Oakleigh Motorcycle Club held round 2 of their non-stop series at the club grounds on the 25th October in bright sunshine. The newly finished club carpark has added another level of professionalism to the club and the grounds are looking well.
Whilst numbers were slightly down on the first round, the general consensus was that the sections worked much better this time around after the fairly easy lines of round 1. No risk of that this time, with some challenging lines, particularly for the upper grade, and there were a few dejected looking faces after the first lap. As the trial rolled on though, riders really started to come to grips with the non-stop rules and scored started to drop.
The format was simple; follow the now largely standard European non-stop rules across three lines, those being Novice, Intermediate and Expert, and above all, to have fun. 5 laps of 7 sections allowed for a relaxed day and all riders rode with a partner who scored each other respectively. This system seemed to work well and could be a back up answer for some of the mainstream trials where observer numbers are dwindling.
Non-stop rules generally mean longer than usual sections and these were flowing and varied. Anyone who has ridden at the Oakleigh grounds knows that dry as a bone conditions do not necessarily equate to a grippy trial, and in fact, it was the opposite with very fine grit and marbles ruining the hopes of many riders as they tackled the slopes and banks that surround the club.
The Expert line was contested by those normally riding A and B lines, however some determined C+ riders ventured into the top grade which was fantastic to see. Keep in mind that this is largely the point of trying the non-stop rules here in Australia, in an effort to close the grade gaps and encourage riders to move up.
Young David MacDonald continued to show promise with a determined ride to win the expert line on 34 marks. This pushed newly crowned Victorian Expert Champ Zac Mularczyk into 2nd place, but to be fair, Zac was introducing his own much harder lines and generally having some fun. A well deserved 3rd place went to veteran masters rider John Rees, only a couple of points behind Zac. John showing that experience counts and is starting to find his form again at Masters level.
The intermediate line was hotly contested, with Les Pattinson taking a well deserved victory on 32 marks. Les is new to the sport here having ridden in the old country and is certainly getting used to Australian condition fast. Kane Solomano pushed him all the way though on 36 marks. A determined Wayne Cottee took a great 3rd on 39 marks.
The novice class was tougher than round 1 and all riders were challenged that bit more. Veteran Rob Murdoch wasted no time in blitzing the course and taking out 1st place on just 12 marks, well ahead of anyone else. Brian Smale did well to hold on to 2nd on 39 marks from Steven Brown in 3rd place on 41 marks.
Special mention goes out to Geoff Lewis and Phil Whittle, both of whom rode their classic heavyweights around the intermediate line. These guys could have taken the easy way out, but instead challenged themselves and I didn’t see them stop smiling once all day, even when narrowly avoiding disaster! Phil’s good form in this class saw him taking a narrow victory over Geoff who I’m sure will be out for revenge in the final series round. Jeff Solomano also did well to wrestle his beast around the course with no rear suspension!
The 3rd and final round will be held at the club on the 6th December and all riders from all clubs are strongly encouraged to come along and support our efforts to rebuild grass roots trials here. With nothing more this side of Christmas it’s a last chance to compete prior to developing that inevitable Santa gut…