View from Pit Lane – Edition 41


Circuit Carole – 08/09/10 July 2022 – Part 3

Our race was due off at 10.20, so it was a fairly leisurely morning tidying away as much as possible before needing to sort out the gear we needed for the race and pit stop. This includes two sets of fireproof overalls, balaclava, goggles, fire extinguisher, a few tools and the refuelling rig with two litres of fuel. The trolly is brimmed by the time we go to the collecting area with the addition of the stands and tyre warmers. As it was 26 degrees we didn’t bother taking the Genny to plug in the warmers. 

Before long we were in the collecting area and Rik was out on his formation and warm-up laps. Matt and I had moved on to the pit wall to watch the hour-long race unfold. 

Rik made another reasonable start and completed the first few laps without any undue excitement, settling into a good dice with four or five other riders. He was looking good, riding smoothly and with confidence. I was cheering and clapping him every lap, it was so pleasing to watch and I’m very passionate about our sport.

After 15 minutes that group had spread out with Rik at the front catching another little gaggle of riders. Good boy. We’d previously arranged with Rik to come in for the pit stop on 30 minutes. The riders have a timed countdown which they can see on the start/ finish straight. If they look. By that time he’d caught that group and was so focused he left Matt and I standing in pit lane sweating with all our gear on.

Ok, we said, maybe next lap. Nope. Rik was clearly enjoying himself and eventually came in after 36 mins, which was fine as we were ready. Sweating, but ready! Matt did the rear stand, Rik took off the petrol cap and dismounted, I put the fuel in, Rik replaced the cap, jumped on and fired up while Matt pulled away the rear stand. And he was back out. All very slick, we thought. 

So, with 23 minutes to go Rik was the 10th place 600, we only know this because of the live timing, and was out dicing with a group of 1000’s. He was being pulled along quite nicely, again clearly enjoying himself and riding well. Which is very pleasing to see as I know from experience, once we get to The Manx Rik will go very well. Matt reported he was up to 9th  and with five minutes to go we could see he was closing on 8th. It would be close on the last lap for that 8th position, we thought. 

We were right as on the line there was half a bike’s length between them. Unfortunately not in our favour so we came home, a well-deserved 9th in class and 19th overall with an extremely competent ride and Trudie behaving herself and doing all that was asked of her. 

Next stop, The Manx Grand Prix Senior race. But first is Rik and Sarah’s wedding. It’s gonna be a very busy 5 weeks!

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