Neil Lloyd signs off summer spell on a high note
Five top 10 finishes was a superb way for Neil Lloyd to end his summer of successful racing on the roads.
The Wednesbury racer has travelled all over the UK this year to compete on his trusted Honda and also on classic machinery for the first time.
Having been plagued by breakdowns, blow ups and engine failures, Lloyd was happy to sign off Aberdare Road Racing in Wales, over the July 21-22 weekend, with five solid performances on his trusted Honda 400 RVF in the Golden Era Class.
But the classic bikes – which are renowned for being temperamental for obvious reasons when ridden at race pace – once again caused the 48-year-old more headaches as he was forced to withdraw after completing just one race.
"We had a good weekend at Aberdare on the RVF," said Lloyd.
"Out of four races, we finished 10th, ninth and had two eighth-placed finishes after starting 11th on the grid.
"With the stock motor fitted, we also finished ninth from 11th on the grid in the Welsh Classic races.
"But our classic bike developed a serious misfire, which put us out of the rest of the classic races."
Lloyd said the meeting had been well organised and run, and he was already looking forward to returning next year.
The road racer had also made a successful debut at the Southern 100 races on the Isle of Man in early July – proudly returning with a plaque for his efforts during a week that was tinged with sadness following the death of 26-year-old up-and-coming star, James Cowton.
"We went out to the Southern with our new race engine fitted to the RVF and were feeling pretty confident," he said.
"Monday night saw our first timed practice and the bike felt strong for two laps – but then broke down.
"We spent most of that night swapping the engine back to our standard engine.
"Luckily, the second lap time got me into the race. I still went into it on a bit of a downer but got a decent finish of 15th."
Lloyd's second race was a repeat of his first but he kept improving his lap times and enjoyed some close racing around the 4.25-mile Billown circuit, in Castletown.
"I enjoyed the racing and got a finisher's plaque," said Lloyd.
"A big thanks to Sam Lloyd, Dave Speake and our sponsors for helping to make this happen."
Lloyd had hoped to enter the Killalane road races in Northern Ireland later this year but said those plans had been put on hold because of the amount of work – and cost – needed to get all his bikes race ready again.
"We're hoping to make the Stars of Darley Moor round in October and possibly the endurance race held at Jurby, on the Isle of Man, also in October," he said.