Well I was looking forward to this one. I have never felt fast at Cadwell, despite enjoying it. I’m a pussy over the mountain and there are various other areas that needed improvement.
Again the weather looked ominous but didn’t deliver anything that required wet tyres. There was a fairly big turn out this time, a lot of endurance teams from Hottrax and some people joining the fray from NG.
First qualifying was useless. Just no aggression, coasted round to a 1.46 and 24th on the grid of 34. Not impressed was I. Come the race and a decent start saw me end up in 20th, but nowhere like where I wanted to be. Starting 23rd in race 2, things got a whole lot better. Another good start and some proper riding saw me bring home a 15th – a great race for me and one I really enjoyed.
Race three I started from 23rd due to another useless qualifying (1.45 despite doing 1.42 in race 2), so had a lot of work to do. Again, I started well and was chasing down 15th place with maybe 4 laps to go when I couldn’t select 6th going up Park. I completed the lap in 3rd gear, managed to select 4th on the start straight and had no selection after that. I was happy to try to complete the race as I knew I was close to points, but went in too hot to the Gooseneck whilst distracted by the gearshift and had to throw the bike down before hitting the tyre wall. Considerable damage to the bike, and a bit of a bashing to me and off we limped home, but not after watching the final race I was meant to be in.
The bike is being straightened as I type and I’ll be ready for Rockingham in a couple of week. On reflection I suspect that the Sato rearsets are considerably more complex than they need to be, especially for racing. Too many levers and pivots in the gear selection – there to allow selection between race and road shift. The problem in the race was they actually stripped the threads out of one of the pivots, meaning complete failure. My new Lightech versions have a completely different design, having one rod between lever and shift. Much simpler and ideal. I do wonder if the Satos have contributed to false neutrals in the past due to too much flex – maybe they cause my previous Oulton crash too? Who knows – but I’ll be avoiding them in future – KISS.
Overall I was happy with Cadwell. I proved that if I could qualify better I have the pace to play with the faster guys, by qualifying at the back I am just putting slower guys between me and the guys I want to be competing with, making my life more difficult than it needs to be. I’ll be using pitboards in qualifying for the last two rounds to try to help.
On another note – I have just paid for my first 10 sessions with a personal trainer to see if we can’t get this pilot into better shape for next year. I’m hoping this is a way to keep my interest and actually do some properly guided eating and exercise. Fingers crossed – it ain’t cheap!!
Points update – sitting 19th in the championship with eight races to go – four at Rockingham (International) and four at Silverstone (National).