Monday, 30 August 2010

Oulton Park Round 11

Following the disappointment of Cadwell, Phil was hoping to make a better display at Outlon Park for Round 9 of the Championship. A few ideas had been suggested to improve ‘the feel’ of the Suzuki and he’d also had the forks serviced.

With the long and difficult nature of the Cheshire Circuit – and that fact that Phil only usually rides here once a year! – he used the test day on Friday to get accustomed to the track.

Oulton is only a one day meeting and so there would only be two races to contend. Saturday was a bit of a gamble regarding tyres as overnight the weather had taken a turn for the worse and heavy rain had drenched the circuit. Practice was a pleasant – if wet! – change and Phil went out on wets for only the second time this year. Without pushing too hard he was ninth overall on the timing sheets, though they count for little as the grid is decided for the first race on Championship positions.

By the time Race 1 was being called the weather was drying rapidly and Phil chose a slick rear and intermediate front (although in hindsight he could have used a full slick set up). Getting a fantastic start he very nearly got the holeshot into Old Hall and lifting slightly, settled into third place. Pushed back a few places as they charged down towards Cascades, Phil was soon battling for position though it was soon apparent that some of the other riders had not made the correct tyre choice. All seemed to be going well until the final two laps when Phil was pushed back a couple of places and was then mugged on the final lap to finish 12th (though this was actually 10th as two Thunderbikes were in front of him in the results).

By the time the riders assembled for Race 2, the weather had improved considerably with sunshine showing through the clouds. Not the best start made Phil’s work a little harder and although he felt quicker, the timing sheets showed a different story. Battling just outside the top 10 he became embroiled in a four-way dice for the final points. Lining up a rival on the final lap his race was very nearly over when the rival suddenly slowed as they flicked through Foulston’s Chicane and Phil had to all but stop to avoid him. Unfortunately, the rider behind Phil didn’t and slammed into the back of him, knocking his foot off the peg, damaging the seat unit and leaving rubber all down the side of the bike. Quickly trying to recover he managed to get going and was unlucky to finish 15th (13th in class). Back in the paddock, Phil saw how lucky he was as the rider behind has smashed his front wheel in the impact!

As with the previous meeting, Phil took the positives and whilst not the best results he had had scored points, keeping him sixth in the Championship.

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