I started 6th on a grid of 11 2stroke 125/4stroke nsf250 and some ktm390/R3 on my 125
It had been a fantastic weekend for myself and the bike, near personal lap records every lap of practice for the weekend
Got a terrible start, dropped to 9th off the line, 6-lap race so any mistake is detrimental
In just 1.5 laps I was chasing down 4th place and could see 3rd place in my visor ripping through thunder valley - for the first time, I ran with AMA national champs and the podium was in sight- 5 long years of building breaking and building and breaking - and all I have to do is hold it wide open and hold on...
At this point the bike is sailing around every corner. If you’ve ever heard someone describe a ride as ‘this thing runs on rails’ that was the exact feeling it gave me - never have I ever felt this bike move in the way it was- impressing me with every throttle pull and every lean- tires hooking up, all the confidence to go faster.
And here it came. 4th place tail section coming closer into my visor, near run him over with the corner speed I’m carrying into the apex. Stuff your pit mate on the inside of the corner or let off and take him on the front straight?
I chose the safe route.
I can smell John’s fuel now. I know because he kept dragging around a can of MR12 in the pits. It smells like purgatory so I must be in the right place. I can see third. I CAN SEE THIRD!!
With no other choice than to go for it - I did.
Wide open through thunder valley - coming into the left trying to touch my shoulder on the 200 marker before throwing it in and taking a chance on the front straight for 4th position... SCREEEEEEECCCCCCHHHHHHHHHH
rear wheel locks, bike unsettles, grab the clutch and coast into a left with my knee down and no power - the strangest feeling - coasting for 1/4mi into the pits
Try to bump start the bike and take another stab at the weekend and it sounded like marbles in a jar
Get back into the pits and find obliterated piston in the exhaust, bent rod, trashed cylinder and head insert, hundreds of detonations on the det counter, the whole thing had to be rebuilt again
But it never ran like it did until it didn’t!
Such a fun weekend and although it turned out costing more than I planned it was worth the trouble making such memories
TLDR - they GO before they BLOW! ✊ (edited)