Archive for June, 2011

Thursday June 30th 2011

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Leaving for Alberta and the Stony Plain Outlaw Trial in a few minutes (4am) - watch for a full report and pics on Tuesday - Have a great weekend everybody.

Wednesday June 29th 2011

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

A busy day planned - with a quick trip to Kelowna, before starting the loading process of the Outlaw van to go to Stony. - As reported yesterday, this is the last round of the Outlaw Series, and always a great weekend - plus of course as this is the Trial named after me, it’s kinda special. - bit of nostalgia as the Premier Plaque has a pic of me on my 1973 Sherpa T 325 on a steep section near Priddis -  Alberta. - Later that year, I went to work for Yamaha Canada, and rode that brand up until 1994, when I became a Beta/Gas Gas dealer.

A  lot of water has run under the bridge since that time, but my love for the sport is still as strong, and while my main focus has been on Trials riding for that period, we did have a few years Cross Country Racing, while with Yamaha. - developing the IT models was fun, and there is nothing quite like the thrill of success, when you win.

I think this is why Motorcycling has such a wide variety of people involved in both the sport and the recreational side, it doesn’t matter how young or old you are, -  talking bikes puts everybody on a level playing field, no matter how much money you have in the bank.

As a family sport, there are few others that compare, -  being able to share Sunday rides with your sons or daughters, wives, girlfriends etc -  has to be the ultimate, plus you always get to see so much  great countryside. - So this long weekend make sure you make the most of it.

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I see Dougie Lampkin (GG) finished 2nd at the Erzberg Xtreme race - a great ride with a bad ankle - of course Graham Jarvis (Husaberg) finished 1st, but was later disqualified for missing a check - reminded me of the very last Cross Country race I was in - finished 3rd Senior,at the 1986 National in Peachland,  but along with Blair Sharpless was DNF’ed for missing a check early in the race while making up ground after a poor start. ( We wondered about this jam up of bikes in a gully, but I just followed Blair riding a high line around the pile up) - I still remember having a good laugh about it at the end with good buddy Al Perret, who won the class.

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I have just posted a couple of pics of Wilson Craig on the Odds Album - these were taken by Craig McDonald at the Super Stars last weekend.

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Tuesday June 28th 2011

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Well, the mail service is back operating, although the backlog will take some time to sort -  I respect the position of bargaining by the unions ( I have been on both sides of the fence) - the fact of the matter is, that the only people hurt by strikes, are small business people.

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Having said that, we have managed to keep the Outlaw ship on course, using bus and courier service - shipments from the UK, have come in on time by Fedex, and apart from the extra expense, things have continued as normal.

Still no official results posted from the Super Stars, but what is Official, is that Wilson Craig loves the new Beta, and proved it by finishing 30 points ahead of the second placed rider. - Sparky Bill did the same in the Expert class, so that was another Beta win for both days. - Stan got second expert  and kept the Sherco flag flying, as did Alex Walton in the Advanced class. - Young Matt Fracy continues to impress, as he tackles the difficult jump up to the expert class, and at only 15 years old, finished in 5th spot on Saturday, a very good performance in the slippery conditions.

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This weekend will see the final round of the 2011 Outlaw series take place at Stony Plain Alberta - the Modern Trial goes Saturday ( a switch from the normal format) and the Vintage takes place on Sunday. - Brandon Volk leads the junior, Ben Pospisil the Inter, - Matt Fracy, Advanced, - Thomas Cordner Expert,  - Barry Van As,  Senior 55, and Kevin Couves & Ernie Ferguson tied in the Senior 45 class. - Vintage A  shows Steve Fracy and Dave Bissendon tied, and in the Vintage B it’s a battle between  Steve Richardson and Mark O’Neill. - Should be a great weekend, we will be there to cover the event and support the club and riders. ( Don’t forget the bug spray)

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More news as it happens >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sunday June 26th 2011

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Up with the birds, and apart from feeling a bit stiff from lifting furniture etc (see yesterdays blog) not too bad. - meeting Jeff at the A&W by Polson for brekky at 7.45 - then off to Summerland - I have to go down to pick up my Beta tent etc that I left with Pete after the National - plan is to ride the loop & keep an eye open for the fork guard that went missing from my bike on the weekend of the Trial. - looks like Freddy might be joining us.

Scores from the World round at Andorra after the first loop are - Bou -3 points - Fujinami - 13 - Raga -19 - Caby - 24 - Dabill -34 - Challoner - 38 - Fajardo - 40.

More news later - in the meantime here is a report from Yesterday on the Junior European Championship

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Moto >> News
Sheppard wins again


Round 4 - European Trials Championship - St Julia - Andorra - 25/06/11

Jitsie Beta factory rider Jack Sheppard continued his winning run in the 2011 UEM European Trials Championship as he took victory in Andorra earlier today, and just seven days after his victorious performance in Spain. Sheppard’s latest success sees him move even further ahead in the title race, as his closest challenger Giacomo Saleri could only finish in third place this time out. The teenager from Suffolk now holds a nine-point lead with four of the seven rounds of the series having been completed.

In what proved to be the most difficult round of the series to date, Jack was very much on top of his game despite still continuing to ride with a serious injury to his right wrist that will need surgery later in the year. The venue at Sant Julia de Loria, Andorra is always a tough test, with a combination of the heat, high altitude and the severe sections all taking their toll on the riders. On this occasion ten of the fifteen hazards were grouped closely together high above the town and on a steep, rocky hillside under the trees. The closing five sections included the only water hazard and one made man test back in the main town square.

Sheppard was soon out in front as he managed to avoid a failure until section eight on the first lap and was strong through the opening hazards. His single dab ride in the ultra steep section six was the pick of his early rides. This long and twisting hazard left the riders with no time for mistakes with Jack reaching the ends cards with only seconds to spare. Eventual runner up Eddie Karlsson and Saleri both parted with three marks here, whilst Cedric Tempier and Steven Coquelin both collected maximums.

By the close of lap one the Jitsie Beta factory rider was seven marks clear of Coquelin, and a further two marks in front of Karlsson, who in turn had a two mark advantage over Saleri. A five in section three on his second visit was not the ideal start to the closing lap for Sheppard, but a strong showing through the middle part of the lap was enough for him to maintain his place at the head of the field. Even a late failure in the twelfth hazard, which Jack had cleaned on lap one, would not prevent Sheppard taking his second Euro win at back to back events.

Jack said. “I competed in Andorra last year so I had a fair idea of what to expect, though the sections were a little tougher than last time I was here. To be perfectly honest, although the hazards looked tough, I was really looking forward to tackling them. My first lap went reasonably well and I was pleased with how I rode, but it became obvious that they were the type of sections that could easily catch you out.”

“At the start of my second lap my wrist was starting to hurt quite a bit more so I tried to stay relaxed and ride smoothly. By the end of the second lap I was tight on time so I ended up dropping a few slack marks - I was a little disappointed to drop more marks on my second tour than on my first, but we got the overall result we came for so I’m really happy.”

“In terms of my injured wrist, today was probably my most difficult day’s riding so far, however I’m not sure it’s getting any worse, I think it was more the terrain which aggravated it. We are into the second half of the championship now and things are going well, but I won’t take my lead for granted, there are still three rounds to go and I’m determined to take the title.” Concluded Sheppard

Saturday June 25th 2011

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Latest news from Andorra is that UK Beta rider, Jack Sheppard has won the European Round held today - Sheppard who rides a Factory 125 Evo, has won all four events so far this year.. - More news on this later >>>>

Back on the home front, Yesterday was “Moving Day” for my daughter, so it was a hard grind for myself and the other old guy helping out - definitely not one of our favorite pass-times  - but as he said - I guess that’s what “Dad’s” are for. - Today will be the final wrap up & then I can plan my Sunday ride. ( If my body will still function)

Another big event taking place this weekend is the Corner-Grass Extreme Race - Jay, Nick, and Shane, do a great job on this in the corn fields around Compeer Alberta.

However, the “Really Big” Extreme race takes place at Erzberg today - Grahame Jarvis usually does well in this, but Taddy Blaszuek  will be the man to beat, both of course are former World Class Trials riders. - We haven’t heard much about Manxman David Knight lately - except that he has been awarded the MBE ( Medal of the British Empire) - Other notable recipients of this prestigious honor for services to Motorcycling, are Dougie Lampkin and Sammy Miller.
Today is the First day of the Super Stars in Vancouver, they usually get a good turn-out for this event, Stan will be carrying the “Sherco” flag for us at what is rated as a  tough Trial, which is normally attended by quite a few American riders, as it’s part of the PNTA Series - Watch out for Wilson Craig at this one - a rumor tells us he has changed bikes.

More news from Andorra as we get it >>>>>

Results from Andorra

European Championship

1 Frances  Moret  - Mont  - 72 points

2Alfredo Gomez -   Mont  - 75

3 Matteo Grattarola - GG  - 80

4 Jack Challoner -  Beta   -  86

Challoner still leads Series over Gomez and Grattarola

Junior European Championship

1 Jack Sheppard -  Beta - 66

2 Eddie Karlsson -  GG   - 70

3 Giacomo Saleri -   Beta - 71

4 Cedric Tempier -  Sherco -76

Sheppard leads series ahead of Saleri and Tempier.

Friday June 24th 2011

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Well today has started out just like yesterday - pouring with rain - hopefully it will stop later and the sun will shine !!

Although I had made tentative plans  to go for a ride with Pete today in Summerland, this has changed, and instead I will be helping my daughter move house. ( Lovely).

We had a visit from Kevin Couves yesterday, he dropped by to pick up some parts and to check out the new Beta 300 Replica. - We had a good chat about old times in the Valley, and a laugh recalling the antics of Harry McKay when he lived here - Kevvy continues to ride very well, and usually wins his class at Island events. - He also took the win both days at Summerland in Senior 45.

With other topics taking over in World news, the crisis in Japan has slipped from the front page, but the worry of health issues after the nuclear meltdown, has prompted World riders, of all motorcycle disciplines to vote not to attend events in Japan this year. - At a meeting in Spain last week, the Trials riders voted overwhelmingly in favor of not going to the World Trial scheduled, and have voiced their opinion to the FIM. - Naturally the economic impact of cancellation to any large events such as Moto GP or the World Trial has the Japanese very concerned. - There will be a meeting in Geneva next week to make a final decision, but many riders say they won’t go regardless of the outcome.

As posted yesterday, the FIM are already dealing with huge problems involved with World Trials - The Polish event has been canceled, so they will be scrambling to find alternative venues - one possible location instead of Japan, is in France.

In the meantime, all the Teams are in Andorra for the 4th round of the series, the mountainous  terrain of the region, is popular with the riders, and we have some good videos of previous events held in the area.
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Thursday June 23rd 2011

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Hot yesterday +30, this morning it was pouring rain when I got up at 5.30am, - the forecast for the weekend and the SuperStars Trial at Ioco is “Unsettled”.

We got a call from Steve Foord yesterday, he brought me up to date on his activities in Alberta, and we talked about the sport in general, but in particular about the current trend of many events just being a series of big rock walls or steps, that require skill, but also big “Kahunas”  - Steve made a point of saying how much he enjoys the OK Trials, with a longer loop, and a variety of technical sections, similar, in fact, to what he used to ride in the UK.

Not that I want to beat this subject to death, but as I’ve said many times, there is more to Trials riding, than big rock steps. - the success of events like the Scottish Six Days and other long loop multi day Trials, speak for themselves.

There is a very good reason why rider entrees are up in these events - reputation from previous years is the main reason, - if riders know that the sections will be reasonable and fun - then they will come back next year, - sounds quite simple, but in reality, is a difficult job for any clerk of the course. - Some interesting numbers from recent events show that the Summerland WTC National had almost double the riders, of the CMA National at Ioco the previous weekend - 58 and 48 for the WTC and 34 - 31 for Ioco. - even the ATRA Trial at Falun last week had 31 entrees, a very good number for a club event. - The PNTA Trial at Victoria, had approx 50 riders each day, but their club Trial last Sunday had only 27.

We have often stressed the “Keep it simple” aspect of Trials in Canada, because while the young guns just love the huge walls and giant “Splats” - few (if any) will ever compete on the World Stage, which as already noted has it’s own problems. - When the World Trials Championship started back in 1975, entrees were anywhere from 60 -100, - club riders could “Have a go” without fear of injury, now there are only about 15 riders at any World Trial ( In the premier class)  - In comparison, the Scottish, is over subscribed every year, with approx 200 riders turned away every year !!!!

The “Back to Basics” approach would therefore seem to make a lot more sense, for the masses, and believe me, we have seen a ton of riders “Come & Go” in Canadian Trials.  - Yamaha used to have a slogan saying “It’s a Family Affair” - I personally think and dream of promoting this idea. - Maybe at the 25th running of the Outlaw Trial in 2012, we will have a kids class for Electric mini-bikes only !!! - Now wouldn’t that be something?

Wednesday June 22nd 2011

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

A busy morning yesterday - had to sort out a load of Opti that arrived - always pretty hard graft, but managed to get it done before it got too hot.

In between doing that, I took a coffee break and watched the 125 Moto GP from Silverstone on the Speed channel -  Amazing stuff in the pouring rain, lots of crashes as you can expect in those conditions, but those young lads on the little screamers, definitely put on a show for the fans.

This weekend there is another World Trial in Spain - hard to figure out how the Spanish factories are keeping going with the economy in the toilet. - Of course most of the cash comes from other bike sales rather than Trials, which has always been the poor cousin of the Motorcycle Industry.

Just read that South African rider Chris Birch has been told he will be banned from riding events like World Enduros, Dakar, ISDE etc, if he rides Erzburg - seems this is not an FIM sanctioned event and the MSA (South Africa) are taking a hard line on it. - Sounds a bit like our own CMA black-balling riders for competing in non-sanctioned events a few years ago. ( not sure if they still do this) - Either way, it’s a shame when Politics get in the way of sport, although without rules, there would be chaos. - We can only hope that common sense prevails.

As reported yesterday, the postal strike is causing many small business’s a lot of problems, lack of cash flow, because people aren’t paying their accounts is just one aspect, but what really ticks me off, is that my DVD of the Scottish, is probably stuck in a mail box some place !!! - This video should be special as it was the 100th anniversary - wonder if we will get to see John-boy?

Tuesday June 21st 2011

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Ah Yes !! The first day of Summer - the sun is already beaming across the Lake and the forecast is for a “Hot” day.

This latest mail strike is a real pain, as using couriers to send out cheques etc costs a fortune - small business definitely  needs the postal service, but even this has become expensive for shipping parts. The consumer is being ripped off in so many ways due to government waste and taxation, being out of touch with the average Canadian etc etc.
Anyway, on to other things, and to Trials in particular - last weekend’s World Round, was by all accounts pretty successful, with the new location in Northern Spain utilizing some good variety in the sections - also we did not read about any “5″s being posted because of “Touching” a section marker. ( Although this might well have happened)

With Dougie Lampkin crashing out once again on the 3rd section, and re-injuring his ankle, you have to wonder how much longer he will be riding at this level - his next event is Erzberg, - a real killer, even when the riders are fully fit. - Of course “Yorkshire-men”  are well known for their “toughness” - so don’t expect Dougie to be quitting any time soon. - and speaking of “Yorkies” - has anybody watching the Pro golf noticed the remarkable likeness of Lee Westwood and Martin Lampkin? - Chatting to Mart many years ago, he told us that he would have preferred Dougie to be playing golf, instead of riding bikes. ( the minding would have been easier, not to mention the money)

We heard from Steve Fracy that young Matt had another good ride in the expert class at the Victoria Trial last Sunday - he will compete at this weekend’s Super Star Trial at Ioco, as will Kevin Couves, who is in Kelowna this week, sorting out some family business.

I see that Harold has posted on the ATRA site, that things are well in hand for the upcoming ( July 1st) Stony Trial, although the North Saskatchewan river is still very high, meaning many of the usual sections along the river bank may have to be scrubbed. - This is a great location, and will wrap up the Outlaw series for 2011 - I still have to total up the points after the first two rounds, but hope to get this done before the weekend.

We were talking to Pete yesterday, about the WTC Championship in Quebec - he used to live not far from the Trial site, and says it is a fantastic area. - in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he said he was going down to watch - after all it’s only about 2900 miles !!! - the date for the event is July 16/17th. and the poster etc is all up on the front page of Trials Canada.  - Don Doerksen is making the long drive, taking a load of bikes for the Western contingent.

More news as it happens >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Monday June 20th 2011

Monday, June 20th, 2011

What a great Father’s Day we had - Barry came up to Vernon, and after brekky at the Yankee Flats Cafe - it was time to give the new Factory Evo it’s first test ride, “What a bike “!!!! - although the stock Evo is hard to beat, this latest gem from the Italian factory, is one step up again - it makes even an old fart feel like he knows what he’s doing.!!! - I took a few pics of Bar trying out the bike & we later found a new section to play on, before heading home. - The afternoon was spent watching the golf, before a traditional family barbecue. - all in all a fantastic day.

Dougie Lampkin crashed on the third section in Spain, and retired from the World round - Tony Bou did what he does best, and dominated the event - see the report below.

2011 SPEA FIM TRIAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP


Toni Bou (Montesa-ESP)

SPAIN - BOU WINS HIS HOME GRAND PRIX

Toni Bou - Repsol Montesa recorded his third win of the season as he cruised to a comfortable win in front of his home fans, as the Spanish Grand Prix was hosted at the small town of Pobladura de las Regueras for the very first time.

 

Looking as cool and confident as ever, Bou eventually took his latest victory by ten clear marks from Adam Raga - Gas Gas who mounted a second lap fight back to demote his compatriot Albert Cabestany - Sherco to third spot on the day.

Although three Spanish riders packed the podium in the World Pro class it was far from a typical Spanish GP, with the fifteen sections including several slippery stream hazards as well the more usual dry and dusty climbs. Despite the eventual home rider domination it was Takahisa Fujinami - Repsol Montesa who made the early running. The ever popular Japanese protagonist did not lose his first mark until section nine on the opening lap, however from this point on it was to all go wrong for Fujinami, leaving him down in fourth place come the finish.

 

The situation for Bou’s rivals was becoming clear even by the end of the first fifteen sections, with the reigning SPEA FIM Trial World Champion having parted with a mere three dabs when he handed in his mid point punch card. At this stage Toni’s closest challenger was Cabestany a further eight marks back, whilst Fujinami was hanging on to third place just one mark in front of Raga who had suffered two failures in his fourteen mark intermediate tally.

 

A totally unexpected five in section one on his second lap by Bou, as his front wheel washed out on one of the large wet and slippery tree logs, gave his rivals a single moment of hope. As from here on Toni was back at his absolute best, only adding one more to his total as he flattened the remaining fourteen hazards to take his latest win by a ten mark margin. Raga produced the best closing lap score to out point Cabestany for the runners up spot. Bou now heads Raga in the championship table by ten points, with Cabestany in third place.

In the Junior category Alfredo Gomez - Montesa maintained the Spanish winning theme and his 100% record, by making it four victories from four starts. Gomez was followed home by his compatriot Carles Traviesa - Gas Gas as he recorded his best ever result in this division. Alfredo’s triumph was equal to that of Bou, as he finished well ahead of Carles, their totals being seven and fourteen marks respectively. France’s Benoit Dagnicourt - Beta prevented yet another all Spanish podium, his third position being his highest placed finish of the season to date.

Gomez now holds a twenty point lead over Francesc Moret - Montesa in the general standings, as Moret could only manage fifth place at his home GP. The much favoured Pol Tarres - Gas Gas also endured a bad day at the office when he suffered his worst result of the 2011 campaign, his sixth place leaves him in third spot in the title race and with only one podium finish to date this season.

Cedric Tempier - Sherco was the winner in the Youth class, as he narrowly defeated Jack Sheppard - Beta by two marks to claim his first victory of the year in this category. Steven Coquelin - Gas Gas completed the podium, with Giacomo Saleri - Beta taking fourth spot as only five marks separated the top four Youth riders. Sheppard still heads the championship, but his lead over Tempier has been reduced to ten points, after the French rider won today.

The championship action will continue next weekend in Andorra, at the highest venue in the series, with the altitude always being a good test both for the riders and their respective bikes.

 

2011 SPEA FIM TRIALWORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

 

Round 3
Pobladura de las Regueras –Spain - 19 June - 1 Day Event (Day1)

Results:

World
1: Bou 9
2: Raga 19
3: Cabestany 22
4: Fujinami 30
5: Fajardo 38

Junior
1: Gomez 7
2: Traviesa 14
3: Dagnicourt 16
4: Ferrer 16
5: Moret 19

Youth 125cc
1: Tempier 12
2: Sheppard 14
3: Coquelin 15
4: Saleri 17
5: Pochez 33

2011 FIM Riders Championship
Current Standings:
World
1: Bou 75
2: Raga 65
3: Cabestany 62
4: Fujinami 52
5: Fajardo 50

Junior
1: Gomez 80
2: Moret 60
3: Tarres 53
4: Dagnicourt 49
5: Borrellas 45

Youth 125cc
1: Sheppard 77
2: Tempier 67
3: Saleri 58
4: Coquelin 56
5: Cabrini 31

2011 FIM Manufacturers Championship
Current Standings:
1: Montesa 127
2: Gas Gas 102
3: Sherco 79
4: Beta 66
5: Ossa 50