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2 March 2008 - 90MX Club - Finningley Auto Class 1st Race - 9th 2nd Race - 9th 3rd Race - 8th Overall - 8th
Good result for first ever race. Everyone else on newer, more powerful water-cooled bikes. Looks like we under-estimated the competitiveness of this class! A bit more tuning needed on our bike, but the first trophy is on the shelf...
30 March 2008 - Vale MX Club - Armthorpe Auto Class 1st Race - 9th 2nd Race - 9th 3rd Race - DNF, engine broke Overall - 9th
A tough day on a very fast tack. The 50cc bike is proving too under-powered for Callum's size & weight, so we're moving up to the Junior 65cc class next time. This is a year earlier than planned and Callum will be now racing against 8, 9 & 10 year olds. But he loves a challenge!
27 April 2008 - 90MX Club - Armthorpe Junior 65 Class 1st Race - 26th 2nd Race - DNF (did not finish) - crash 3rd Race - DNS (did not start)
Now officially Callum's least favourite track! Involved in a big pile-up at the start of the first race which was then red-flagged. On the re-start he crept forward on the start line waiting for the gate to drop, but got his front wheel caught in the gate, set off dead last. Still getting used to the clutch & gears on the bigger bike and struggled on this very fast track. Crashed over a jump in second race, bent handlebars and injured arm. Decided to call it a day after that. Looking forward to some tighter, rougher, more technical tracks like our practice track.
Dad's had the digger on the practice track this weekend, so looking forward to trying out the new jumps and wave section.
The crashes at this event have dented Callum's confidence so we've decided to take a break from racing and spend the next few weeks practicing on the 65 to get more comfortable with the bigger bike and using the gears.
25 May 2008 - North East MX Club - Wooley Grange Junior 65 class 1st Race - 14th 2nd Race - 14th 3rd Race - DNS
Had to get up at 5:30am today to travel up to this event. Callum really liked the track, especially the whoop section, but was still lacking the confidence to get fast starts in the races. This will come with experience, he's still only 7, but riding in a class for 8-10 year olds. Still struggling with the gears a bit in races, needs to change up through the gears more on the long straights, but this is down to race experience as he uses the gears much better when practicing without the pressure of the race. Decided not to do the final race as he wasn't really enjoying the racing and was feeling very tired from the long day! Back to the practice track next weekend...
22 June 2008 - North East MX Club - Wooley Grange Junior 65 class 1st Race - 12th 2nd Race - 11th 3rd Race - 11th Overall - 11th
Wow this was a muddy day! Hardly anyone could get around the track in the morning practice sessions, even the adult riders were struggling to get up the jumps! Callum crashed about 6 times on his first lap, but kept getting back on to finish the session. The strong winds helped the track dry out and it got better after each race. Callum gained some fantastic experience in riding deep ruts and big bermed corners. Picking good lines was essential and the big lesson learned today was not to follow in the same rut as the rider in front of you, because if they fall off, you get stuck behind them!
Callum's speed and use of the gears is getting much better, still needs to work on the starts and not be intimidated by the bigger riders in the battle around the first corner, but overall this was a great ride. Finished 11th overall, 1 place off his first 65 class trophy. Really fired up to practice hard for the next races.
A busy day for Dad and Bailey getting the bike ready between races, glad we brought the power washer!
Wooley Grange whoop section 20 July 2008 North East MX Club - Wooley Grange Junior 65 class Race 1 - 12th Race 2 - 10th Race 3 - 10th Overall - 10th
This was the 2nd day of a 2-day event. We missed Saturday's racing to watch the UKs best schoolboys race in the Elite Youth Championship at Whitby. When we arrived on Sunday the track was very rough and rutted from the previous days racing, and also very muddy from heavy overnight rain. A tough, technical track just how we like them, this was going to be a fun day!
Much better speed, Callum was flying through the whoops!
Made a small mistake by getting stuck in a rut behind a fallen rider in the first race, but if Dad hadn't been too busy taking photos he could have signalled to change lines!
Callum's constant practicing is starting to pay off, his confidence is growing and he's using the gears and clutch well. We still need to improve the start technique as he's using 1st gear for starts and having to change up as soon as he's out of the gate, 2nd gear starts would be better, but he needs to fine tune his clutch & throttle control.
A hard days racing was rewarded with Callum's first trophy in the Junior 65 class, we weren't expecting any of these this year, we celebrated with a trip to MacDonalds on the way home!
27 July 2008 KKMX Club - Topcliffe Junior 65 class Race 1 - 4th Race 2 - 6th Race 3 - 6th Overall - 6th
A hot, sunny day for once. First time at Topcliffe, great track with deep, soft soil in places and some really good ski jumps and table tops. Track dried out a lot during the day and got harder and faster for each race. Dust became a problem, but the club did a good job with watering the track.
Callum's best result to date, despite terrible starts all day. The 30 degree heat made the races very tiring and it was a relief to take the riding gear off and find some shade between races!
3 August 2008 90MX Club - Finningley Junior 65 class Race 1 - 20th Race 2 - 21st Race 3 - 21st Overall - 22nd
First sand race on the 65 and up against a large class of very fast riders. Callum rode well, with good speed, but had quite a few crashes in the loose, sandy corners.
Sand tracks require a totally different technique where you keep the power on round the corners and use the spinning back wheel to help steer the bike. This is something Callum hasn't had much practice at yet.
Now using second gear for the starts, which really improved his speed down the start straight, but Finningley has a tight chiccane for the first corner and he kept getting stuck towards the back of the pack when getting round this. A bad position round the first corner on a track like this makes it very difficult to catch the other riders up.
Not a great result, but Callum put in a brave ride which was good experience and valuable practice in riding these conditions.
24 August 2008 KKMX Club - Topcliffe Junior 65 class Race 1 - 15th Race 2 - 15th Race 3 - 12th Overall - 16th
I was riding well today after loads of practice in the pouring rain this week, but I messed my starts up in every race which was so annoying! In the first race I crashed in the deep mud on the rough start straight, in the 2nd and 3rd race I stalled the bike, so I had to come from dead last in all my races. It was great fun trying to catch up to the other riders and I managed to pass quite a few. In the 3rd race I passed 7 riders on the first lap, but I crashed later in the race.
Guess it was just one of those days!
7 September 2008 90 MX Club - Armthorpe Junior 65 class Race 1 - 17th Race 2 - 17th Race 3 - 20th Overall - 19th
Loads of rain and flooding in the week leading up to this event turned the track into a deep muddy sandpit. It was really difficult to ride early in the day as the deep ruts and power-sapping sand caused loads of pile-ups. I had 3 crashes in my first race, but things dried out later on and track was really enjoyable. Out of the trophies today, but there was a big entry of really fast lads, so it was good experience.
14 September 2008 White Rose MX Club - Dalton Junior 65 class Race 1 - 4th Race 2 - 4th Race 3 - 4th Overall - 3rd
My first time at Dalton and I loved the track, it got really rough and technical just like my practice track. The ruts in some corners were deeper than the footpegs and I crashed in the morning practice, but I got the hang of them in the races. There were some great step-ups, table tops and double jumps. My starts were better today and Dad had fitted some stiffer springs in the suspension which made the bike handle better.
21 September 2008 KKMX Club - Topcliffe Junior 65 class Race 1 - 3rd Race 2 - 6th Race 3 - 10th Overall - 5th
I had a disaster at the start of my first race when I crept forward too early and got my front wheel stuck in the gate when it dropped, then I stalled the bike when I pulled it back out of the gate! I set off dead last, but soon started catching up. I had a really exciting battle with my friend Declan Ryan and we were really close for the last few laps. I eventually finished 3rd and this was my best race of the season so far. Although I rode really hard I didn't feel tired at the end, so I was pleased with my fitness, probably due to the killer mountain bike ride my dad took me on yesterday in Dalby Forest! A few people commented on how much my riding had improved since the start of the season which was really cool to hear.
2nd race start went much better, I was 2nd or 3rd round the first corner, but then I got passed by a few down the next straight as I was busy looking for a good line in the soft sandy soil. Dad said I should just lean back and ride it flat out through that section and my bike would just blast through the soft ruts and make its own line. I eventually got back up to 6th.
3rd race I got another decent start and managed to miss a big pile-up round the first corner. I was riding round in 4th or 5th place in the race with nobody very close, but then I made a mistake and my front wheel washed out over the top of a berm in a corner and I went down. It took me ages to re-start my bike and I eventually finished the race down in 10th. Oh well, still had a great day and I'm really excited about the next few races.
5 October 2008 White Rose MX Club - Dalton Junior 65 class Race 1 - 3rd Race 2 - 5th Race 3 - 3rd Overall - 3rd
Track was perfect on Saturday, but torrential overnight rain left the it in a right boggy mess for Sundays racing. Morning practice was nearly impossible and the organisers had to cut part of the track out for the races. I rode ok, but in my second race I stalled the bike in a corner when I went off the dry line trying to pass someone and on the last lap I ran in to the back of a kawasaki and flipped the bike. I just managed to hold onto 3rd overall, so I was very pleased.
12 October 2008 NYMX Club - Gravel Pits Junior 65 class Race 1 - 4th Race 2 - 4th Race 3 - 4th Overall - 3rd
First time at Gravel Pits and not really my kind of track, very flat and fast with a few jumps. It got some very long deep ruts in the corners and after the jumps which were quite tricky at such high speeds. Not a bad result considering I crashed in every race!
19 October 2008 Pickering Motor Club - Haygate Open youth class 65s/85s/125s (under 18s) Race 1 - 14th in race, 1st 65cc Race 2 - 12th in race, 1st 65cc Race 3 - 9th in race, 1st 65cc Race 4 - 11th in race, 2nd 65cc Race 5 - 10th in race, 2nd 65cc Overall - 8th in group, 1st 65cc
A proper old-style track. Not many schoolboys entered so they grouped us all together and gave us 5 races! I was the youngest in the group by about 3 years, competing against 85 & 125 riders up to 17 years old. It was pretty scary at times, especially battling round the first corner at the start, but I actually enjoyed riding with these faster riders especially my 85 class friends Robbie Dowson and Dan Holliday. The track cut up really well and was fun to ride, even though it was pretty flat with no jumps, it was great practice for my cornering and no crashes today, yipee! I'll be using this track for most of my winter practicing as our friend owns it, so it should help get my speed up for next season.
26 October 2008 KKMX Club - Topcliffe Junior 65 class Race 1 - 9th Race 2 - 8th Race 3 - 9th Overall - 9th
Feeling a bit tired today as we got back really late last night after watching the supercross ar Sheffield. It was nice to be racing on a track with jumps again and i was hitting them much faster after watching all the pros at the supercross, I loved doing the tabletops. My starts were letting me down a bit, but my speed was good and I managed another day with no crashes.
We went practicing on Tuesday & Wednesday after Topcliffe as it was half term, it seems like ages since I last rode my practice track as we've been away racing most weekends. It was a really cold though, it snowed a bit on Tuesday and on Wednesday Bailey fell off his BMX into a frozen pond and we spent most of the morning drying him out!
On Thursday I went into hospital to have a small operation to remove a lump in my neck, it turned into a big operation and I had to stay in hospital for a couple of days. I'm back home recovering now, but I don't know when I'll be back on the bike, hopefully I'll be OK for the first round of the White Rose Winter Series on 16th November. I'm getting so bored without riding, I'm not even allowed on my BMX until I've had all my stitches out, I'll just have to make do with MX vs ATV Untamed on our Nintendo Wii.
16 November 2008 White Rose MX Club - Bielby Junior 65 class - Round 1 Winter Series Race 1 - 7th Race 2 - 6th Race 3 - 9th Overall - 8th
Great to be back racing again at another new track. It looked very flat and fast when we walked the track in the morning, but the sandy soil was holding a lot of moisture and it really roughed up for the races. I loved flying through the natural whoops on the straights, the faster I hit them the easier they were, but I made a few mistakes on other bits of the track.
In the first race I had moved up to 4th place with 1 lap to go and then got stuck in a deep boggy section in the middle of the track. I didn't fall off, just stalled the engine and by the time I got it restarted 3 riders got past. I should have stuck to the firmer lines round the outside.
The starter was dropping the gate really quickly, as soon as the 15 second board turned to 5 seconds, so my Dad told me not to wait for the board to turn, just watch the gate as soon as the first board went up. This worked well and I got my best start of the season, I got to the first corner in 3rd behind 2 regular race winners. I was holding a good position in the race until I stalled in a deep rutted corner and struggled to balance the bike to re-start it.
It was getting quite dark for the 3rd race and difficult to see with all the shadows on the track. I crashed a couple of times, but put a good charge on in the last 2 laps to pass the 2 riders in front of me. It was a really fun race and I didn't want it to end!
So that's the end of my first season and I think I've come a long way in the 8 months since I was nervously sat on the start line for my first ever race asking my dad why my tummy felt so funny! I'm now looking forward to lots of windy, wet, cold days on the practice track and I can't wait for next season.