Wednesday, July 20, 2011

NPS 4X Harthill

After visiting Harthill a few weeks back, I was pleased to turn up and find that the dodgy take offs had been tweaked a little since then. The split lines weren't ideal as they were still too small... but they were much better thankfully.

It looked like it was going to be a washout of a weekend, the forcast was bad. As we drove up from Telford saturday morning it absolutley hammered down. Luckily though, that was pretty much the last of the rain for the day, we just had to contend with some gusty cross winds in practice. For that reason, I decided to leave the pro line alone in practice, it wasn't worth the risk.

I was racing in the Masters men class on saturday, I had a good first moto winning from start to finish. In the second race I wasn't so lucky, getting a move put on me in the 2nd last turn which left me winded and trying to catch my breath at the side of the track and a DNF. I had a tough 3rd moto and wasn't feeling too bright after crashing which resulted in another 4th so I had it all to do in the last moto. I had a good start and and went into the 2nd turn in 2nd, only to slip and see Dave Richardson zoom past me... I kept on his tail and the wind felt like it had dropped, so when the guy in 1st went the long way round I thought I may as well follow Dave through the Pro line! I jumped them no problem, it was only the wind that made it a little worrying before... you could roll into them without pedalling and clear them both. It was so much faster, Dave and me ended up 1st and 2nd and that salvaged my day and put me in the next round.

I thought I was going to have a semi-final and a chance to make the A main, but as it turns out there is some funny rule that means you need a few more riders go to semi finals. So instead of semi-finals, the top 4 moto qualifiers went straight to the A main and the bottom 4 to the B main. This was even more evident in the Elite class, where there were 22 riders entered but they cut straight to 8 riders and the semi finals. That seems a pretty harsh cut, meaning you have to get better than 4 2nds in your motos to get through I think?! This hit Scott Beaumont hard this weekend as he had a crash in a moto and went out. I can't help but think it would be better to run with 3 motos and go the closest next round instead (eg. the 22 elite riders drop to 16 for quarters and 10 riders drop to 8 for semi's). I would have thought most riders would rather have a better of a chance of achieving a place in the next round rather than an extra guarunteed moto and getting knocked out every week? For some riders they are so far off ever making such a harsh cut they may decide it's not worth it somewhere down the line? Just my thoughts though.

Anyway. So I went straight to the B final unfortunately, and had 1 more chance at a shot on the podium! I got a really good gate, but was in gate 3 and got taken on the inside going into the first turn. I was ready to hit the pro line again, and the guy leading rode the pro line too... only he did exactly that, he rode through it! With it just being one line I couldn't jump as there was no where to pass. He told me at the end of the race that he did it on purpose to stop me jumping past! They should have dug a hole out the middle of the first jump at least, cause I think this was happening a lot! Heading out of the penultimate turn, I was right on his tail, and he took a sharp left to avoid the little berm take off... I jumped it and passed him on the inside to take 5th place on the podium after all. Justice was done, haha! ;o)

Sunday morning I woke up pretty beaten up from crashing the day before but I was still up for it whatever the weather. The track was pretty wet as I went up for practice and I probably should have had a cruise down the outside lines to warm up and check it out...but instead I went straight for the inside 2nd turn, washed out over the top of it, over the bars, foot still clipped in and my shin trying to bend itself around the bike. I tried to ride again, but I was hurting, battered and bruised. On top of yesterday, that was the last straw, my weekend was over.

I stayed and watched the rest of the racing, Tricker was unlucky to go down in the first turn after a good snap in the Quarters. My travel buddy Jordan Lunn rode a stormer to pick up the silver medal in Juniors. Katy Curd blitzed the women, Nichola Anderson tried to shut her down after out snapping her but Katy squeezed through the inside and just pulled away. The men's was a bit of a surprise, or was it? Bates called it early in the day that a senior rider could take the win over the Elite riders in the wet conditions. When the final was on the gate I asked Oggy who his money was on... he said it's gotta be one of the Scott's... I said that they would crash out and the senior dude would win! So guess what happened! The Scott's went down in the first turn, leaving Luke Limbrick just about fighting off Identiti's Pat CJ for an amazing win. Due to the weather, most riders who got knocked out had gone home. The crowd was pretty depleted for the finals. But I tell ya, the people who were watching went nuts for Luke! A great finish to the day and something he won't forget for a while. Congrats!


Friday, July 08, 2011

Team Identiti

I'm pleased to announce that for the rest of the season I'll be repping Team Identiti!
When I said I was going to have a crack at Fort William World Cup again Matt at Identiti helped me out so I could get my bike a bit more race ready. I didn't have plans for racing any further than Fort William, it was all kind of last minute, but I'm having fun racing again with a different outlook, and I'm up for a few more! I was already riding a Krisis SL which I love, and now Idenditi have hooked me up with a full new bike and a pro deal, thanks ID! I'll be at the last 3 rounds of the Nationals, but the World Cup in Val Di Sole is what I't's really all about :)

Took the new bike for a test ride at the track on wednesday, can't believe how light and fast it is, it's awesome... and the Halo Superdrive hub sounds so sweet!


Monday, July 04, 2011

Gate 23

I haven't ridden trails in a good couple of months. It's been too dry for our place, and I've been occupying myself with racing and riding the track instead. Though after a little bit of rain last week I thought it was about time for some trails action...I miss it! So Ross, Jonny, Scoob and I headed over to visit our friends at Gate 23.

The trails are pretty sandy over there so it's tough to keep them going in the dry, but they were looking as good as ever, really smooth! Both Ross and I were a little apprehensive after not riding trails for a while and spending a lot of time on the big bikes... but it seems we shouldn't have worried, one run and it all came flooding back!

Scoob was testing out his new red Profile mini hubs for the first time, Jonny seemed to like them a little too much.

We were all loving the left hand hip on the main line, Jonny was pulling some sweet turndowns, I was getting the hang of snapping in the old faithful tables and Ross was whipping out on it so smooth and fast MX style I cannot explain. Watching him do that made me smile every time. Brrraaap!

There's a new bigger line running at the moment, though not many people are jumping it. It's a bit like climbing up to the high diving board, as the start is higher up than the rest of the lines. One of the locals stepped up to it and was riding it smooth, so of course Ross couldn't help himself. He hit it a couple of times and all was good, I was tempted as the hip looked good, but the landing looked so steep you'd have to be on the button or you'd be landing flat before you knew it. Just as Jonny and I decided to give it a shot, Ross missed the landing nose in and then reappeared launching out the side or the next lip seperated from bike. Yeah, that's what I meant! With that Ross knocked that line on the head and so did we. Thanks Ross, you took that one for the team!

Big thanks to the Gate 23 locals for having us, was an awesome day, the trails were running so good and you lot are always good to ride with!

Photos, above: Joey on the hip, Jonny getting acquainted with with Scoob's bike
Below, top row: Scoobs, Ross getting sideways
Below, bottom row: Jonny, Joey & Jonny again


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