I set off for Cadwell Park on Friday night with a job to do to. Win as many races as I could and extend the Championship lead. Come Monday afternoon, we’d done it.

After a hard-working practice day on Saturday - not really stopping to eat properly until the day was over – we set up the Kawasaki to do the business of winning again and it got me off to a blistering start by putting me on pole for Sunday’s racing.



Cadwell twists and turns and it can tie you in knots if you don’t get it right.


I missed the first couple of minutes qualifying though, because I got stuck on the hill that leads down to the track right behind a lad who was fumbling for his qualifying pass. When I finally got out, there was a lot of traffic, but even though I had a lot of riders to deal with, I shot to number one spot on my second lap – I couldn’t believe it when Dad hung out the board with the number one on it. Then he signalled to me that I’d slipped back to 3rd from the top spot about mid-way through, so I just put the hammer down and snatched pole on the final lap with a 1.35.9. Job done!



I used every inch, and a bit more of the narrow Lincolnshire circuit.


It was a great start to the weekend because I felt we had had unfinished business at Cadwell Park after a broken gearbox finished my chances of a possible 2nd Championship spot in the final round last year.

In the first race I didn’t get off the line so well, the clutch kept slipping and grabbing. It was new and obviously needed time to run itself in - not a time to do it at the start of an important race - but it didn’t do it again after that. It was an exciting duel on the first lap with my close rival, Ryan Strafford, but I was determined to win on his home circuit and passed him on the first lap.


Time for take-off! Just like the old motocross days again.


I managed to pull out a 1:34 .8 on lap 6, which put a bigger gap between us. I knew I could do it on the Kwacka, I just had to prove it to myself after all the hard work we’d done. I was really happy to see the last lap flag come out though; it was so hot I felt like I was going shrivel up with dehydration!



A jubilant Dad displays the ‘Number One’ on the board as I crossed the finish line.


My Dad said I looked absolutely exhausted, like I couldn’t ride another yard on it, so Mum carried the winner’s trophy and crash helmet, while he pushed the bike back to base! Once I’d had a good drink of water, together with a re-hydration tablet from Martin Stanier’s missus, I started to feel a bit more human.

In race two, it was still hot and sunny, so I went for a different tyre and it really paid off. I got a much better start his time and saw nothing but clear track in front of me. The bike felt great. My pit board showed me that I was increasing my lead by half a second every lap and I finished just over 7 seconds ahead of Ryan.



King of the Mountain – at last, the top-step at Cadwell Park.


It was a good day’s work so we treated ourselves to a night out in Louth for a meal and a couple of light beers! It was good to get away from the circuit, chill out and have a think about the next day’s racing.



I collected two winner’s trophies on Sunday and a few flies along the way.


On the Monday the weather was to have an effect on everyone. It was cold and damp for the warm-up, but I decided to ride the wet track on dry tyres. I wanted to get a feel for the circuit with them in case things changed halfway through a race, the weather was changing every 20 minutes or so. Nightmare!



Waiting to go on a cold, grey Monday morning.


Well, in the first race of the day it almost paid off when the light rain cleared after a couple of laps. I started to pick up the pace a bit and charged my way through the field from 7th to 2nd place in Superbikes and 4th overall. Then without any warning, completely out of the blue – or more appropriately, out of the grey – it was like riding in a cloud. The weather just closed in so fast you couldn’t see to the end of Park Straight and water was just streaming off my visor and windscreen. At that moment it was beginning to be a close tussle between me, Pearson, Smith and Biswell and I was lining myself up for passes over the remaining laps. Suddenly, the chequered flag was out on lap six of a scheduled eight, I was a bit surprised to say the least. ‘Blimey’, I thought, ‘that was quick.’ Still, with fastest lap and solid points for second place, I didn’t feel too bad. After our race the whole meeting was brought to a halt for well over an hour until the visibility improved.


In the final race of the day the weather once again played its part with the race cut short to a 7-lap dash. I took a bit of gamble on a dry tyre. The circuit was fairly dry even though it was spitting a bit and I made a good start, but I had a couple of big slides – one at Mansfield and another big on at Barn. I didn’t want to crash again and lose points like I did at Snetterton, so I eased off a bit. Then, surprisingly, my tyres started to grip a lot better on the next lap, but I knew I had no chance of catching anyone over the remaining laps after I’d lost the tow. Ryan was setting a good pace and it was a bit of a lonely ride for me to the flag and – although I took third place on the sheet – I felt sick for Andy Challis. He crashed in front of me at the Hairpin. He deserved better, he rode well, setting the fastest lap.

All in all, it was a great weekend; the bike ran well, it handled well and did everything I asked of it. With valuable points in the bag, a few more trophies, the fastest lap of the whole weekend and the ‘King of the Mountain’ accolade on Sunday… I was pretty chuffed.



Mallory is just round the corner; I’ll see you there.


Next round is at Mallory, I’ve been there a few times for practice and track days, but never raced there… we’ll see how we go.

Thank again to all my friends and family for their support and to all my sponsors: Kais Suspension, R&G Racing, Wiseco, Carillo, Opie Oils, Nova Racing Transmissions, Holbeach Tyres and Cradley Kawasaki.

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