written by Nick Carbury
Acerbis Amateur Nationals Round 1 – Fatcat Motoparc (24th – 25th Mar 2018)
Following what felt like months upon months of poor weather, what should have been the opening round for the RNRM Motocross Team (MXT) – competing at the opening RAF MX Championship round against members of the RAF and Army motocross teams- was cancelled, just a week before what would become the opening event for the MXT in 2018- the first round of the Inter-Service Motocross Championship at Fatcat MotoParc hosted by Acerbis Amateur Nationals.
Mechanical issues and work commitments meant that I would be the sole representative for the Navy team at this round.
The first race got off to a great start after making it around the first corner in the top-5. A tip-off later on in the same lap would lead to me becoming tangled with another rider. After picking myself up I resumed near the back of the pack, but I was now subject to every mistake the riders ahead were making! This led to another face-plant as two battling riders went down just in front of me. My pace would never pick up through the first race and I finished a disappointing 31st.
This meant a poor gate pick for the remaining 4 races this weekend. I had no choice but to pick a gate to the far inside for the second race. Being squeezed into the first corner would leave me at the back of the pack. A few suspension adjustments after the first race proved worthwhile as after a hard fought 18 and a half minutes I’d managed to salvage 23rd, making a last ditch pass in the last few corners.
I switched things up for the third and final race of Saturday. Choosing the farthest gate to the outside so I’d have nobody on my right-hand side. The tactic worked somewhat as I managed a mid-pack start and began settling into my pace. Towards the middle of the race I’d pushed and caught a group of slower riders. A major upset coming through a set of rollers would lead the bike to kick one way and then the other. Finally, the bike settled on a course heading off the track- and into a gully full of water! The bike ended up upside-down and submerged, whereas I would land half on the bank and half in the water, after spearing my ribs on the handlebars for good measure, of course.
To summarize, the story of the first round of the year was one of mistakes leading to poor results, and eventually retirement from the weekend due to mechanical failure. I would limp away from the venue and head home to lick my wounds in raging contemplation. I was non too eager for the diagnosis on my poor water-sodden machine.