CHRONICLE OF THE GOOD RASCALS - The art of unraveling at the right time
Me in 1982, if you look carefully you can see the remains of the yellow fender and on the right Felisberto, in 2000, at the pit stop at the end of the 1st turn (standing on the right, see Nuno Oliveira ready to enter action!
The lack of means, sometimes basic, were a constant in most of the participants of motorcycle races. If we add to this circumstance some disorganization, sometimes also the result of a lack of resources, the consequence was, frequently, that there were ridiculous situations. Today, I remember two in which I was directly involved, both at the Estoril Circuit, one in 1982 and the other in 2000.
In 1982 I participated, as a rider, in the National (Portuguese) Championship in the Junior 50cc Racing Class. The means were very scarce, the bike I started the season with, my 5-speed CASAL with MOTOPLAT inner rotor, equipped with a DELL'ORTO 30 mm carburetor, ridiculous suspensions and brakes, allowed me to aspire, when everything was going well. , a position in the middle of the table.
Here on Saturday when the mudguard remains had not been replaced!
For the first race of the year, at the Estoril Circuit, I used the logistics of Mr. Joaquim Nunes, father of Fernando Nunes who at the time was participating in the 50cc Racing Seniors with a ZUNDAPP. The means of transport was an open box FORD Transit with canvas cover, in the cabin Mr. Joaquim and his wife, in the box, followed the two motorcycles, me, Fernando and two friends of mine, Manuel Braga Lino and Gautier, colleagues from college, we were wrapped in blankets to keep from getting cold during the trip Santa Marta de Penaguião – Estoril (about 400 km on the roads at the time). To sleep, we used the boxes at the time (there was a bathroom to service the entire paddock next to the control tower) and we still had to sleep wrapped in the same blankets used during the trip. I also consider a brief description of my equipment at the time interesting: my helmet was a BIEFFE, the boots were borrowed from Ed Miro (MIREKO) - they were at least two sizes too big -, the pants were made of nappa (the regulation specified the need for a suit or pants/leather jacket or similar material) borrowed from the late Carlos Salgueiro, the gloves were borrowed by Paulo Braga and the jacket was a leather jacket borrowed from Manuel Braga Lino (actually his father lent it to him and... ). The party program was as follows: Saturday: technical checks and track hire (all classes rode together: 50cc Racing Juniors, 50cc Racing Seniors, 350cc Racing, Super Produção Class 1 – up to 750cc – and Super Produção Class 2 - over 750cc). As a footnote, I vividly remember how truly scary it was to share the track with the TZ 350 and CB 1100 R! Sunday: free practice, timed practice and 3 races: - 50cc Racing Juniors - 50cc Racing Seniors - 350cc Racing, Class 1 and Class 2 Superproduction During the technical checks a problem arose, my bike didn't pass the same ones because it didn't have a front fender, the regulations specified that it was mandatory whenever the bike in question didn't have full fairing, this was my fourth race and I never no one had done this repair.
After all the effort to get to Estoril, this was a big annoyance, in view of this problem, someone, among those present, found a solution, went to the back of the bench and added a mudguard to a motorcycle that was parked having had the good sense to have left a paper identifying the situation and stating the reason. Later the owner of the play appeared, he was very fond of racing and was very understanding (he was one of the few spectators on Saturday...). I don't remember his name, but I remember that the following year he also raced. The fender was yellow in fiberglass and once it was in place it looked awful when it was lifted at the front, we secured it with metal clamps and the bike passed the checks! Having overcome this problem, I took to the track and the fender showed, once again, that he wanted to be the protagonist of the day. Near the end of the home straight, António (Tógu) Lopes da Silva, driving a TZ 350 that was always failing, overtook me and I reciprocated at the entrance of turn 1 – this would not have been possible if it had been a TZ working properly , but I have no idea that I've never seen Togu's bike carbureting as it should – and, at this moment, the fender jumped. I almost fell and looked back worried that Togu had gone over, no one fell, but the fender was broken in three. Having collected the remains of the piece, we verified that the central part (tightening area) was in working condition, it was reassembled and that's how I ran, with a bit of front mudguard! It didn't give any more problems because it stopped offering decent aerodynamic resistance! In the race I was 5th, which was not bad considering all the constraints. It was regrettable that Domingos Monteiro died in the same race, younger brother of the consecrated Tózé Monteiro who curiously won the 50cc Racing Seniors race that took place after ours, having had this tragic news at the time he should have celebrated the victory, due to an accident at turn 1, at the time this turn 1 or CITROEN curve was much faster than today and had the rails flush with the asphalt!
In 2000, I was managing partner of COSE DA MOTO, since the genesis of that company, in 1991, that it was linked to the competition and, in that year, we organized a structure to make the CNV in the Supersport class with Felisberto Teixeira as pilot . Felisberto was at the time a rider with a lot of international experience, among others, in Endurance with Team SUZUKI SHELL. With this in mind, we decided to participate in the Portuguese round of the World Endurance Championship in the Stocksport class (bikes very close to their series counterparts). Initially, the idea was to make a team of 3 pilots with Felisberto, Gilson Scudeler and Nuno Oliveira, this formation resulted from an agreement with Paulo Roberto Araújo on behalf of Gilson, and with YAMAHA Motor Portugal that would provide us with a R1 to run and another to serve spare parts if needed. For one thing, I think that a question of sponsor compatibility, which I don't remember anymore, Paulo decided to leave and take Gilson to another formation. So, at the last minute, I decided to participate with only 2 riders: Felisberto and Nuno. YAMAHA's commitment remained, but in the meantime, the 2000 R1s were sold out and a substantially inferior 1999 model served us. The bike was delivered in a box at the Estoril Autódromo pits and the basic preparation it underwent was carried out “in loco”. The bike for parts was never delivered, today, from a distance, I think facing an endurance test, even if short, with only 2 riders and without any spare parts, was a little unconscious. In my favor, the fact that I only knew about the lack of the bike for parts when I was already in Estoril! To add to the difficulty, even the OHLINS rear shock we fitted was for the 2000 model! During training, Felisberto always complained about the efficiency of the bike. However, I must point out, boxing had trained and was well orchestrated by Zé Pedro (Mr. Cachorro) for refueling and tire changes.
The race started and Felisberto completed the first turn (50 m) in 5th position overall, 2nd position for Stocksport and, in a comfortable way, 1st Portuguese team when he stopped to change riders our expectations were high, despite all the setbacks we saw a historic result. Nuno took the bike for the second shift and crashed, after leaving the pits, at turn 1..., it was a slight fall, but when he arrived at the pits we noticed with dismay that the front brake lever had broken...
In this photo are still recognizable José Pedro Fonseca (next to the motorcycle) and Paulo Ribeiro (on the right) witnessing the occurrence
The options were to give up or... Brother-in-law of Zé Pedro went to the back of the bench, subtracted a lever from a spectator's R1 and left his cell phone number on a paper pasted on the bike. In the midst of this confusion, Nuno Leitão, for whom Nuno Oliveira competed in the national competition with our team, came to tell us that he would not allow Nuno to run again because it made no sense to risk his physical integrity in these conditions. Felisberto wanted to leave and I, in an Olympic attitude that is usual for me but not always favorable, said: “We don't give up!...” So Felisberto carried out the remaining shifts as he could, having ended up exhausted and lacking the shine he really deserved. At the end of the race, we returned the lever to its owner who, luckily, without drama, forgave us our audacity!
Photo credits: 1982, the first presented is by the late Carlos Barreiros, the second by Jorge Morgado. At the time, we received the photos by post and we only saw them after paying (150$00 each). Jorge and Carlos should have been "cartelized", they practiced exactly the same commercial conditions! 2000, photos kindly provided by my friend Manuel Carvalho, my comrade in the army and who for a long time has been passionately dedicated to motor sports photography "GSI Global Sports Image - photography & news". You can check their FB page at: https://www.facebook.com/GSI-Global-Sports-Image-2143608255653024/?__tn__=%2Cdk%2CP-R&eid=ARAseNr6mexNw5LB8RJvbpmSQreuY7Dx9G8iqNKm3vfB-YKREhlLrz-dExZQsrYjD0FdrDHPTHoKEirQ