Gary Mac­don­ald

Classic Dirtbike - - Drayton Bantam -

Given the num­ber of de­cent tri­als rid­ers hail­ing from Scot­land, it is per­haps sur­pris­ing it’s taken so long for there to be a Scot­tish win­ner of the Scot­tish Pre-65 Two Day Trial. It al­most hap­pened last year when three rid­ers fin­ished the trial on the same num­ber of marks, un­for­tu­nately for the Scot­tish lads ACU rul­ing on such ties went against them. How­ever, there was no such de­ci­sion to be made this year, as Gary Mac­don­ald came out the clear win­ner – and he’s a lo­cal lad too, liv­ing in Kin­lochleven.

As we took pics of his win­ning bike, in the cold wind of the Ice Fac­tor car park in Kin­lochleven, I quizzed Gary about his back­ground in tri­als rid­ing. The 33-year-old joiner was still in that eu­phoric state where he knew he’d won the trial but still couldn’t quite be­lieve it, but was try­ing to fo­cus on the forth­com­ing six day trial where he hoped to re­peat the per­for­mance and carve his name on the Alexan­der Tro­phy.

Gary has been rid­ing tri­als for 24 years, since his par­ents pro­vided him, and his brother, with a Yamaha TY80 to share. The lit­tle Yam be­came solely Gary’s when his brother showed no real in­ter­est in rid­ing it. Gary on the other hand thor­oughly en­joyed the Yam and it spurred him on to big­ger and bet­ter things. In­flu­enced by his fa­ther and un­cle who, he says ‘messed about in tri­als a bit and did the SSDT a few times’, Gary’s tri­als ca­reer soon im­proved and he can now claim to have rid­den the SSDT him­self since 2002 with the yel­low leader­board de­not­ing ‘trial leader’ on his bike four times, in­clud­ing in 2017.

As for tri­als rid­ers who have in­spired him, Gary was a big fan of Ja­panese rider Takomi Narita: “when I was a young lad, Takomi was a bit of a hero of mine and it was great to ride with him in the SSDT once I started.”

On the Bantam, I asked if he’d rid­den it a lot be­fore the trial. “No, not re­ally, prob­a­bly about five hours’ worth of prac­tice on it, made a few tweaks and just winged it re­ally.” Some ‘wing’ we say. He went on to say he must thank Martin and Tyler Mur­phy – the bike is ac­tu­ally Tyler’s and was on loan for the trial – for al­low­ing him to ride it. I think by win­ning the trial on it Gary you’ve re­paid their gen­eros­ity.

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