Pre-65 ‘Scot­tish’

Classic Trial - - CONTENTS - Words: Mike ‘The Bike’ Rap­ley • Pic­tures: Yoomee, Rap­pers, Kitch and CJB

With the rugged High­land moun­tains of Scot­land quite lit­er­ally out­side his front door, Kin­lochleven res­i­dent Gary Mac­Don­ald was only ever go­ing to be a su­perb tri­als rider fol­low­ing a life­time of prac­tice on the type of land that fea­tures in the Scot­tish Six Days Trial. So his suc­cess in his first ever Pre-65 Scot­tish Two Day Trial came as no sur­prise, con­sid­er­ing he has been a po­ten­tial win­ner of the main six-day event for a good num­ber of years. It must be pretty good to fin­ish the trial and, in­stead of be­ing faced with a five-hour jour­ney home fol­low­ing a Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship round (a se­ries he con­tested for many years), to be able to ride 100 yards from the fin­ish into your home for a wel­come brew!

Gary told Clas­sic Trial Magazine: “It’s been a dif­fi­cult trial to win as there are so many good rid­ers up here and, un­like the Six Days, there’s prob­a­bly a dozen rid­ers who could have won. So, to man­age it at my first at­tempt and to be the first ever Scot­tish win­ner of the Pre-65 in the 34-year his­tory of the trial makes me a very proud win­ner. The trial is very wel­come to the vil­lage, and the res­i­dents make a big ef­fort to ac­com­mo­date ev­ery­thing that is needed, so I am very pleased to have won for both the vil­lage and my­self.”

High­land Hospi­tal­ity

While win­ner Mac­Don­ald had no more than a stroll to get to the prize pre­sen­ta­tion on Satur­day evening af­ter the two days of com­pe­ti­tion, other rid­ers had many hun­dreds and in a few cases thou­sands of miles to travel fol­low­ing their en­joy­ment of the High­land hospi­tal­ity and the unique lo­ca­tion of this event.

One such rider who has long sup­ported the Pre-65 Scot­tish is Gra­ham De Feu from Jer­sey who, de­spite fin­ish­ing just three places out­side the First Class Awards in 46th place, had to set off the minute he had fin­ished and loaded up. He com­mented: “I’m off down to Cam­bridgeshire to col­lect my clas­sic rac­ing mo­tor­cy­cle that has been in the hands of a tuner to get a bit more power out of it”. With only a small num­ber of tri­als on Jer­sey through the year the Jer­sey haulage con­trac­tor races the Chan­nel Is­lands hill climb and sprint se­ries, as well as a few main­land clas­sic race meet­ings, with his tri­als out­ings be­ing a lim­ited op­por­tu­nity for him to en­joy. How­ever, he is no mean rider on his Ariel. Hav­ing fin­ished the open­ing day of the trial on Fri­day in 33rd place, he was dis­ap­pointed on Satur­day evening to re­port that he had suf­fered two un­ex­pected fives which dropped him down the fin­ish­ing or­der. “It hap­pens, as we all know when the front wheel catches a rock or a hole and these big heavy ma­chines don’t float out of such sit­u­a­tions like the Cubs and Ban­tams will”. But like just about all of the 180 strong en­try he re­flected be­fore his long haul to the south of the coun­try that it’s a fan­tas­tic event to be a part of.

Faced with an even longer haul south was the group of Span­ish rid­ers, who told our magazine that they had a 2,500-kilo­me­tre jour­ney back home and would be driv­ing non­stop to get back in time for work. How­ever, while the high­est placed Spa­niard was Diego Ur­reta in 15th place, his com­pa­tri­ots Javier Cruz and Vic­tor Ronda had both suf­fered early re­tire­ments. Cruz is a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor to the UK and a big friend of ‘Tri­als Guru’ John Mof­fat for clas­sic events, but he re­tired his BSA on the first day with en­gine prob­lems. While Ronda’s Royal En­field Crusader seized its crank, he set about look­ing to buy a Tri­umph Twin from another com­peti­tor who could be tempted with some ready cash in Eu­ros!

James Har­land (Tri­umph): The win­ner at the very wet 2013 event, this year he took the Best 251cc–350cc award.

Ben But­ter­worth (Tri­umph): A mis­un­der­stand­ing over his awarded marks was rec­ti­fied to give him the Best Over 350cc award.

James Noble (Ariel): Win­ning the event in 2015, hav­ing bro­ken his leg the pre­vi­ous year, ‘Bob­ble’ re­mains very com­pet­i­tive at this event.

Dan Thorpe (Tri­umph): Part­ing with no marks on day one, Dan has the foot­steps of his fa­ther Dave to fol­low in who holds the record of six wins.

Stuart Rock­ett (Tri­umph): With a Scot­tish win­ner for the first time tak­ing the ma­jor tro­phy, Stuart picked up the Best Scot­tish Rider award.

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