The race in Loket was our second round of the European championships, missing out Latvia and Russia due to how far they are to travel. We set off early Thursday morning to catch the train and start our 750 mile journey to the track in Loket. We stayed at a campsite in Germany on the Thursday night and finished off the rest of the journey early Friday morning. We were blessed with sunshine and hot temperatures, a lot better than the rain back in England! The track looked amazing and I was ready to do the job in hand.
For a confidence point of view I knew I needed to qualify well in my group to have a good start position for the qualifying race. I got a good time in about half way through the session which put me into 9th place. I carried on putting fast laps in but couldn’t improve on my earlier lap. Only 2 other people went faster than me and I ended up in 11th. I was extremely happy with this and was only 1 second away from behind inside the top 7.
As the gate dropped for the qualifying race, I got a fairly good jump but the rider next to me decided to turn across in front of me and take me out. Luckily I managed to stay on but it gave me a lot of work to do. I got around a fair few people on the first part of the lap and had a group in front of me I knew I could get around. Coming down a tricky part of the track a rider had stopped on the corner and I had nowhere to go. I clipped his back wheel and went down. I picked myself back up but lost all the places I had gained in the first lap. About 3 laps in I charged through but made another mistake on the same part of the track. This time the bike lost all its water and started to slow down so I had to pull it in before any serious damage was done.
Last chance timed practice
After not finishing the qualifying race, I knew I had to get a good time in the last chance to make it through to the main race. It was only 15 minutes so we didn’t get much time. It couldn’t have started any worse, just past pit lane I got a rear puncture and lost a lot of time finishing the lap and pulling into the pits. I hopped on my practice bike and tried my hardest to get a fast lap in. Unfortunately it didn’t go my way and the chance of me making the main race was pretty slim.
They had one last race, where the top 2 would go into the main race. I got a pretty good start and was lying around 7th. I spent most of the race trying to get around the rider in front of me, who was trying everything he could to block me or even take me out. Seriously frustrating as I knew I was a lot faster I just couldn’t get around him. That stopped my chances of making the main race yet again and I couldn’t believe I didn’t make it in. From a really good time in the first qualifying to not making it into the main race, a very frustrating day for all of us.
We’ve got 2 weeks off now, we will go back to the drawing board and work on the things we struggled with over the past few weekends. My speed is there, just need to work on my starts and a bit more race craft.