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15th out of 46 starters. Quali: 4th. ~500 spectators
A race to forget, and no one else to blame but myself. Killed the engine at the start of race one and had to come from dead last on a track where it is very hard to pass anyone. Therefore, this made my day... qualifying was promising though, I was in first row for the race, which was quite important for the race, but that counts very little in the end...
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Race Prep

I still had to recover from the shoulder injury and I still had pain, but riding was not a problem. I just didn;t do any practice between the races to let it as much rest as possible. But of course this is at the expense of general fitness and riding in particular. Bike seemed ok after the last race, so not much to be done there.
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It was very cold on race day, but luckily dry. I started calmly to not burn to much energy and managed during qualifying to find two clean laps without any traffic. This seems to be key because traffic during qualifying is the biggest problem. You can't really get into a rhythm. It was very close and the first five riders were within 0.3sec. After that, there was quite a gap, so it promised to be a good day.
Quali result: 4th
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Race 1

First start, one of the youth riders jump started waaaay ahead of the lights, which caused many others to start as well, so the whole start was screwed up. So they stopped the race and ordered a re-start. And this is when all went wrong and no one else to blame but myself. I killed the engine!! The biggest risk then is that someone hits you from behind and I was really lucky that everyone got by without hitting me. What you can also see on an onboard video (see video section) is that someone from behind again produced a jump start waaay ahead of the lights and the moment the lights went off he was right next to me, which was of course very distracting. All in all, very good luck after very bad luck. Now I was last on a track where passing is very difficult to impossible. There was quite some turmoil in lap one and I passed the line after the first lap in 26th position. After lap 9 I was in 16th position, then it started to get harder to pass anyone because the speed difference was not enough anymore for clean passes. I picked up one more place in lap 12 and then was stuck and couldn't gain any more positions.
Race 1 result: 15th
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Race 2

The new rule this year to start from the position you end the first race in does not really benefit me this year... starting position 15 and even worse, in the middle of the grid where you are basically stuck. I came off the grid very well but my neighbor did some weird moves and I had to back up a little. Suddenly riders came from all sides and I ended up coming out of the first lap in 19th position ! Great... and even worse, I lost two more positions because I was too hesitant passing the slower guy in front of me and two riders took advantage of this and went by as well. So 21st after three laps... and again, I had a hard time passing anyone. Certainly no lack of trying, I went left right ad center, had to go off the track a few times to avoid crashes, but just couldn't pick up positions. Very frustrating. I was then running in 19th and finally benefitted from a little crash in the group in front of me, so finished 17th. On a day where podium was not at all out of reach... :-(
Race 2 result: 17th
Overall: 15th
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Next race

The next race will be in Joure in two weeks. Chance for a fresh start on a track that I don't like so much though...
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