Monday, 18 June 2007

Peterborough Nationals Rounds 3 & 4

You can read my race report from the event and check out some pictures here:

I thought the track coped well with the rain. From Tuesday night in Sheffield until the time I left for Peterborough it'd rained solidly, and it continued to rain the further South I went. Once I got toward Stamford it cleared and I couldn't believe my eyes, it was like a whole different weather system! I arrived at the track and got my bike out and had a few laps as it was getting dark, the track felt good and my legs felt strong as i hadn't really ridden since Tuesday nights gate session at Mansfield.

Friday night I stayed at Lauren's and we just had some food and hit the sack, it was going to be an intense weekend of racing!

Saturday morning we woke to clear skies, we headed to the track after breakfast and hung out with a few people before our practise session. Practise went well, i didn't feel like i needed much practise on the track, so i took it steady and just got a bit rad on the big doubles sending them as high as i could.. For the fans, like.

We had a little wait until our gate session, and in that time we had several heavy bursts of rain, the track seemed to be holding up and the work crew were doing a great job of getting the water off the track as quickly as it came down. The main issue was the concrete pad on the start hill, basically its a really old, really flat piece of smooth concrete, so any sort of power transmittal resulted in a wheel spin, i went for it on gate 1 as i have had a bit of practise on their gate and as my weight went forward and I snapped my wheel just span, i catapulted forward hanging over the front of my bike, I have no idea how I stayed upright!

The pro guys were stressing, but i just changed my tact, rather than throwing my weight completely forward i just tried to keep back until my back wheel went over the mesh, this seemed to work okay and i managed to stick with that for the weekend. It was rubbish having to change my gate on race day, but i couldn't risk wheel spinning in a race, one mistake in 19+ is enough to see you hit the showers early.

Motos came about and i managed to get 4 2 3 i think, there was some tight racing, but for me the highlight of my motos was smashing Hibbert in turn 2 then running him up and over turn 3.. I was stoked. John can pull, but he leaves himself wide open, and hasn't the greatest amount of skill on a bike, so through being smooth and relaxed I managed to catch him on the remaining straights. He did seem to open it up in the semi later on and in the final but Scott Waterhouse pulled him down the final straight for the win. I placed 6th in the main after getting caught in the pack, then caught up with Tuffy and his crash. It looked pretty bad, but he was up and about straight away.

So i had made the main, albeit a 6th wasn't great i did feel good to be in there. It moved me from the dismal 18th after Cheddar to a more fetching 11th.. I'd like a top 10 finish this year and i'm ceratin i can do that.

Sunday we were blessed with good weather, the track was a little soft and draggy in places but it was drying up by the minute. The club did an awesome job of getting the track safe for racing.

I had similar motos from the day before all of which were pretty stacked i managed a 3 2 5 which gave me a safe 10 points so i was into the semi. My semi looked to be the better of the 2, but i still had Graham Strickland, Andy Shaw, Ben Godfrey, Andy Little, Bromfield, Andrews and Roberts, so still pretty stacked!

I got a great gate and felt good down the first straight i was in 3rd going into and coming out of turn 1, i hit the new step up right on the left and it pinged me up and to flat - Damnit! I tried to pedal and boosted the big doubles, I just went up & up! Andy Shaw and Scott passed me, but I passed Scott again and dived into the last turn right for Andy, I hit him shoulder to shoulder but he saw it coming we tangled and basically drag raced down the final straight, Andy got the 4th spot and was in to the main.. I'm stoked i rode it to the wire and gave it my all, but after making the main on Saturday i was pretty pissed. At least it wasn't Hibbert though! ha.

Below is Andy and I coming to blows, I'm number 6.

In the B final i felt the squeeze between waterhouse (the previous days winner) and Andrews another day 1 main maker, so i got boxed out for 3rd, i rode my best lap of the day smoothing everything and managed to finish in 3rd, so i was reasonably happy.

The highlight for me was seeing Hibbert get put over the final turn in the main by Ben Godfrey - it was textbook! haha. Callum won day 2, and a deserved win it was too.

Lauren did great too perfecting both days with wins across the board - this puts her into the number 1 position in the national rankings - Awesome! You made it look easy!

I felt pretty good about my racing, although I know in myself that I have a lot more to give.. I just best find out how to give it before the season is over again!

The van has been approved for repair too - so I should have that back next week, which is awesome news and a massive relief - The Vito lives on! :)

T'ra! x

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