BSB Cadwell Park (21-23 Aug)

Leading up to Cadwell Park I'd done everything right, and I've never felt more confident coming into a race weekend. This would also be the first time working with Dave as my mechanic, who I'd met at Oulton Park a few weeks earlier. Added bonus would be my oldest friend Selene coming along to a BSB meeting for the first time. Needless to say, I could not wait!

 Great photo by  Janet's Photo Page

Great photo by Janet's Photo Page

Friday - FP
Ahead of the weekend I'd decided to try a different gearing and make quite a big change to the suspension, I was happy to feel both were an improvement straight away. However my parade was rained on fairly quickly, the pain in my arm was back and joined by a loss of strength. I went to see the BSB physio crew, they determined I had a pinched nerve, not an inflamed tendon.

Saturday - QP/Race 1
Qualifying went good, a little mistake on my last lap cost me 2 grid positions, but I massively improved my PR and was OK with 23rd position on the grid. Concerning was the amount of strength I lost in my left arm, the physio crew did what they could, but racing was going to be tough. I felt strong the first 2 laps, however the race was red flagged after a crash involving multiple riders. Straight from the restart my arm was weak, and changing direction got harder by the minute. Making matters worse, my pit board said there was a group of 3 other riders within .5-1 second behind me! I managed to hold them off for the full 8 laps, proudly finishing in 18th position.

 Race 1: closely followed by #22 Dave Mackay, #44 Alastair Fagan, #28 Ben Broadway. Photo by  Janet's Photo Page

Race 1: closely followed by #22 Dave Mackay, #44 Alastair Fagan, #28 Ben Broadway. Photo by Janet's Photo Page

Sunday - Race 2
My start was horrible, but I made it up on lap 1 and settled in behind Dave Mackay. At first he got away from me, as I had less strength in my arm than expected. I regrouped, closed the gap, and waited for Dave to make a mistake. He did so with 3 laps to go, I immediately took advantage and passed him going into turn 1. Now what?! I was exhausted, could hardly breathe (as it turns out I bruised several ribs overcompensating for my arm), and everything hurt. I decided to ride smart, keep a similar pace, and made sure to not show my hand in Dave's strong spots. Lucky for me the yellow flags were out in those exact spots on the last lap, making holding on to 16th position slightly easier.

Mixed feelings once again after this race weekend. We all had a lot of fun, and considering my injury I got the best possible outcome. 18th and 16th are my strongest finishes so far this season. For once though I'd like to achieve the best possible outcome period, not considering. If it's up to me, that will happen at my home round, Assen (18-20 September).

 Race 2: stalking #22 Dave Mackay. Photo by Ian Chamberlain

Race 2: stalking #22 Dave Mackay. Photo by Ian Chamberlain