Round 5 was soon upon us and it was at a track I’d never been to before; Mallory Park. Despite this I’d watched some various on board footage prior to the meeting and I was confident of good results after what I think was a break through at Cadwell Park last time out. On test day we used the morning to learn the track and the afternoon to up the pace and get a good set up. I was happy how the test day went, eventually breaking into the 54 second a lap time, which, for our first time there was a good effort by all of us. So going into qualifying I was confident of doing well! Unusually practice was held on the Thursday, with qualifying not until the Saturday, so the Friday was spent twiddling thumbs and counting down the minutes. Pretty dull if you ask me! Finally Saturday came around and it was time for qualifying. Qualifying The only issue we had was that we had no steering damper because it imploded on the test day, so I was riding a 160mph bike with no steering damper, interesting to say the least but a lot of fun! I was lapping consistently but not enough to put me into the top 10 like I was hoping; 15th is where I’d line up on the grid, 3rd in class wasn’t a bad place to start so I was optimistic!
Race 1 came around and I got a decent start for the first time this year! I made good progress in the early laps and I was running 10th (2nd in class) and on course for my first podium of the year before I made a mistake in the latter part of the race, out breaking myself and running on at Edwina’s chicane and losing 4 places in the process. I came back to finish 4th in class and 12th overall, but it was definitely a podium thrown away. The potential and the speed is there, so that’s the main thing!
Race 2 For race 2 we made some adjustments after going out in the warm up. I again got a decent start and made decent progress in the early laps, but I got caught up in battles with other riders and the lad in 3rd was pulling away in the process. I eventually caught him towards the end but it was too little too late, 4th in class and 14th overall and is where I finished. Onwards to the final race!
I decided to alter the setting slightly again for the last one, which made me put my best time of the weekend in; 54.12. I was chuffed with that! I got a dreadful start, dropping to 20th and having to work my way through the pack. After some battles early on, I got up to 13th and I was closing down the group ahead lap by lap who were about 6 seconds ahead, which around Mallory is a lot! By the last lap I had caught them, my plan was to pass the first rider at the chicane and then pass the rider in 11th at the hairpin and claim 3rd in class, but after moving into 4th in class I just lost drive slightly on the run to the hairpin and I wasn’t close enough to execute the move, so I missed out on the podium by 2 tenths! I was just 4 tenths of a second behind 2nd place, so it shows how close it was which was the story of the weekend really!
I was pleased with how I rode in the final 7 laps of the last race, I was quick and consistent and lapping a second a lap quicker than the 3 riders ahead, so if I can cut out the small mistakes at the next round at Rockingham we’ll be up there and bringing home silverware! A massive thanks to Craig at CMB Motorsport for maintaining and prepping the bike, Reactive Suspension, Harris Irwin Architects and Design, Elvington Park, York Digital Image, Smarter Paint, Blue Haze Engineering, Catton Village Motors and MPS Racing and finally my mum, dad, Ste and Claire for all their help and support!