Last weekend was one of the toughest weekends we’ve had in racing.
We spent most of Saturday morning trying to get lap times. There is a feature in our data acquisition dash which allows you to do split times. Well, we spent the whole morning trying to get the times, but ended up getting neither lap times or split times.
By noon we decided to go with the normal lap times. That’s when the computer decided to stop working. There went another hour wasted. By the time all was working we had three sessions to go.
During those three sessions, Anthony did well, but as the day progressed, the track got slicker and slicker. Even under those circumstances, Anthony managed to put in a few fast lap times, though he said he was sliding all over the place (which says a lot, when a 38hp motorcycle is sliding all over).
After the last session I noticed a water pool on the bottom fairing.
I took everything apart and sure enough we had a leak. There was water coming from the radiator. There was a small pin hole on the bottom-left side of the radiator. Lucky for us, a friend of ours had a spare radiator.
By this time, the weather was getting pretty bad. The temperature dropped quickly. I did the right thing and took everything apart. But before we got started, we decided to move ourselves into one of the garages. As I took parts off the bike I noted lots of water residue on the head. It didn’t make sense… at the time. I cleaned everything and buttoned all parts back up, including the spare radiator.
By 9pm we were done and ready to get the bike going. Anthony and I got it started and looked for leaks. DAMN… the leak was back, but not from the radiator, from the head.
Nobody I spoke with seems to understand how this is possible, but there is hairline crack at the top of the head. The same person who let me borrow the radiator had two heads. Of course, 125s use heads with various volumes. You use various head volumes to deal with various tracks. Fast, wipe-open tracks like Fontana use larger volumes, while shorter tracks use smaller volumes. The heads our friend had were of smaller volumes. However, I had not choice.
It was now 9:30pm and I needed to have dinner, shower and sleep; to wake up in the morning to replace the head our friend was bringing in the morning.
Sunday morning came around and we were woken up to a damp track. However, the sun was out and shinning. I got up and began to work on the head. I had it replaced and tested by 8:00am, just in time for tech.
The head we borrowed worked, there were no leaks, but we didn’t know how it would work on this “Fast” track.
I told Anthony we’d skip the first session, there was no point in going out on a damp track, on slick tires. I thought we’d just be asking for trouble.
Anthony went out on the second session, his first, and said the track was cold and slippery. By 10am, it was 51 degrees.
In terms of engine issues, the day progressed with no issues, but our lap timer issues came back. It’s too frustrating to go over it again, let’s just say we need to figure this stuff out SOON. Anthony has been riding with a lap timer since he was 8, and he lives and dies by lap times, whether good or bad. Unlike most, which need to chase someone, he chases himself via lap times from his lap timer.
With two sessions to go, Anthony crashed in the back section. I was watching from the bridge and saw him get right up. I rode down to pit lane to wait for him to be carried on the crash truck, suddenly I saw him riding. I asked myself if I was going crazy. Surely this was not Anthony, I had seen him crash just a couple of minutes ago.
It was Anthony. For a second I thought, wow, I’m OLD. I can’t even distinguish my son. But I was not OLD. Anthony had crashed, but he had managed to get going and ride the bike in.
Anthony said his knee hit the curb and the impact caused the rear to step out. Simply rider error and easy to fix… Don’t hit your knee on the curb again.
To our surprise, the only damage was to the frame slider and the peg. Both were ground down. His handle bar looked bent, but it turned out to be just rotated on the fork. I replaced the peg and rotated the bar into position and we were ready to go.
The day ended without any more incidents and never climbed above 57 degrees, except for no lap times, AGAIN.
During all this, Chrissy and I seemed to have caught a stomach virus, which had us sharing the bathroom… when things go wrong… they go WRONG.