Rodders Racing at Donington Park Race Report

Qualifying – Well after being on the circuit for three laps trying to settle in after last year’s big crash, the qualifying session was red flagged. Another rider joined the Cranner Club, so it was back to the paddock only to be called back up.  I had an out lap and an in lap, so no time was recorded.  With just having three laps (which was a joke) I was 29th on the grid.

Race 1 – I started 29th and declared a wet race.

With half an hour left until we were due out on track, the heavens opened.  The sudden rain lead to a mad change to wet tyres and I had to put on my ‘over suit’ in preparation for a wet race. This was always going to be a difficult race, because Donington is mega slippery when wet.  I just had to crack on and do my best, but treat it like an extended qualifying to get a good grid slot for race 2.

Once the start lights went out, there was a mad dash down into turn one with hardly any visibility with all the spray and rain that was still descending down on us.  I just kept my concentration on the job and found myself pretty near the back, but as each lap passed I was picking up pace and closing in on a few riders in front.

On the second to last lap, I was battling to get by two riders, but it didn’t happen until the last corner on the last lap.  I managed to shave twelve seconds off my lap time from the start to a race finish of 24th, and I popped in a good lap time for race 2.

Race 2 – I started 18th.  As the lights went out, I made a good start making up some places and we were right in the thick of it in the middle of the field with six of us battling throughout the race for 15th place, with passes going out every lap swapping places.  It was great to have some mega close racing with everyone having a bit of respect for one-another. On the last lap I managed to turn the bike a bit tighter coming out of Melbourne loop and getting some extra drive to nip up the inside to grab another spot to finish in 17th place with only a second separating the six of us…wow!

Race 3 – I started 23rd and got a good start, but found myself playing catch up throughout the race to Lee Rawlings and the epic battle he was having with two other riders.  This was great to watch, but I was ringing its neck to try and join in on the action. After a few laps I closed in on the action. By this time, Lee had pulled a gap and as the laps were counting down, I could see my good mate edging away.  At the ‘Esses’ on lap six, I made a pass on the brakes up the inside to take one place, then on the next lap I managed to out brake the next one into Goddards, but couldn’t get close enough to Lee as the checkered flag came out to finish 18th.

Race 4 – I started 20th.  On the warm up lap my good mate Mat Rawlings went down on the exit of McLeans with Steve Frizzell and myself nearly getting caught up in it, but thankfully Mat was ok.

I got a mega start making up a few good places, then down the straight to the ‘esses’ a green zx10r came flying down the inside struggling to stop and crashing straight into Peter De Zeeuw, taking him out with both going straight down into the gravel trap.  By the end of lap one I was up into 13th place pushing every lap, but just couldn’t close in on the 12th place.  I had a bit of a lonely race to bring it home in 13th and bagged a few championship points along the way.  Happy days.

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