3. Ryedale Rally
My day in the sun Starters 200+ Result 11th (3rd in Rally bike class)
A change of scenery led the championship to God’s country for the Ryedale Rally, which takes place in the Yorkshire village of Goathland. Prior to the start of the two-day event my mentor Moly sat me down for a pep talk. He started off by telling me how well I was doing, but I could see in his eyes there was a ‘but’ coming. “I watched you at the Baja GB and you’re riding really smooth and you’re not making any mistakes,” he explained. “But you can be going so much faster. I reckon you’re at about 60 to 70%, it’s time to stop messing about and start pushing!” he continued.
With his words of motivation fresh in my easily excited brain I set of from the start of the two-day Ryedale Rally. It was another three-lap-perday event with a sighting lap and two timed laps. From the start I knew that the event would suit me and the bike well. Instead of miles of fast, flat-out fire tracks, the Ryedale was more technical, single track with plenty of ruts. By the end of the first day I knew I was doing something right because whenever I stopped I had fellow competitors and spectators gathered around the bike, admiring the beautifully crafted rear 17-litre fuel tank that doubles as the subframe and asking me what engine it was. It was a surprise to many to hear that it was only a 250.
Day two saw the lap run in reverse order and unlike the two previous events the sun came out making it an even more enjoyable affair. In what has to be one of my best ever days of riding, the AJP floated through the ruts and dragged me out of the bogs and gave me the confidence to push past my previous 70% effort levels.
I was rewarded with far and away the best result of the year; finishing 11th overall and third in the Rally bike class from over 200 starters. They even gave me a trophy!