ROUND six of the Scottish Minimoto Championship, came from just over the border at Warden Law near Sunderland. With the weather on their side, two of the YRF Juniors set out on a busy day of racing.
With this being James Alderson’s home track he had decided to run all three classes, Junior C, Light weight Production and the open class. Beaming with confidence in front of his home crowd James set off to start his busy day.
The Junior C qualifying sessions saw James take second place. Still unhappy with this position, a few minor settings were made to the bike before the start of the first race. Lining up on the grid aboard his DMR prepared Polini in second position, James got a blistering start along with the pole sitter. The race positions remained unchanged as James and the leader created a huge gap back to third and this would stay the same up to the chequered flag. James was still unhappy with the gearing of the bike, so more adjustments were made before the start of Race two. Once again James and the pole sitter set off and made almost a carbon copy of the first race, with James taking second again at the flag. In Race three James set out for his warm up lap but quickly realised that he had a rear puncture. With a quick pit stop to fix the problem James managed to get on the grid in time. Starting the race strong holding second position, it wouldn’t be long before disaster struck again. On the third lap a bolt had sheared from the rear sprocket locking the back wheel, putting James out of the race. Overall for the Junior C class James took fourth overall.
In the lightweight production class, James was struck by Gremlins again when the water pump belt snapped in the first qualifying session. With very little time to fix the problem and get back out for the second session, it was all hands on deck. With very little time left James managed to get out for a couple of laps and set the fastest lap giving him pole position for the races. In race one James struggled off the start slumping back to fourth with a considerable gap to the leader. After composing himself James started to find his rhythm, gained time on the riders ahead of him. On lap four James found himself on the rear wheel of the leader and with a calculated manoeuvre took the lead and continued to push, leaving a gap between himself and second position at the flag.
James also competed in the open class. This is a class he would not normally ride with it being a very fast session, with some of the riders on 50cc bikes as oppose to James’ 40cc. But with this being his home track James was confident of a solid finish to the day. Missing the first qualifying session due to a water pump problem, James’ dad Stephen sent him out for the last four laps to get a grid position. He managed second! In race one James got a good start dicing with the leaders up to lap three where he took the lead and set off in to the distance, taking first at the chequered flag. Race two got underway and was almost a shadow race of the first giving James his second open class win. In Race three James once again set off gapping the rest of the field. Disaster struck, James bike started losing power. With a sensible head on his shoulders he backed it off a bit and coaxed the bike round to finish the race at the back, this would give him second overall for the day in the open class. Back in the pits a very upset James explained “Dad I knew I could keep going even though I was going to be last, I just wanted to try and keep some points to get a better position overall, I knew the bike could get round to finish” Under closer inspection a clutch shoe had snapped. James’ dad Stephen was very impressed with what his son had achieved that day “James was upset but I told him we now know how John McGuinness, Bruce Ansty and Guy Martin feel when they are winning the TT and something happens to their bikes, we had some high’s and low’s but on the whole this was James’ best riding I have seen this year. What he has achieved today was pretty unbelievable, winning the Production class outright and to take 2 wins in the open class.”
Young Charlie Atkins and his family had also made the journey up north to take part in this round of the Scottish Championship. This being Charlie’s second visit to the North East’s Warden Law venue he was not unfamiliar with the short and technical circuit. Aboard his DMR Polini GP5 he would contend the Junior B and the Lightweight Production Class. Charlie didn’t hang about to get the fast laps started and used both sessions of the Junior B qualifying to get the bike set up right, find his breaking points and also his strongest corners. Whilst he was on with all that, he thought he might as well put it on pole as well.
Lining up on the grid for the first race of the day and Charlie didn’t get his usual lightening start, instead he found himself back in fourth position coming out of the first corner. Knowing the circuit was quite short and only having six laps to play with, Charlie got his head down and focussed on the leading riders. In a short space of time Charlie picked off the three riders in front of him and was leading the race, now he could concentrate on putting in some fast laps and started to gap the chasing pack. As the chequered flag came out Charlie had a lead of over seven seconds. In race two Charlie got the hole shot in to the first corner and disappeared from the rest of the pack leading over the line by over eight seconds. A sluggish start in race three saw Charlie further down the field than he had been all day. With the leading pack starting to gain distance on him, Charlie knuckled down with only a few remaining laps knowing he only had to get to third position to take an overall win. Overtaking riders and slotting in to third Charlie wound it back taking the safe option. This sensible move gave Charlie the overall win for the Junior B class.
Charlie only had the Lightweight Production class to contend with for the day aboard his air-cooled bike which would be tricky against the faster water-cooled bikes. All weight classes for the production races compete together, Charlie qualified eighth overall and second in his Lightweight class. During the races Charlie struggled with the starts against the faster bikes however he still managed seventh, eighth and ninth overall all weights and second for the lightweight class.
Thanks once again to Ian Wright at DMR for preparing the bikes and also Bob Brown of Bikewise Mini Bike Club (http://www.bikewiseminibikeclub.org.uk/) for co-hosting the event and the photo’s