After a difficult first few rounds of the European championship, I came into the Czech Republic GP wanting to turn all of our bad luck around. We started our journey on Thursday, stayed over in Germany on Thursday night and drove the rest of the way on Friday. It was around 34 degrees so staying cool and hydrated was at the top of my list.
The track looked pretty good and I was eager to race. Practice and qualifying went pretty well, I managed 23rd but the times were extremely close. Another second off my time would have put me inside the top 15. It gave me a reasonable place on the start gate so I knew I had a pretty good chance of qualifying.
Semi – Final Race:
After being extremely close on times in qualifying, I knew I just needed to get a good start in the race and I can run with them. I got a really good jump out the gate and went into the first corner inside the top 15. With loads of bar banging and people cutting the track I ended up going round the 2nd corner outside the top 20. Not quite sure how that happened! I got my head down and passed a few people in the first 10 minutes of the race, which put me into 22nd. I continued to charge and never gave up. Luckily for me a few riders had bike problems and crashes which put me inside the top 20. With 2 laps to go I was running 19th, 1 place off qualifying. A rider in front of me made a mistake and crashed which allowed me to get around. I crossed the finish line in 18th and qualified for my first European race ever. We were all really happy and I could now relax ready for Sundays main race. Warm up on Sunday went pretty well and I set down some pretty good laps. Once again everyone was seriously close which gave me some confidence going into the main race. With the 30+ degree heat I knew I had to try and stay relaxed during the race and ride how I know I
Final / Main Race:
I madethings pretty hard for myself by getting a rubbish start. I got too much wheel spin and went round the first corner outside the top 30. I tried my best to get through the first few laps clean and make as few mistakes as possible. I got up to 34th with a group of riders just in front of me. With everyone being so close on times it was hard to make up ground and find places to pass. I got into 33rd but there was a small gap up to the next few riders in front. With 2 laps to go one of those riders made a mistake which allowed me into 32nd. I finished the race in 32nd, not where I wanted to be but with a bad start I didn’t make it easy for myself. My lap times were good throughout the race so I know I’ve got the pace, just need to work on getting some better starts and making it easier for myself.
The next race for me is this weekend at Hawkstone park, the next round of the British Championship.
Luke Norris #173