Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012
The track was re-built 3 years ago by Will Evans and has pretty much every feature you could want in a 4x track which makes it very demanding for riders. With the forcast looking promising Saturday morning it was time for the team to head up for practice after signing on.
Coming into this double header I knew it wasn’t going to be easy after being out for just under 2 months injured.
Saturday practice went well and felt good coming into racing with good track speed. Finishing 3rd 2nd 1st in my moto’s would give me a good gate pick as we were heading straight into the semi’s . With a ok gate I came out in second coming into the third corner Will Evans went up the inside putting me on the floor which meant a spot in the B final. Out the gate getting tangled and blocked out after a bad gate left me in 3rd and just couldn’t make any moves meant 7th overall wanting more.
Sunday I started off with a 3rd 1st and a 2nd taking me straight to the semi’s again feeling good . The gate dropped and I had a poor gate leaving me trailing in 3rd into the first turn coming out right on Alex metcalfes wheel I was setting up for a move after the rock garden but unfortunately I had a blowout meaning I rolled the the line to take 4th and a trip to the B final . The gate dropped and again caught bars after another disappointing start leaving me in 4th but making 2 places up passing round the outside and trailing Tom Dowie over the pro line to take 6th overall. A disappointing weekend but not bad considering the time off and good to take into the European championships in Poland next week.
So my race weekend at southwest extreme, great fun and had some great individual races but never quite got the job done! Saturday i was having fun on the track not quite getting everything dialled in but was feeling good. My motos all seemed to go well winning all 3 out of 3! I was happy and my gates were going well and seemed to have some decent track speed. Was time for a bit of food, suncream (as I was burn’t) . I was walking to do my semi thinking i had plenty of time, suddenly I hear someone screaming my name! I realise my semi is up and waiting for me on the gate I have to run and get on the gate without even putting on my gloves on, Though somehow I managed to keep a cool head and win my semi , Sometimes .
The final comes around I’m set to race got first gate pick feeling strong. I got the snap, great first pedal stroke then boom, my left right foot comes right out of its cleat and I end up chasing the pack down the whole race which left me finishing 4th overall . Good day bad finish. Sunday I was feeling better on the track after practice and my legs are actually feeling okay!
Seems XC summer riding does make a fair difference . My first moto goes well just thinking about the race starting to walk up the hill notice my mate josh racing down in first he hits the first jump of the final straight over shoots and goes down very hard straight over the bars! It didn’t look good from my angle and it wasn’t broken collar bone and a fair bit of pain, though as usual he managed to put a positive spin on things…I quote ‘at least it’s not my right arm ey!’ haha, all my best wishes with him to recover fast and get back on it as he is a good mate. I end up having some good motos and one bad last one ending up getting 2 first and a third.
Come 2nd in my semi and then final comes around I ended up in lane 4 having to go all the way around on the first corner! Joe (mallinson) crashes on the second corner ( he’s okay now ) and I manage to get into 3rd. I then try a move on Jordan fermore on the last straight on the pro line, though end up hitting some soft stuff as I was trying to get past on the bit of the pro line that doesn’t usually get used and have to be happy with third again! Overall not a bad weekend, healing thoughts to josh, unlucking for joe mallinson for his back wheel pretty much falling off in the final. I have found some good motivation from this race . See you all in wales for the last round at Afan hopefully it stays dry!
My first win in the 2011 season was at SW Extreme, so I felt as if this was a strong track for me. With wide, flat, loose corners, and plenty of opportunities to overtake. I felt quick throughout practice following Nathan parsons and Dom Barden down the track. In my moto’s I had it quite easy coming 1st 2nd 1st . Semi-Finals: I got second gate pick, with Dom Barden getting first pick. But Dom was nowhere to be seen so I got first gate pick and choose gate 1. Dom got to the gate just as it was about to drop so he was in gate 4. The gate drops, all of the riders get a good snap out of the gate and we are all shoulder to shoulder leading into the first berm. Taking the inside I managed to get out of the first two corners unscathed and was not touched for the rest of the race. With a 1st and 2nd finish from me and Dom Barden.
A final: Getting a very good snap out the gate I was instantly into a joint lead going into the first corner with the points leader on the inside of me. The point’s leader just managed to squeeze through on the inside. I was in 2nd trying to find away round the points leader to try get in to 1st all the way to the finish line but then the rider in 3rd came out of nowhere and just managed to beat me to the line. Not a bad day with me finishing in 3rd . Sunday came feeling good throughout practice and hoping that in race I could climb a couple more positions at the end of the day to reach 1st.
Moto 1: I had a poor gate, but when entering the first corner I took the inside and somehow managing to pass the two riders that wear in front of me to get into 1st. I was not touched for the rest of the race and was looking forwards to the second moto.
Moto 2: Got a good gate and into the lead, not being challenge at all. I reach the final straight and went to pump down the landing of the first table top on the chicken line. I completely miss timed pumping down the landing and went over the bars and hitting the take off of the second table top stopping me instantly with all my weight on my left shoulder. I was winded and laid there until I could breathe again but my shoulder was still in pain. I brought my right hand to check my shoulder to see whether it was a graze but as I done this I realized that I had broken the same collar bone I did in the 2010 season.
I went off to A&E and turned out that I had to have surgery on my shoulder again. I’m hopefully going to be fit enough for Round 7 in Afan but won’t know until Afan draws closer.
I had a good race at South West Extreme last year which gave me good confidence coming into this race but did have the challenge to do the pro line which would give me a big advantage come race time. My weekend started of well as i was one of the first to do the pro line which realy boosted my confidence for racing.
On the saturday i finished 3rd and was confident for a better race on sunday as i knew i had more to give, but sunday didnt go to well for me as i had tough gate picks on all of my motos so i struggled to get good points and ended up in B final. i made the best of a bad situation and won the B final to finish 5th and end the weekend with two podiums finishes.
Looking good in practice on the Saturday he took a 7th with some back luck in his semi’s put him in the b final. Sunday was a better day with Cai flying all day leading out the A Final he got taken just after the final corner leaving him to finish with a impressive 2nd place overall
The Team are gutted about the bad news of Josh having to under go a second operation on his broken Collarbone after a big crash on the Sunday, All the best to a speedy recovery.
Another good weekend for the Team currently sitting in 3rd in the team points standings. With just one more race left coming from Afan the team will be training hard to finish the season on a high.
Photo Credits: Sheet media/Cranked media