With two rounds of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000cc Championship now complete, the weather continues to conspire against class newcomer Nadieh Schoots as she continues to get used to the ILR Kawasaki ZX-10R but the Dutch girl continues to make solid progress and only bad luck has prevented her from taking her first finish.
The inclement weather that dogged the first round at Silverstone continued at Oulton Park over the Bank Holiday weekend with the Cheshire venue seeing wind, rain, sun and sleet at various times over the three days but it was the rain that occurred the most and, indeed, only the first qualifying session late on Saturday afternoon was held in dry weather.
For Nadieh, this was the last thing she wanted as she was desperate for a dry weekend throughout in order to maximise her time on the bike and get in as many laps as possible. She wasn’t alone though and no less than 24 riders failed to set a competitive time in the opening (wet) free practice session.
Having lost that session, suddenly Nadieh and the team were heading into first qualifying and, unfortunately, she found herself just one place outside the 40th qualifying spot, the maximum number of riders allowed to start. In time, this was just one tenth of a second which meant she went into Monday as first reserve.
The morning warm-up saw her set her fastest lap of the entire three days, clear indication of the progress she was making, and lapped six tenths of a second quicker than her qualifying time. Ironically, this lap would have seen her comfortably qualify for the 15-lap race. As it was though, all riders that had qualified were able to take their place on the starting grid and Nadieh will have to wait until round three at Brands Hatch for a change in fortune.
Nadieh Schoots: “It’s been another frustrating weekend for me and the team as the British weather continues to work against us. Every session here at Oulton saw different weather and as I’m still learning the bike, the short, 20-minute sessions aren’t enough time for me to feel comfortable and push as hard as I need to. Each time I went out, I was able to improve my times but we simply need some dry track time to get some good laps under our belt and for me to get a good feel for the Kawasaki.”
“It’s disappointing not to have got the chance to race but the positives are that I am making progress and I know with a completely dry weekend, I’d be able to improve at a lot faster rate. Here at Oulton, I closed the gap to the leading riders in each session and my time in morning warm-up would have seen me qualify. With good weather and a dry track, I feel confident that I could be doing those kinds of times in free practice so by the time second qualifying comes around I’d be in a lot better position. The weather – and our luck – can only improve so fingers crossed Brands Hatch is the turning point and the real start of or season.”
Press release courtesy of Cartersport