Mallory 7 September 03

 

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Mallory 7 September 2003, Derby Phoenix

Go Star racers in attendance: were:

Well, the forecast was for rain and gales but we got Sunshine and light breeze at Mallory Park on Sunday. Perfect weather.

Went into this penultimate round 19 points adrift from 1st but some 40 points clear of third in my championship. I needed the guy in 1st to zero score in both races and that would bring us right together.

Anyway, 1st race was my allcomers qualifier and 1 was 13th on the grid and on the outside of the track. That was a pain because I like the inside line into Gerards. Anyway, I made my worst start I've ever done this year - I got too giddy with the throttle and up she rose like a salmon, followed by a crunching sound as I shut the throttle and down it came. By that stage every man, dog, and zimmer frame came past me and I went into Gerards in 25th, 7th from last, and on the outside of the track. That was it, red mist time, and by the time I exited Gerards I was in 18th, followed by 15th going into the new section Edwinas (got 'em on the brakes going in). After that I just got my head down and worked my way up to finish 9th which wasn't bad given the start but should have been a lot better. On the plus side though I proved to myself that good finishes are possible even if you do start at the back of the grid, and it did wonders for my overtaking.

Next race was my first steel frame race - the important one. Again I was 13th on the grid and Pete Charnock, alias "Sneaky" and 1st place in the novice championship, was 16th. This time I got a reasonable start - 9th coming out of Gerards but only 2nd novice. Edwinas saw me take 8th and the hairpin saw me take 7th from the novice in front of me. Bit of a cheeky overtake and he had to sit up but I wanted that position. The next 3 laps saw me catching the guys in 5th and 6th, as well as a heart stopping moment when midway through Gerards the rear brake lever touched down, dug in, lifted the back wheel, and pushed it sideways. All at about 110 mph. Not something I want to do again in a hurry. Finally on lap 5 I went past both 5th and 6th place in one overtake going into Edwinas. I'd like to say it was a planned attack but it wasn't. The guy in 6th was trying to outbrake 5th place and I just got sucked into them and before I knew it I'd sailed in between both of them on the brakes and managed to pull it arround for Edwinas. To say it surprised both of them was an understatement.

Anyway, that's where I finished in 5th place and 1st novice, so 2 points back from Sneaky.

Then in the afternoon it started to go down hill. My second steel frame race was next and I was 5th on the grid but got an ok start - I was in 6th coming out of Gerards but then disaster struck on lap 2 when Sneaky outbraked me going into Gerards to take 1st Novice away from me. I was gutted because nobody has outbraked me before into Gerards and I think I had just eased off a little earlier than normal and past he came. He then also put another guy in between me and him which I got past on the next lap and then I tried my best to catch him. However, he'd pull away from me coming onto the start finish straight - I was getting tired and screwing up the drive on the straight which really annoyed me as I'd been getting the Devils Elbow spot on in the morning but come the afternoon it all fell apart. Still I'd then chase him down and by the hairpin I was able to catch right up to him but this involved me braking much later than normal, back end snaking all over the place, and more than once I didn't think I'd stop. I'd get past him going in but he had the inside line and me the outside so by the time I'd got the bike turned he had just managed to get back in front going into the bus stop. For the next 3 laps that's what happened and I just couldn't get passed him and so that's how we finished, him in 5th and me in 6th. Despite not winning the race I did seal 2nd place in the championship - I'm now 44 points clear of 3rd place with only a maximum of 40 left on the table.

My final race was the Allcomers B final - I hadn't made the A final because at Mallory the grids are smaller so they run an A, B, C and D final (normally it is just the A,B and C final), but I had qualified 2nd on the grid. Unfortunately it was now 5.50pm and I was totally spent. My start was terrible and my riding was even worse. To make matters worse I outbraked myself into Edwinas and had to go straight on up the slip road (what's worse is that my braking wasn't any later before but I'd just lost all my concentration). So I think I finished in 12th.

Strangely I felt frustrated with this weekend even though I got my best finish ever and infact both 6th and 5th beat my previous best, I also knocked a second off my lap times, as well as actually being in touch with the fast boys in my class. I even got commentated on for my demon late braking and how much progress I've made through the year. Yet, I was hacked off that my riding deteriorated in the afternoon, but I think more so that I let my 1st place novice position slip through my fingers in the second race. And if I'm honest I thought I might actually be in with a shout for 3rd place as I didn't have to fight through traffic to get to the quick guys. Daft really because this weekend was the best ever but now I just want to win.

Anyway, next stop is in 3 weeks at Snetterton for the final round. A betting man would say that Pete should stay in 1st - he's 19 points clear so can afford to "cruise" around. However, he could have a nightmare of a meeting and so bring me back into play. We shall see - it's not over until the fat lady sings.

 

Race Report

Snetterton 12-14 August 05
Brands Hatch  16-17 05
Pembrey 24-26 June 05
Croix en Ternois 11-12 June 05
Brands 30 April & 1 May 05
Lydden Hill 2-3 April 05
Snetterton 12-13 March 05
Brands GP 29-30 June 04
Lydden 15-16 May 04
Cadwell Park 17-18 April 04
Croft 3 April 04
Brands Hatch 5,6,7 March 04
Snetterton 27,28 September 03
Mallory 7 September 03
Snetterton 30-31 August 03
Cadwell Park 9 August 30
Cadwell Park 26-27 July 03
Croix en Ternois 13-12 July 03
Mallory Park 6 July 03
Mallory Park 26 May 03
Brands Hatch 24-26 May 03
Snetterton 3,4,5 May 03
Lydden Hill 4,5,6 April 03
Snetterton 29 March 03
Croft 28-30 March 03
Snetterton 22 March 03
Brands Hatch 8-9 March 03

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