The Redax Laverda / Ricondi Team is performing so well in the OZ Bears National Championship that it is worth publishing it in my blog.
Red Cawte, Redax Laverda, is responsible for the superb work on the two Laverda engines and for building these bikes. Paul Casson is the owner and rider for bike #63. Andrew Smart, “Smarty” is the rider for bike #86.
The race report below is written by Red and posted on the laverdaforum.com site. Enjoy!
Great weekend, we arrived on Thursday afternoon and set up in the pits ready for a Friday track day, Max, myself, Paul, Cosi. Bad mistake in one way as big night back at the Motel so some sore heads Friday morning but that is what this classic bike racing is all about having fun with your mates.
Friday, bit cold, 8C on the way to the track. Scrutineering was done by the main official in our pit first thing in the morning, he actually comes around the pit and checks and signs off which is great. Big thumbs up for that great service.
Morgan Park track has recently been resurfaced and than was followed by a bunch of rain which damaged some parts of the track so track now has some recently laid patches
riders were very wary so first session, green track, cold weather, sighting laps only to check conditions, #86 bike ran 1:34.06.
2nd session, track is warm by now but Ambulance is already in action with a number of riders hitting the tarmac at Turn 7. Smarty is out again on #86 and runs 1:30.85 which is a Laverda triple best time at Morgan Park, very happy with that. Forks had been modified and rebuilt before this meeting so couple of adjustments.
3rd session and Ambulance is still busy after Turn 7 takes a few more riders out of action, seems to be a lot of arm slings in the pits. Smarty hits 1:29.1 so we are only 0.6 seconds off of the Formula 4 track record so looking forward to Qualifying Saturday, install a new rear slick end of the day ready for Saturday. Paul has done a personal best on #63 and Cosi is flying on the Sputnik.
Final Turn 7 result is 9 riders down including Garry McCoy late in the day who is there as a riders coach and cutting laps, is his home track and he is so damn fast around there is awesome to watch.Not so many beers Friday night so Saturday dawns cold and overcast and crew are a lot healthier today but event is held up as local council are at the track doing repairs to Turn 7 after Friday’s carnage so everyone sit around in the pits grumbling. Announcement is made Turn 7 is ready but track officials have laid safety cones to change the track limit, no overtaking allowed through Turn 7 and stay on the inside of the cones or pay the consequences which in reality is a broken collar bone.
Qualifying goes well, Paul cuts more time off of his PB and Smarty hits 1:28.4 so we are inside the F4 Lap record by 0.1 seconds, smiles all round. We have one race Saturday afternoon and we are hoping for a high 1:27, race grids are combined with Formula 3, 4 and 5 bikes so bit of a mixture on track, all 3 bikes are on the grid, #86, #63 and Cosi on #173 running in Formula 3 end of the 1st race and Smarty has cracked 1:25.78 and came home 2nd overall and 1st in F4, wow, huge smiles all round, handshakes and hugs but #63 has developed a small cough which is worrying do some quick maintenance on the bikes and back into town for more beer and food.
Saturday Turn 7 result was no riders down, couple of people got off at other parts of the track but Ambulance was very quite which was great big down side for the team is the news Laverda Club members Russell and Marg and their son were on the way to Warwick to watch us race but Nick is T-Boned by a car outside of Brisbane and is now nursing 2 broken arms and a broken leg, that really dampens the days results.
Other news, Brett arrives from Sydney and tells us Wilfred is just behind him, he was sitting at a T section in country NSW waiting to give way to traffic when Wilfred rides past to have that happen in a country as large as Australia would have to be higher odds than winning the damn Lotto.
Sunday, forecast is 50% chance of showers/rain so hopeful for a clear day, not so cold at 13C so out to the track to prepare the bikes changed jetting on #63 and upped the octane rating in the fuel, new plugs and think we are on top of her issue. Race starts and Paul does a couple of laps on #63 but she is missing badly at revs so she is retired to the pits which is a real bummer for Paul.
Will work out soon what the issue is but we know it is internal and deep in the engine as we have developed vibration as well and she does not sound happy.
Smarty brings #86 home in 2nd overall and 1st in F4 again with a best result of 1:24.8, beaten by the same 916 Ducati F3 bike. #86 is starting to push the front slick so new slick is installed, check tyre pressures, fuel up, battery on charge and #86 is ready for her next race. Cosi is flying on #173 and is now well into the 20’s with a fastest lap of 1:29.6, damn awesome result from the Cosmonaut and well deserved after battling a number of gearbox issues over the last few race meetings.
Race 3, Smarty is again slow off of the start line, he really needs to practice his starts but as they come over the hill at the end of the first lap, bloody hell, the Laverda is in 1st place with the two Ducati’s chasing him very close behind. #86 holds her own against the more modern Ducati’s not losing out at all in the horsepower stakes and all three bikes peel through turns 1 and 2 and disappear over the hill into turn 3, we sort of think that he will be in 3rd next time we see him but damn, as they start the 3rd lap all 3 bikes appear back on to the straight as one and the triple is still in front, just. This is getting really exciting now and even the track announcer is amazed as all 3 bikes peel through turns 1 & 2 again with only a couple of bike lengths between them, F3 bike had a go at Smarty on the entry into Turn 1 but he came across and held his line through 1, these Scorch frames can handle. Next lap and bummer, #86 appears in 3rd and back 15-20 bike lengths so that was a let down.
Smarty brings #86 home in 3rd overall and 1:25.5 with another Ducati just beating him home but he keeps missing the odd gear change which is where he is losing out. He is having a bit of trouble with the old tractor gearbox on the Laverda engine with its straight cut gears after having raced an EBR for the last few seasons and before that a Ducati 1098R. Keeps asking why the quick shifter is not working.
Race 4, our last race for the day and 2nd last of the meeting, is late in the afternoon and sun is getting low, everyone is getting tired now and the Kangaroo’s are gathering around the back section of the track. Must be attracted to the smell of all the Ricondi race suits being worn at the track which are made from Kangaroo leather as it has a higher resistance to abrasion. 3rd overall again, 1:25.4 result, more missed gears but bike and rider are home safe. Cosi has another good race and is also home safe after a small off earlier in the day, Paul straightened his bike up with a fence pole so he could keep racing. Paul’s bike straightening skills were honed 2 years ago when he was crew chief for the 24hr scooter race team and his main toolbox consisted of a crowbar, long piece of pipe and a large hammer.
Mad rush to pack everything up as the sun is setting and there is a 1 1/2hr run into Brisbane.
Great weekend, Smarty ties for F4 1st overall, gets a trophy for the race meet, sells a couple of race suits, great result for his first time on #86 and he actually really enjoys riding the bike his best time around Morgan Park on his EBR was a flat 1:22.0 so to get a 1978 Laverda triple down to within 2.8 seconds of that time with no rider aids or traction control at all is just unreal and is a real credit to Herman who designed and built the frames, they work fantastic.
Paul cuts a PB but finishes with a sick engine but next round is 10 weeks away so we have time to sort her out.
Cosi just misses out on a trophy in F3 thanks to his off in one race but has done around 8 maybe 10 races all meet as he cross entered in a few different classes so is tired but very happy
he exceeded everyone’s expectations and probably his own and just got faster all weekend on the Sputnik. Well done Cos.
Great weekend, girls only misbehaved a couple of nights, was a great time with a solid bunch of good friends and Smarty certainly got a lot of people talking about the new Laverda triples.
Max and I would like to thank everyone who turned up to watch, help out when needed, or assisted at the pub trying to drink it dry. Especially Paul and Belinda who were the catalyst for the formation of the race team in the first place.
Smarty and Leesa for an awesome job all weekend and the cast of merry friends, Paul’s son Nathan, Joey, Lee, Mark M, Brett, Mark S, House and anyone else we have forgotten even our cylinder head man Ollie left his Harley shop and came to see us race with his lady Bron, fantastic, think he is getting a bit of a soft spot for Laverda’s now after meeting Piero recently.
And Cosmonaut for just being Cosi, great friend and turning out to be a pretty damn fast rider as well, least he doesn’t need to watch for the Police when he is on track.
Looking forward to Darwin in August, all 3 bikes heading up for the meeting.
Pictures taken by Wayne Reed from Osella Photographics.