Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Snetterton Report Rounds 5&6

After 10 days - and late nights! - of frantic repair work Phil managed to finish the damaged Suzuki at 6pm on the Thursday.......and promptly left at 7pm for Snetterton!! The test day on the Friday was used as a shakedown and Phil was pleased with the way the bike was working. After a thorough check the bike was prepared and readied for Saturday's racing.

Getting a good a start in Race one, Phil got away with the leaders, before being relegated to 5th by a quicker rider sweeping past. Setting a reasonable race pace he made steady progress, until one of of the leaders -a superstock guest rider - made a mistake on the last lap and sat up abruptly exiting Russells Chicane forcing Phil to ride over the rumble strip, narrowly avoiding him. This elevated him to fourth.

Getting another great start from the front row in race two there was a close call into the first corner as a rival clipped his boot as he passed round the outside. Phil managed to stay on in fifth, hanging onto the back of fourth place. He settled into a rhythm and enjoyed passing and re-passing fourth place. On the penultimate lap the superstock rider again made a mistake, out braking himself into the Esses and Phil was elevated to third place. Making a conscious effort for a clean, smooth, fast lap, Phil caught the backmarkers on the final part of the circuit and got through well, covering his line into Russell's Chicane, sweeping between two more backmarkers up the start/finish straight. Powering over the line he narrowly beat fourth place and claimed a fantastic THIRD and Phil's first trophy for 2010. After the problems at Cadwell this was quite an emotional moment. The team were all very, very happy.

Due to plenty of time remaining at the end of all the regular races the club decided to run an extra Championship race. Phil got a reasonable start but the quicker, lead group of riders got away. Phil soon became part of a battle for 4th through to 6th place. He had just started to close the gap on the final lap hoping to put a move in, only to be thwarted by backmarkers through the Esses and the Bomb Hole. Although disappointed with the outcome the useful pit signals meant Phil was able to pass the backmarkers without worrying over his position, finishing in 6th place.

Sunday's races were increased to 15 laps (from 10 on the Saturday). With this in mind Phil fitted new tyres and also brake pads following practice and the 3 races on Saturday. With no practice on the Sunday Phil had to 'scrub' the tyres on the sighting lap. Wary of the fresh rubber and new pads and also the slightly cooler temperature due to the earlier race time, Phil got a poor start by his usual standards and struggled to settle into a rhythm. This allowed the pack behind him to close and attempt passes only for them to run wide and allow him to move back underneath. Clearly struggling, Phil was becoming increasingly frustrated with each lap. A rival made a move exiting the Bomb Hole only to slide off as he changed direction at Russell’s and Phil was very lucky to miss both rider and machine. This only added to Phil's frustrations and to make matters worse on the next lap he narrowly avoided yet another back marker on the very fast entrance to the Esses forcing Phil to sit up and shoot up the slip road at high speed. This effectively ruined any repeat of the earlier results and a disappointed Phil brought the Suzuki home in 11th place.

After a chill out and a severe talking to from the Team Phil lined up for the final race eager to make amends. A slight delay due to oil from the previous Sidecar race along the Start/Finish straight didn’t help and as a precaution (and also to clear the cement dust) the riders were given two sighting laps. A great start got him amongst the leading group and at the end of the 1st lap Phil was in 5th place. Feeling much more relaxed he slowly began to close the gap on the two riders in front and could see a number of places he was stronger than his nearest rival. On the final lap he seized his chance and easily passed him on the brakes into the Esses. Driving hard through Coram he darted past a backmarker and covered his line into the chicane and sped over the line in 4th place.

The fantastic results had taken Phil from 8th to 5th in the Championship.

Phil would like to say a MASSIVE thanks to his girlfriend and Charlie for all their help repairing the bike following Cadwell, put simply it wouldn’t have happened without you! Big Ju, Claire and John for coming along to help and support and Chez for the help with the arm pump! Also Jono at Sprint and Amanda and Steve at KBC for their assistance yet again.


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