ROUND 2 - SNETTERTON - FRESHMAN 500
We arrived on Friday evening on the day of testing only to be greeted by horrendous wind and rain, which attempted to rip our gazebo away from us whilst setting up! Luckily, with the help from the guys next to us, we managed to get it anchored down for the weekend.
I was unable to make it for testing due to work commitments so the first time I got to go out on track was for a wet qualifying session first thing Saturday morning.
Qualifying didn’t quite go to plan. I came into Nelson corner on the first lap with a little too much lean angle and the front simply washed away from me. Luckily there wasn’t too much damage – a bent set of handlebars, a broken brake lever, slightly bent frame slider and a little bruised pride..!
I was pretty gutted as I was going to be starting 18th on the grid out of 24 riders, so wasn’t setting myself high hopes for the first race.
The first race of Saturday was a wet one, and I was almost relieved to be starting towards the back – I wasn’t feeling hugely confident on the bike after the first incident earlier that morning, and hadn’t been on the bike since round 1 at Brands Hatch the previous month.
Despite the slight lack of confidence, I got the old CB off the line at a good steady pace and got myself as far up the inside as I could before tipping it in for the first corner. Overall I got off to a good start. I got my head down and worked my way up the ranks, finishing 3rd overall, and 2nd in class.
Second race of the day I started 18th on the grid, but with a little more confidence and determination. Got off the line well despite the weather and back end trying to step out. Due to the weather, there were quite a few who didn’t finish, but I managed to keep myself together and pushed my way to the front, and took a first place to finish.
Ecstatic due to the poor start I had at the beginning of the day.
Sunday brought yet another rainy day, so decided to give the morning practice session a miss.
Due to where I had finished in the previous races on Saturday, I was now back up on the grid starting 2nd.
First race of the day I got off to a good start, partly due to #26 who started pole, however as he was having clutch issues which put me in the lead from the off.
I started to pull away from the pack, until #193 David McDonald crashed coming up to Montreal, right behind me, which resulted in his bike taking me out, putting us both out of the race.
We were both given a lift back in the ‘crash’ van to have damages assessed by the scrutineers.
Another set of bars went on, another brake lever, had a go at bending back my footpeg and rearset hanger, and a few other bits. After a bit of faffing and bashing I managed to get it back up to the scrutineers in time to have it checked off for the last race of the day.
Lined up on the grid for the last race on wet tyres, when I should have fitted the dry tyres and there was a clear dry line on the track now. But it was too late by then – I had committed to the wets.
Started well, but was quickly caught by a few of the riders behind me. Due to the majority of the other riders running on dry tyres (on a dry track they tend to be recommended…!!), they had a lot more grip coming into and coming out of corners. I could feel coming round Coram the front end slowly letting go, meaning all I could do was stand the bike up slightly and lean off the throttle.
Asides from being out on wets and having very little grip, even at the slightest lean angle, I was having trouble changing gear. It quickly dawned on me that I hadn’t tightened my footpeg up enough, and as it holds the gear change lever, the lever got jammed and I was stuck in third gear for the rest of the race, despite my efforts of trying to screw it on down the Bentley straight, I had to settle for 9th position.
Overall it was a good weekend and some good racing was had. I didn’t have quite as good a result as I did in the first round, but this was only to be expected.
A huge thank you must go to Bernadette and Stewart at ThundersportGB for making all this possible. All the marshals are hugely appreciated and respected, especially on a wet weekend like it was! And let’s not forget the photographers – namely Colin Hill and Colin Port for supplying us all with fantastic images.
A big, well-deserved thank you must also go to Rose my partner for putting up with me crashing and the rest of the rigmarole that goes with this racing lark, and also to Wemoto for all the sponsorship, help and support you provide.
Round 3 was at Cadwell Park on the weekend of 25.05.19. Expect another race report from David soon.
Live timing can be followed of each individual race at www.tsl-timing.com.
Footage can also be found of each race on the ThundersportGB website.
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