NG Road Racing Pro-Bolt 600 & NG Road Racing Phoenix Open
Saturday - Pro-Bolt 600 - 15th, Phoenix Open - 9th
Sunday - Pro-Bolt 600 - 16th
I'd been looking forward to Cadwell Park, another hugely technical circuit like Oulton Park but with a massive contrast between the fast sweeping first half of the lap with the long straights, compared to the tight twisty second half with The Mountain and Hall Bends.
Saturday morning we woke to some good weather, and the forecast for the day was great. Warm Up went well, and after a few little tweaks and some gearing changes I headed out for the Pro-Bolt 600 qualifying race. I got a good start, and was sitting around 10th. There were a good few late entrants who had come from British Supersport and down, and so over the first few laps they made their way through the field. After the initial flurry of overtakes from the faster riders behind, I settled in to the very short 5 lap race and it was pretty quiet after that - I had to just concentrate on keeping the lap times up. I came back in 15th place which was a solid result.
Next up was the Open Qualifying. We had made another couple of little changes to setup and gearing and the bike felt good out on track. I got into a good rhythm and even managed to find some space on the long circuit. When the times all came in I had placed myself 14th - it was a smaller field but with all the big 1000's in the Open I was pretty pleased with that.
After lunch, we had the Pro-Bolt 600 Final. My 15th place grid slot allowed me to get a really good start, and I pulled it up into about 11th place. Over the course of the race I struggled to defend at the end of the straight, with my 2004 bike starting to seem a little sluggish! I very nearly clawed one back over the line, but couldn't quite get the drive I needed out of the last corner. I finished where I started, in 15th, which gained me a championship point, so all in all it was a good result.
Last race of the Saturday was the Open Final. I got a reasonable start, but very quickly got stuck in behind a slower rider who was on a 1000cc bike. This was very frustrating, as he always pulled away on the straights, which meant I was never close enough to get him on the brakes, but would catch him in the middle of the corners as my apex speed was much higher. After about 3 laps of this, he actually pulled into the pits which released me out to my proper lap times. I pulled away from the riders behind, but was far too far back from anyone on front. I had seen a couple of yellow flags as I had been circulating, but it was only when I saw the results sheet I realised what and eventful race everyone else must have had. Nearly half the entered field had either failed to start, or finish, and I had brought it home in 9th place!
Sunday the forecast was much less unsettled, and although I only had the Pro-Bolt 600 class we were still hoping we would get the Final race in before the forecasted thundery showers arrived! Warm Up in the morning was good, and I went out for the 600 Qualifying race. There were a few more in the class for the Sunday, and they all seemed to be fast BSB support class riders too! Again, after the initial flurry of faster riders coming from the back I had a pretty quiet race, and didn't really see anyone else for the rest of the race. I finished in 16th, which with the extra entrants on the day I was happy with.
Last up, and under some looming and foreboding looking clouds, we headed out for the Pro-Bolt 600 FInal. My start initially was pretty good, but through the first lap I couldn't keep my place in the pack. I managed to settle in to a slot with some riders behind pushing hard. I spent the whole race defending the position I had - which in itself can be really good fun! I had to be pretty ruthless a few times but I did hold the place, and came home in 17th.
The rain even managed to hold off until we had hurridley packed up - then the heavens opened!