We managed to get ourselves in trackside at Peckham using the very much maligned booking system. It worked for us though and we were treated to an awesome first straight view of the racing all weekend and it was well worth getting up early to get the booking in as the racing was OFF THE HOOK!!
It had seemed like an age since Scotland when we had last had the full team together. In fact, this was the first time we had the team together all year as Syd was back in the fold and getting back into things with his first national race of the year. He was throwing down all over the track and as he was the only one in his class on flats, technically his 5th in the quarter was a moral victory. Whatever, it was good to see him back out there styling.
They say all good things come to those who wait….well Christian White has been waiting very patiently and he was made to wait a little bit longer after getting himself B finalled on Saturday after blowing the gate in the semi. He won the B, but wasn’t chuffed with himself and came out firing on Sunday winning two out of three motos and breezing into the semis. He was well on the pace in the semi and took his spot in the A final with a strong 2nd place. With fourth pick, you would have expected to have seen him somewhere near the inside but he was a man with a plan and took his place on the gate in number 8!! Beeps went, lights flashed and when the gate dropped he was out and coming over, not hard, but enough to get the line into the first berm and he was ahead. His second straight wasn’t the best, and Saturday’s winner Finlay Mead closed him down. Into the second berm, Mead got too close and the two clashed sending Mead flying off sideways and leaving our man clear of the pack and he romped home to his first national win. Remember, this is his first full season of nationals…..HOLDTIGHT!!
Next on the gate was Maddie Owen-Matthews in the 15-16 girls. After taking the wins in Scotland, she was on top of the national points and was not ready to give up on her spot just yet. She breezed into the mains both days with a couple of moto wins and set herself up with the best run in off the gate from the pick she had. Coming out of the middle on Saturday she couldn’t quite get over and ended up having to go the loooong way round the first berm to challenge for the front. As they filtered through she had found herself in 3rd and flowed the rest of the track to the line. On Sunday, she was gifted gate one which seemed like a special treat. Her gate was good and she was brave down the first straight as the pack started to drift over she held her nerve and slotted into 2nd through the first turn. She gave chase and gave a great show of style to score a hard fought place. She will hang on to her overall lead with just four rounds to go. Blackpool will be a nail biter!!
After a podium in Scotland, I rather fancied a bit more A final action…well if you ride like a plonker in the semi, you aint gonna get it. I went into the first berm third, and came out fifth….B final Barry was I…I redeemed myself with the win and set my head to make it happen on the Sunday. Motos went well and I got a good pick for the semi, this time I got a good lap, made a move and took to the main with a 3rd. Sixth pick, meant gate six but I had a plan…turn right!! Gate dropped, got a good drive and got over a bit, not really enough. Made some moves on the second straight and gave chase, finishing 5th. Keeps me in contention for a top 8 which is always a good thing.
The lads weren’t just waging war on 24, they were giving it their all on their 20” too and in two of the most competitive classes: 17-24s and Superclass….Shane picked up some great finishes though the motos and qualifiers for another A main on Saturday. The pace was insane through the lap with lead changes and passes going off everywhere. When the dust settled he was well in the pack in 7th. Day two was just as frantic, but he missed the main with a dreaded 5th in the semi….it was hard….In the B final things were still just as crazy and after hitting another riders wheel in the first turn he was lucky not to go down. Thankfully he kept it rubber side down and took 5th. Things didn’t quite go to plan for Oli up in the Superclass across the weekend, but he was as stylish as ever through the qualifiers, just missing out on the semis on day one by a couple of points and got so close on day two when he was struck by the dreaded 5th in the semi….
Massive thanks to Ison Distribution, Identiti Bikes, Gusset Components, Halo Wheels, TSG International, HT Components, ODI Grips, Renthal, Pat Campbell-Jenner, Matt Andrews, Lloyd Townsend and all the guys behind the scenes for their support.
We’re off to the seaside for rounds 9&10 in July as we head north to Blackpool for their national event and we will have full team coverage of the event right here.
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