Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The Season Finale


Well here we are, 6 months and 12+1 rounds later (if Angel Nieto doesn't use THAT number, neither do I!) and the season is over. After much hard work, stress, anger, frustration and money, we are at the end of another finally enjoyable season's racing.

Although the last round was cancelled due to the bad weather I felt my riding had improved and I was hoping to continue my run of point scoring rides. With a little bit of luck and some solid points at Top 10 finish in the Championship was possible.

Testing on Friday was a nice and relaxed affair and with little adjustments needed ran pretty smoothly although my times in the morning were slightly quicker than in the afternoon. Choosing to miss the last session of the day, the bike was readied for Saturday's racing.

Practice on Saturday was used to scrub in the new tyres and pads and after 3 laps I returned to the paddock. After finally scoring consistent points at the past two meetings I was now automatically seeded onto the grid in 11th place (12th in Championship) which theoretically made my starts easier. Unfortunately I made it a lot harder for myself by making a rubbish start as I struggled to keep the front end down. A bit of hard work later, coupled with some luck through the back markers, saw me finish 8th. The second race start was still poor by my standards although I did manage to wheelie the entire length of the start straight whilst keeping the throttle pinned! As the race settled down, I became involved in a battle for 7th place with two other riders, finishing 9th, covered by a second and a half.

Sunday's racing was greeted with glorious sunshine and set the scene for the final day's racing of the year. After a better start and race pace I was unable to match the times from Saturday but crossed the line in a lonely 7th place, 5 seconds adrift of 6th and 7 seconds in front of 8th. The last race turned out to be an absolute blinder! Possibly one of the most enjoyable and intense races I have had. A reasonable start saw me running near the front and I was soon trading places and very nearly paintwork! with one of my rivals. I was trying every move I knew and at one point was alongside him over the Mountain only to be nearly pushed onto the grass heading into Hall Bends. I finally pressured him into a mistake at the Chicane as we came upon a back marker and as he was forced to ride through, I took up the lead. Pushing as hard as I could to hold him off, the race was abruptly brought to a close following a nasty accident at the start of lap 9. With the race result classified from lap 7, I secured 6th place although it was somewhat soured when I learnt it was a good friend who was involved in the accident.

The lap times over the weekend were fractionally slower than my personal best, set in July this year, but the consistent points scored in all four races this enabled me to gain 10th place in the Championship.

I'd like to say a big THANKS to Big Ju & Claire, Igor & Nicola and my brother Stu & Claire for coming down to support me, it really was a fantastic end to the season.

See you all back on the grid next year.


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