With both bikes fully repaired and prepared (and our trusty yellow van working again!), once we had unpacked we popped to scrutineering and then did a track walk with Darley-regular Daniel Nurrish.
The weather was forecast to be dry all weekend - so we put the bikes on paddock stands (and on unplugged tyre warmers) and headed for a peaceful night's sleep - on what would end up being an eventful weekend!
Saturday Race Day
We were hopeful that the unexpected overnight rain had disappeared by the time we awoke, but it wasn't to be! So we swapped the wheels for wet tyres and headed out into practice on the Kawasaki ZX6R and then the Aprilia RS660. These sessions gave us the chance to reacquaint ourselves with the circuit, which was getting drier by the minute...
Into the Supertwins qualifying session and we had chosen to go with wet tyres. A dry line had started to appear and after a few laps the wet tyres were starting to overheat so we pulled in - we qualified 6th in class (10th on the combined grid). Next up was the Open 600 qualifying session. Knowing what we knew, we had changed back to dry tyres - but in the assembly area the rain started to fall again! We went as quickly as we dared but were only able to qualify in 15th position on the grid.
With the bikes ready to roll, we headed to the bar for some socialising, then returned to the caravan to watch "Bolt" on DVD with the kids!
Sunday Race Day
We used the Sunday warm-up session to scrub in the new front tyre on the Aprilia RS660 and to get ourselves up to speed for the day.
Our first race was Supertwins Race 2, from our improved grid position on the second row. Our race start was appalling and the first corner was messy. Once again (there seems to be a theme occurring here...) we set about lapping as quick as we could in order to pass as many people as we could - and this time we managed to finish in 3rd position, once again being the second-quickest person on track! It appeared that we have the speed, but are struggling to put all the pieces together in order to capitalise on our strength.
Our leg trapped underneath the bike, we were initially unable to move until a marshal lifted the bike - but fortunately all of our fellow competitors managed to avoid us. Sat on the side of the track after having a bang to the head, we assessed the damage. Our bike was not too bad but our shoulder was aching. We were taken to the medical centre (but can't actually remember how) and assessed with a mild concussion and presumed shoulder muscle damage. The rider was advised that he would not be driving home today!
Thanks must also go to Lorna for her assistance - not only for stopping at A&E on the way home for the rider's injuries to be assessed and x-rays to be performed (no broken bones - yippee!). On the Monday she took an emergency holiday to take part in an 11-hour round trip back to Pembrey circuit in order to recover the abandoned van and caravan. What an amazing woman! :-)
Open 600 Championship Standings (Top 5)
Ricky Elder 238
George Edwards 231
Michael Rees 128
David Carson 102
Jed Bird 101
Supertwins Championship Standings (Top 5)
Brody Crockford 223
Steve Moody 166
David Carson 143
Alex Sinclair 95
Edward Giles 94
There is now a 4-week gap until our next race meeting, when we will be returning to Castle Combe for Round 5 of the NG championships on 28th-30th July.