For the fast ones
Alex Gault Looks back over what has been a tough year...
Over all it has been a very disappointing year for the team. In the beginning we were very optimistic that our first year in the 125 Gp British Championships would have been very successful. Alex's results in the past had secured a deal with the Italian company Malaguti; which put Alex in a very privileged position, racing one of only five Malaguti 125 GP bikes in the world with backing from the UK importer and his loyal sponsors every thing pointed to success.
However; everything had been done in a hurry. We started the season on the back foot and were not able to recover. The time scale allowed meant that I "we" had not got all the tuition that we needed to run the bike at top level. We also never managed to raise all of money needed to mount that serious challenge.
At the first round of the Championship held at Brands Hatch & with help from the Malaguti factory mechanics Alex finished a very credible 10th from 55 entries in his first race at that level, however due to Malaguti's involvement in Moto-GP and lack of funds for the British series they could not return to help us in the UK.
For sure we had some fantastic results at club races. From memory, his first ever race aboard the Malaguti resulted in a win at his first ever race at the Croft circuit outside Darlington. When we visited Ty-Croes on Anglesey for a club race meeting Alex won the meeting and equalled the lap record. On Alex's first visit to Oulton Park he finished in 3rd place to two very seasoned British Championship contenders. Then when we visited his old stomping ground at the Three Sisters track near Wigan in July, he obliterated the competition winning 9 of his 10 races & breaking a long standing outright lap record for the circuit set by Casey Stoner (who now races at the front of the 250cc world Championships & is set to move to the primer class in 2006). Where else? His first trip to Donington Park resulted in a close second place against a British Championship contender and he broke the club lap record for the circuit.
From this we knew why we are having the difficulties with the set up for the British Championship but I was still not capable of fixing the problems. I can't say it has been a total disaster, what we can say is that it has been "a learning year" in which the curve has been vertical. By mid season we were starting to get things in place at Knockhill where at the end of June Alex and the bike looked very strong. Despite only qualifying in 14th place he set the 3rd fastest time in qualifying but crashed out of 8th place on lap 2 of the race. At Snetterton although the engine was down on power he came home an acceptable 15th considering the circumstances. Everything was encouraging until the news that Alex's sponsors had withdrawn their backing "Seeing no benefit from supporting him". This was devastating news as I had already spent every penny of the money received from sponsorship and more to get us this far.
By tightening the purse strings we've seen out the rest of the season with mixed results. Even the last round which was held at the Brands Hatch GP circuit, Alex looked strong, making his way up from a qualifying position of 22nd to 9th place in the race by lap 5, only for bad luck to strike again causing him to retire on lap 10.
By the time you read this we will know which direction we will be taking in 2006, one thing is for sure if he is to continue racing at British Championship level we will have to ensure he has the proper backing and the experience surrounding him to do a far better job than this year.
A few words of well-earned thanks to the supporters who stuck by him; Malaguti, Engine Engineering, Sam Dornan Motors, Specialised Coatings, ZPF Minibike, P&D Tyre warmers, Wiz, Oxford Products, D&A Kitchens, NGK, Dunlop, and my heart-felt thanks to his clothing suppliers who have protected him so well; Vemar Helmets who have been fantastic, M-Tech leathers and W2 Boots, you just can't get any better quality, and last but certainly not least MAG SPORT who have shown faith in Alex's ability since 2002 and bring me the opportunity to share our escapades with you through this magazine. Your help has been very much appreciated.