of 73 starters. Quali: 8th. ~1,000 spectators
The weekend started with constantly watching the weather. Rain, no rain; wet or dry...? On race day, there was some rain and then constant drizzling. Eventful first race with a minor crash of me in lap one and then quite an impressive ride through the field to finish 8th! Second race was more "normal" and I had a good ride to 6th position, which meant 6th overall. Very good result for me there!
|There was not much to do after last week's race, bike was still in good condition, so only minor maintenance and preparing. The weekend started with constantly watching the weather. Rain, no rain; wet or dry...? On race day, there was some rain and then constant drizzling. They changed the time schedule, my class was always up first. Problem is that you are missing the reference when to go to the pre-start. Good thing is you are done as first as well ;-)|
|Big decision was on what tires to go out. I had slicks on front and
rear wheels. It was already risky and then just ten minutes before the
start of the qualifying, the drizzling picked up a little more. It's a
bit of a hassle to change front tires for me because I have to take the
one brake block off and later on secure it again with wire... but I
made it with some help from a fellow rider. In the pre-start, I
realized that not many chose a slick tire on the rear. In fact, only a
handful. Makes you wonder if you take too much risk and the first
laps concerned me. The offroad worked well, but the exit to the
asphalt was very dirty, fully covered with dirt. To my syrprise, I
could control the acceleration of of this very well, with long drifts.
The following left corner was more tricky because it led into a long
straight, so every fraction of a second you accelerate full throttle
later costs. All in all it went well and it did not rain more. So my
slick tire worked better towards the end and I posted my fastest time
in my last lap really. 6th in my group, 8th overall.
Quali result: 8th
|Same as in qualifying - what tire to use? Again, I chose the slick
tire. Temperature dropped quite a bit since qualifying, which makes it
harder to get the slick to work. And we had to wait a while in the
pre-start. I was the only (!) one of the top group who chose the slick
tire on the back and even the rest of the field, I think there was
maybe one other rider with a slick tire (maybe he didn't have a rain
tire with him...). Makes you wonder right there... ;-)
I used the warm-up lap fully to get the tire up to temperature and also did a little burn out on the grid to heat it up. My start was good, tangled my way through the field and I believe I was in 6th or 7th position, directly behind maybe Joshua Das, not 100% sure. First lap is obviously always tight racing and half way through the first lap there is a fast chicane that led to a longer straight with a tight corner towards the offroad section.
At the exit of this chicane when you hit third gear full throttle to the long straight, the giy in front of me touched the hay balls at the exit and got thrown back on the track and off his bike directky in front of me! I immediately braked as much as I could, but already had much more speed. So a spinning bike and sliding rider in front of you, 30+ riders in your back on the straight and all you try is to avoid the bike and the rider. I managed to get by both, touching the bike only slightly and then hit the gas immediately after. By the time, I must have lost 10 positions easily. Now I made a little mistake on my side on the very next corner. Everyone was braking a little early and I knew that I'm much better on the brake than any of these that just passed me. So I planned to gain two or three positions right after the incident before going into the offroad. Didn;t look too bad, but some riders got stuck in this tight corner, even to a quick full stop, and I was just a little too late on the brake... touched another guy and then eventually lost my front end and went down... I kept the bike running and picked it up very quickly. Nevertheless, I was roughly in 25th position when going into the offroad. First corner in the offroad, someone rode into my side, hitting my leg quite a bit, but other then some bruises, nothing happened luckily.
Now the race was on. Sometimes you can feek exhausted after such events, but I felt energized because already in the offroad and then the asphalt section leading out of the first lap, I gained several positions. After the first lap, I was in 19th position and had the next ones right in front of me. It was so much fun picking one after the other up at totally different places on the track! In lap two, I went up to 13th position already. Then I had to close a little gap and in lap five, I moved up to 11th position., in lap six to 10th. In lap eight, I picked up 9th position, now directly behind Marco Jansen someone who is also doing well in the championship (in fact sixth) and another guy. Olaf Harmsen running in 6th position did a mistake one lap before the end and we all got by him. I couldn't do another move and settled with 6th position, although I was directly at them. Of course you also get tired towards the end after such a race.
So after all great race action, of course not with the best result, but what's equally important, it was the most fun race of the year so far!! And my lap times were also quite good. Oh, and my slick tire worked really well
Race 1 result: 8th
|Drizzling got just a bit stronger before race two. So I finally decided to also put a rain tire on the back - peace of mind ;-)
Again a very good start on my side, but a guy in the first row of the grid in my line didn't get off well and I got stuck a little but because of this. WIth some elbow action and "persuasive" action, I managed to be in 8th position after the first lap. No crashes and such this time ;-) I had Jeroen van Unen in front of and Marco Jansen behind me. In lap three, I made a pass between two corners in the asphalt section and misjudged my braking point terribly. At that corner, there was no real extra space if you miss it other than a steel gate, but I managed to make the corner and did not get passed back. Often, your opponent can cut behind you, but he didn't manage to do so. So I lost some lap time, but gained the position, now chasing Olaf Harmsen. In lap four, I posted my fastest lap time, reducing the gap to him. I did not lose sight of them but could not really come much closer. Then in lap nine, Irmantas in 5th position crashed in the offroad and Olaf got by him, but I couldn't. Now we were all close together and started to run into lappers. Olaf killed his engine in the offroad section of the following lap and we bith got by him! Therfore I was running in 6th position in lap ten, chasing Irmantas for 5th. I was a little bit unlucky with getting by lappers and he also was doing good lap times, so in the end there were no more changes and I finished 6th, which also meant 6th in the daily ranking!
Race 2 result: 6th
|Next race is in Hellendoorn already next week, on 13 May. I
withdrew last year due to horrible wet conditions. So, my first race on
this track. Quite sandy offroad, cannot imagine that this will be one of my favorite tracks...