Following a false start with the Michelin MX Nationals opener, Ashley Wilde was excited to start the Maxxis British Championship series on Sunday. The RFX KTM rider runs through his day in this piece. So, without further ado, over to Ashley…
Finally, it was time to get the racing season underway, After a very strong off-season working with the RMJ Academy I really couldn't wait to get behind the start gate again.
Qualifying: After the overnight rain the track was pretty wet with a really hard base, which made riding conditions really difficult for everyone. In free practice I felt like I was getting to grips with the track quite well and was ready to get a hot lap in early, before the track went off to much. Just as the board came out for timing to start I made a silly mistake and crashed coming off one of the hills – it was a pretty big crash! Luckily with the ground being so sloppy I slid down the hill on my head, but I was lucky to escape not hurt.
The same couldn't be said for the bike though; I was covered in mud and the bike had taken a beating. I was forced to pull into the pits and make some repairs. Whilst my mechanic and team were making the repairs I was losing valuable time on a track that was getting worse every lap. I managed to get two laps in, but none of them were very good as I made a lot of mistakes and had to deal with a lot of traffic leaving me with a disappointing fifteenth gate pick for the races.
Race One: I knew after qualifying I had a lot more to offer. The start straight was really wet, as well as the rest of the track, so I knew it was important to make a good start. Thankfully I did and I was able to get around the outside on the first two corners. I rounded the first lap inside the top six. The track was really difficult and the rain continued to come down. I didn't ride as relaxed as I wanted to and tightened up a lot, I kept it smart and steady and brought it home in eighth at the flag.
Race 2: The track was starting to dry up now and some good lines were starting to form. This time I didn't quite make the start I wanted and was just outside the top twelve. This time tho I put the hammer down and was able to make some good passes early on and work my way up into the top six. Feeling a bit more comfortable I was able to push on a lot more and this time, bar a little tip over three laps from the end, it was a good solid race and I finished a strong sixth.
Overall: 8-6 scorecard gave me sixth overall on the day, just one point away from fifth. Overall I'm happy to start my season off strong inside the top six. It's a long season and I know I have more in the tank. Hopefully now the first race is out the way I can go away and get my work done with RMJ and work towards the boys at the front.
Once again thanks to all the people in my corner supporting me week in week out and making racing possible. Last year people were quick to write me off after missing most of the season, so it's nice to show them that I still have the pace to be at the front!
Words: Ashley Wilde | Lead Image: ConwayMX