Pistany – Czechoslovakia
On the shores of a very large lake, we found Pistany was a very attractive small town and very popular with tourists from across the Eastern Block, even back in the 60’s. Arriving rather late and exhausted from our long journey from Bautzen via West Germany and Austria, we again elected to take the soft and rather more comfortable option of booking into a small hotel on the side of the lake within walking distance of the town.
From memory I recall the circuit, just outside of the town, encompassed part of an old airfield which had a poor surface and was not particularly interesting. The paddock left much to be desired of an International road racing circuit.
Our late arrival meant we had no opportunity to reconnoiter the circuit prior to practice which was further delayed by the need for us to deal with lengthy paperwork before the organisers would let me go out and then it started to rain which lasted for most of the early practice sessions. Not an encouraging start to the meeting!
Fitting front mudguards and changing rear sprockets time and again on my 125 and 250 Moto Parilla’s, all in the pouring rain, I was not at all surprised to find I could not get anywhere near the lap times of Heinz Rosner and the other MZ’s.
I would be starting well back on the grids for both the 125 and 250 races the following morning. There was nothing more we could now do to improve my positions so we packed up and returned to our hotel for a bath and in my case, an early night, whilst Vic went off with some of the other riders and mechanics to see the lights of the town.
As I half expected, things did not go well in the 125 race.After a good start, and now with more suitable gearing, I was making up quite a few places and getting some useful tows down the straights when I began to miss gears and the change mechanism just got stiffer and stiffer. Less than half way through the race I pulled into the pits and retired as I did not want to destroy the box! – It later turned out to be a bearing and oil seal on the gearbox output shaft which was gone and this was easily rectified.
The 125 race was won by Klaus Enderlein followed by Heinz Rosner and Jochen Leitern – all DDR riders mounted on MZs
Things improved in the 250 race when I got an even better start and this time, after being overtaken in the early laps by a dozen or more riders, I was able to fight my way back eventually taking 8th position.
Leaving Pistany with mixed results, we knew we were now off to the big one, Solitude for the West German Grand Prix and my very first World Championship meeting!