The engine showed his ability during the previous demonstrations. The removal of cylinder head for control, followed by a carburattors refurbishment, should be sufficient. A new paint for the gas tank and the front fairing took three weeks of delay. Once this was received, I realized the decoration with an advertising friend who made me stickers to look like the original production racer.
We installed a Norman Hyde oil cooler between both cradles of the frame and we finished the last small details by mounting a pair of original silencers, rear-view mirror, and license plate so that we could try the machine on the road, (lack of circuit in Brittany).
After that we decided to go to the "Frimas"in Erdevenne, this allowed us to try the motorcycle on a bigger distance and to present it to the other members of the NOC.. Back home, we noticed a leak at the cylinder-base gasket.This job was done next day.
At the beginning of April, the countdown was launched, we setted up the racing equipment, patches n°98, tires (which are lower size , we lost 1" diameter of the wheel), so we had to change for a 21 theeth sprocket.
On Thursday, April 12th: departure to Nevers Magny-Cours.
The next day after a passage to the administrative department for licenses .,we join for the free trials .
Right away, on the time lap, I noticed that the others were faster than me.
I decide to push away my limits of braking and to decelerate later, but I feel too much near the limit. Michel on the stands indicates me very disappointing chronos.
I make the last lap by decomposing better my entry into corners, what makes me win at once 5 seconds per lap. Arrived at the stand, I gave the relay to Manu who will make one stopwatches of 2 ' 23 / lap.
This first day: the motorcycle is too low, we are exceeded in the straight line with at least 30miles/h furthermore by Godier-Genoud and Honda bikes.
On Saturday, April 14th: Manu dashes for the first session of the qualification trials (blue pilot). Lap after lap stopwatches improve until 2 ' 22, but the motorcycle begins to smoke in the deceleration when we cut the throttle at the end of straight(right) line, in Adelaide corner. Manu is classified 53rd of his session.
The pilots level is high and that runs very hardly, the sun is present and the track is for good temperature, what also pulls some falls for the most nervous guys.
I apply my strategy of yesterday and I drive more smoothy in the curves entry and not an appearance of Valentino Rossi's imitation. Every lap, I gain a second or two exit. At the end of the white pilots session , I was 52nd on 65 in 2 '25" per lap.
We are satisfied with our practices because we are in the qualif times and it's not so bad in curves (but we are dropped in straight lines by machines furthermore of 100 CV HP).
We control the motorcycle because she has still consumed some oil.
Afternoon black flag for Manu who went out at the end of 3 laps of the second qualifying session. According to the track marshals, the motorcycle smokes in curve entry) . The time to discuss with them to explain that an Norton engine can leave a small cloud of smoked in a change down at the end of a straight mile line at 7000 tr/mn, they let us resume the track 5 minutes before the end...
I take the departure of the 2nd series but I do not manage to make better that in the first one often hampered by slower competitors in the technical parts .
At the conclusion of these two trial sessions we wait for the general classification which determines the position on the starting grid.
The classification falls and there, it's more than a big slap in the mouth. We are 58th at 0,4 seconds of the 57th while knowing that the organizers take only 57 crews in race. We do not have more than to hope that a competitor scratches before the official departure. (What will not be the case)
7 pm the tricolor flag is lowered and so... the departure is given without our Norton.
Very great disappointment after so much work to fail in so little, but also saddened for all the numerous supporters of the NOC, the TON-UP, and the British Cotentin bikes .
Small consolation with the victory of a classic English motorcycle (Rob North Triumph) very deserving in front of high-powered motorcycles deriving on the 80s.
#PS: thanks a lot to our sponsors for their help.