On pole for the very first time but next to Morrie Lowe on his TSS Bultaco, I knew there would be a desperate sprint when the flag dropped to sign post corner and the climb up the mountain. In some ways, I felt the pole position was the wrong end of the starting line in that immediately after the start the circuit followed the coast road through a series of fast left hand curves for about 1 km to sign post corner. This meant that I had to ride on the outside of these curves for some time before arriving at the hairpin, this did not worry me too much as I knew I had no chance of out accelerating Morrie to the hairpin whichever end of the starting line I was on!
As anticipated, although initially marginally ahead of the pack at the start for a 100m’s or so, Morrie came through on the inside of me and then crossed ahead to take the inside line for the approaching hairpin, so that I could not squeeze back up the inside of him as we braked hard for the bend. I was more than happy with this position and was expecting a tow from Morrie up the mountain when suddenly whilst still braking for the hairpin, a rider (on a Benelli I think)? shot through between us completely out of control and very nearly took me out. Touching fairings he shot forward in the direction of Trieste hitting the temporary barrier head on with him and his bike then bouncing back onto the track for what appeared to me at the time, as having another go at taking me out!
By the time I had recovered and ridden around the fallen rider and his machine, a dozen or so riders had passed and were well on their way up the mountain. So much for my pole position!
Fortunately, without any damage to myself or my bike, I continued as best I could and by the penultimate lap had climbed back to 3rd position. Then I overdid things coming down the mountain under very heavy braking for the final hairpin I overshot the bend but fortunately found a gap between the straw bales leading on to a slip road. Turning the bike around I was soon back on the track and quite relieved to take 5th place after all the excitement of that race!
Arriving back at the paddock I was greeted by Morrie with a big grin on his face, he had not only won the race but had, out of the corner of his eye, seen most of the incident at the first hairpin. “did you hit him he asked”? when I had explained how I had succeeded in avoiding the fallen rider and his bike he told me that I had been lucky as the unfortunate rider had already been taken off to hospital with a suspected broken leg and collar bone. The track Marshals suspected that the throttle on his bike had stuck wide open which could well explain why he went past at such speed with both brakes hard on! Morrie was followed home by the Czech rider Milan Chaluphik (Jawa) and Les Allan (Bultaco ?)