At this time as I mentioned I was assisting Lluis and I was his minder during the Championship rounds and I was also helping Paxau back at his workshop with tests of the same bike that Lluis was riding, but I was never involved in the development of this bike in the workshop.
Paxau would say to me “Do you want to try this?” and I have many good memories of testing the Merlin. I remember that at one time we went to Valencia. The Merlin I was riding was the same as the bike of Lluis. There I had travelled also with Paxau and had the opportunity to try another exhaust system he had developed. I fitted this on my bike and it was something that Paxau had been developing. It made the bike so much nicer to ride.
The Torello workshops during the development of the Merlin and GasGas
Once it had been tested, it was then fitted to Lluis’s bike and he won the trial. It was a great moment. It was like our small family with Paxau, Gallach and myself. We had such a wonderful relationship together. We were not competitive with each other and nobody would be saying I am number one or I am better than you, there will be no arguing about who is the mechanic and whose job is this and whose job is that, none of this, we had the perfect relationship all over, it was a great time and I think of this time I had in trials and I remember thinking that I must study and that I would return back to trial one day afterwards and my parents will always be talking with me about concentrating on my studies, you see I was at school at this time and my parents explain things very clearly to me that if I didn't study, there would be problems for me in the future when starting at university.
Albert standing with Paxau outside of the Torello workshops , back in 1987
Albert Callis left with Paxau and Andreu Codina out testing the pre production Aire model
But immediately before taking one year off, in the time between uni and college, before studying economics, but really all I was doing is concentrating on the trials and spending all my time up in Torello, all of the time. I was being told at home that what I was doing was no good and I needed to put the bike away and start studying, you see I'm spending a lot of time at Paxau and I was testing the bike with Joseph and he used me for testing the bikes hard and he would test them softly. I would wake up every morning and immediately go down to the shop. I would be involved with testing the Merlin's and later on the Gas Gas.
From the same batch of photos. I'm taking a bet this is Albert's sister.
I would visit suppliers with Paxau and also visit the factories in Girona. We would test all the bikes and share our ideas. Pere was also testing the bikes and he was an incredible rider and would give great feedback. It was a good time at this point with you being paid. Later on I receive money from Gas Gas and also Paxau support me day by day. All of the development for Merlin happened at the workshop of Paxau and as a result I had no reason to go to the factory, later on, I got more involved with Paxau and the Gas Gas factory.
1988 GasGas Aire prototype testing by Andreu Codina with Albert using the 1987 Halley model as comparison.
I remember that one day Paxau arrived at my house near Torello, it was dark and at night time and you're welcome in my parents, he called me out to look in the back of his van and so I went out there with him and in the back of his van was a new bike that was not a Merlin. This was a blue and white bike and he tell me this is a Gas Gas and I say what's this man, and he say to me you need to keep this bike in your garage and I said really, yes and I said who is the owner and he said to me that all will be explained to you sometime in the future, about this bike we are just talking with a new brand at the moment, he said we're obviously happy with Merlin, at the moment things are going good but things may change and we always need to look to the future and we may be working on this bike here in the future sometime, so his bike was wheeled into my garage and it stayed there for I think 3 months.
The prototype that had been stored at Albert's house was the very same bike pictured below at the 1985 Barcelona Motorcycle show. The public and trade response to the prototype was very poor and there was no interest in this machine, which had been developed by GasGas founders Casas and Pibernat.
Later when I was speaking with Paxau, I found out more information about this bike, in fact what happened is that Piber and Narcis had spoken with Paxau and asked him to completely work all over the bike, there was nothing arranged at all between this new marque Gasgas and Paxau, so there was nothing to do, there was nothing agreed, so there would be no work happening on the bike, so I take the bike, I put in my garage and it stays there for 3 months, during this time me and Paxau are talking and we are saying and wondering what we were going to do with this bike because it was just getting dusty sitting in the my garage, we had considered taking the bike back to Girona, I'm taking you back to the owner's Pibernat and saying you can have your bike back but no this didn't happen, in fact the new Gas Gas was developed by Paxau and the prototype built by Piber and Narcis was not a relationship of this new bike, it had nothing to do with it, oh I took the prototype apart and disassembled it and I remember Paxau with disagreeing with everything to do with the bike and saying to me that we could not work on this bike and there was nothing to work with.
Paxau fabricating and also testing the new prototype GasGas.