2. Baja GB Rally

Should it be snow­ing in May? Starters 65 Re­sult 21st

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Features - Jan­uary 27 2016

Buoyed by my Pikes Peak re­sult I headed to another new event, the high-pro­file Baja GB, a two-day race that runs bikes along­side cars – Dakar style. This non-nav­i­ga­tional rally was a case of fol­low­ing the ar­rows for a mon­ster 50-mile lap. The meet­ing in­cluded a sight­ing lap, then two fur­ther laps each with two timed spe­cial stages to de­ter­mine the re­sults.

De­spite the race tak­ing place in early May we were greeted with heavy snow just min­utes be­fore the race was due to start. With warn­ings of dan­ger­ous con­di­tions, I and the other 65 starters headed off high into the ex­posed Welsh hills with trep­i­da­tion.

Given that the race was for cars as well as bikes, the ter­rain was pre­dom­i­nantly fast and open with short sec­tions of more tech­ni­cal go­ing. The lap was ul­ti­mately de­fined by a mon­ster shale hill climb, which was lit­tered with stuck bikes and rid­ers when I ar­rived on my first timed lap. Be­fore the start, Moly had im­parted some words of wis­dom about tack­ling the hill. He’d told me that to give my­self the best chance of not get­ting stuck I should wait for the hill to clear, so I sat pa­tiently at the bot­tom of the climb.

No more than 30 sec­onds later, my petu­lance pre­vailed and de­spite the hill­side still be­ing strewn with fallen rid­ers I at­tacked the climb like my life de­pended on it. Call­ing on my decade of tri­als com­pe­ti­tion ex­pe­ri­ence from my youth, I fired the lit­tle AJP up the climb and might have even used a few of my ri­vals’ bikes for grip!

At the end of two bit­terly cold and hard days rid­ing I man­aged to se­cure 21st place over­all. This was a pleas­ing re­sult given that the speed of the event meant it didn’t re­ally play into the hands of the smaller ca­pac­ity AJP.

Get­ting some ex­pert help from men­tor Moly AJP’S whop­ping 17-litre fuel tank helped Michael by­pass some of the fuel stops

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