Well, we were all in Mildura for the Aussie U21 and U16 titles at the weekend, and golly, it was hot!
So hot that the promotion had to have a serious discussion with the local Health & Safety do-gooders to get their permission to even run the meetings!
It was indeed toasty – the thermometer in my car claimed 48C – but in the event, it was all systems go.
Look out for U21 winner Jaimon Lidsey in future – as well as a lad called Keynan Rew from up in Queensland who has now cleaned up the U16 titles at both 125cc and 250cc over the past two years. We’ll be hearing their names again, I’m sure.
Runner-up in the U21 was a dark horse, a former moto-x rider called Kye Thompson, who has been guided over his short career by someone we know pretty well – a lad called Nick Morris. Note the name.
Watching with me in the heat was our skipper Kevin, who has been on a quickie trip home (by now should be back in Britain, shivering with the rest of you) and it was gratifying to me to recognise the prestige he is held in, here in his homeland.
Maybe some of us are too close to things at Shielfield to realise how much Kev contributes to the Bandits’ cause, off the track as well as on board his bike – although our riders and management are well aware of how much he means to the club -- but he’s certainly a well-respected senior citizen among his ain folk!
When everyone had piled into the Mildura club-rooms after the racing on Saturday – a bit like the Black & Gold, but with a barbecue – the local version of Steve Hayward was on the mike, handing out the prizes when he realised Kevin was ‘in de house’ and welcomed him back to Mildura.
There was a collective ‘ooooh’ from the folk, and a sort of surge over to talk to our captain. Not just from the fans, either – past rivals such as Jason Lyons, Shane Bowes, Cameron Woodward and Shane Parker were jostling for a word or two as well.
Which was good to witness. Because he’s ours! Kevin Doolan is the carbonation in our champagne, the vitamen D in our sunshine and the back-beat to our rock’n’roll.
Berwick would be a poorer place without his ready smile and sunny disposition, and our team would be a lesser line-up if he wasn’t the leader of the pack.
Want to disagree with Dick (as so many do?). He is always happy to hear from interesting people at email@example.com