ThundersportGB Formula 600
Race 1 - 12th
Race 2 - 12th
Race 3 - 10th
Championship Position - 6th
I was looking forward to Cadwell Park as a circuit I really enjoy, and also the first place this year where would be able to properly compare the new bike to last year's, in comparable conditions.
The first session out on track, in glorious sunshine that lasted all weekend, was Saturday qualifying. As I had not done the test day on the Friday, the first half of the session was just about getting settled, checking the setup wasn't too far out and preparing to put some decent lap times in towards the end. I had done all the settling in just fine, and was about to go for a proper flying lap when, at the hairpin, I ground the bike on one of the notoriously high Cadwell kerbs, and was sent sliding into the countryside. Not the qualifying session I had hoped for!
No major damage was done though, and after some new footpegs, and bit of covering scratches and removal of grass, I was ready for the first race - albeit near the back of the grid.
I didn't get a brilliant start in the first race, and was working hard to pass the riders ahead. I was fighting to get past one rider for a good chunk of the race, which was a massive 14 laps long! I finally made a pass stick on around lap 10, and immediately posted a faster time in the free track ahead. I worked hard to keep that new pace up, and although I had pulled away from the rider I had passed, I couldn't catch the next pack. Finished in 12th place, and quickly remembered just how physical Cadwell Park is - especially during that long race!
Sunday morning brought yet more sunshine, although this time with some quite strong winds. Morning warm-up went well, and I was trying to perfect the last corner, which I had not been happy with the day before.
For race 2 I got a much better start, and was dicing in a nice group hard from the start. There were many yellow flags out though, as riders fell, and then on lap 4, the Red Flag came out for someone whose bike had not made it off the track. At the restart, I got another flyer. Again, it was good hard racing all the way through, and once more I came back 12th.
We made some setup changes for race 3, the final one for the weekend. At this point we were 4.5 seconds a lap faster than my times at Cadwell Park last year, but I still needed to find some more pace. The changes made helped the bike through the tight twisty section of The Mountain and Hall Bends, and although I had to get used to the feel round the rest of the circuit it had improved the times. Another hard fought race to the checkered flag, and another 0.5 of a second gained - this time crossing the line in 10th place.
So, once again, a solid weekend with more points scored in every race. My consistency is paying dividends, and the championship position of 6th is a great place to be at this stage in the season. We are still making progress towards the front, and I can't wait to do it all again at Oulton Park on 21/22nd June
Don't forget to tune into MotorsTV on Thursday 6th June at 9pm!