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I.S.D.E Germany 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Neil Varney   
Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Witley MCC riders Arnaud Didey, Aaron Smith and Max Varney, along with a good contingent of supporters, made the trip to the Sachsenring, near Dresden in eastern Germany, supported by Barry Brockman, Shaun Smith and family, Dave Kavanagh, Colin Boniface, Neil Varney, Rob Carey, Ian George and Manny Bernardez.

When you’ve read Neil’s report, why not have a look at the photo galleries.

The Journey Begins... We all met up at Clackett Lane services on Sunday night at 11:00, and set off for Dover.

We managed to get an earlier ferry than our booking time of 02-00am so were 1½ hours ahead of schedule. We set off through France, Belgium, Holland and into Germany. After a few stops for coffee and more coffee we made it to the Sachsenring Circuit in 13 hours!

The event didn’t officially open until the next morning so we were parked next to the track for the night. It was great to watch the ISDE paddock village grow each day and the atmosphere build. As the days followed we set up Witley camp, and Aaron and Max went off walking tests with the REME team. Arnaud arrived on the Wednesday and they spent the rest of the week walking more tests!

The British paddock/evening work area was built and managed by Dave May-Miller who did an amazing job all week, always the first to arrive and last to leave and keeping everyone fuelled. Thanks, Dave, for your 100% dedication.

Saturday arrived and time for the team to officially sign on and scrutineer. The first of these went without a hitch but the second proved a bit more exciting with a lot of bikes failing the noise test. Max was up first and it was no real surprise that the little 125 passed. Then came Aaron, the mighty 300 revved 3 times and was met with a solemn shake of the head by the tester. Then Arnaud’s turn, and it failed too. Off he went to fit Rob’s brand new silencer!! But that did the trick. Aaron came back, having removed his standard silencer, and had fitted the only thing available, an Akroprovic !!!!! as we watched with bowed heads the examiner gave it the thumbs up!! (so that’s why all the motocrossers use them, they’re quieter...not). With the bikes parked in pit lane that was the first hurdle out of the way!

Monday arrived, the START. As they pushed their bikes up onto the podium all I could think was “Would it start?” but I shouldn’t have worried as all three started and away they went.

Day One... This was just under 200 miles and the lads did well, stayed on time and didn’t get done for speeding, unlike 99 of their fellow riders!

Arron Smith ISDE 2012Aaron Smith

Arnaud Didey ISDE GermanyArnaud Didey

Max VarneyMax Varney

Day Two... The same loop, again a good day. Arnaud began to suffer from his elbow injury and lost a little time but Max and Aaron stayed clean, they also managed their first tyre changes under the pressure of the work area at the end of the day.

Day Three... A new course, again about 200miles. Some mountainous hill climbs made them all sweat, Max and Aaron still came in clean on time. But that night it rained and rained.

Day Four... The same course but the over night rain made the hill climbs hellish. Large crowds filled the forests as the exposed roots and rocks seemed to climb up into the clouds. Shaun and Claire were manning a fuel check point out on the course and when Martin Ward and myself eventually arrived there (after getting lost and finding ourselves in the Czech Republic) we heard that Max was struggling. Tony Altass had stopped him at an earlier fuel check and made him sit down for 10 minutes to get some food into him, the hills had taken their toll. By the time he reached us, on the second lap, he looked better and was going well, Arnaud kept soldiering on, but then we got the call. Aaron had crashed and had taken a handlebar to the ribs? They had loaded him up and taken him back to the paddock. Fortunately his injury was mainly winding and bruising, but unfortunately it meant his dream of a medal was over. However the ruling is that one member can restart throughout the week, so he was able to start day 5.

Day Six... Nearly there. The venue was a Supermoto race at the Sachsenring Circuit. Crowds lined the track as it swept around then up over hills and pathways around the circuit. Max was away in the first heat. Leaving his old tyre on the back proved costly as the start was on greasy, long grass on a camber. However this was entertaining for the rest of us as he snaked his way to the first corner!

Parc Ferme

Aaron had a good start but got caught up at the first corner with some fallen bikes and had nowhere to go, he remounted and caught up and overtook nearly half the field in one lap!! Unfortunately the front runners were well away by this time and impossible to catch. Arnaud, riding with his head, stayed out of trouble on the first corner and finished his race without too many dramas.

That was it...! Max and Arnaud finished with Bronze Medals. and the Team finished the Red Bull ISDE 2012. The party began and all that was left was the clearing up!! A big thankyou to every one who helped out and sent messages of support. Let’s hope we can get a team in for Italy 2013.

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