MotoGP support race report
The weekend was bad and good for me I guess. Practice and qualifying was very good all considered, as I (like most of the others) had not had any track time since the last race. Not to mention the full track and the new (again) surface. New bumps all over the place, but new tarmac with relatively good grip for being as new as it is.
Practice and qualifying felt pretty ok, and I was more comfortable on the bike then before (I got a steering dampener since my last crash caused by a huge wobble coming out of turn 3 which is the highest speed corner on the track).
I was 2nd in the championship, 13points behind the leader.
Saturday and race 1 came and I was pretty confident I would have a shot at winning the race. I'd qualified 2nd in SS and was beside Massimo "Max", who is 3rd in the championship. If not winning, I was even more confident about getting 2nd which would also help me with points in the championship against points leader Moses who qualified much further back.
This was not to be as I had bad start and Moses had a decent start. I got caugt up with some SBK's (MotoGP support race mixes SBK and SS class into 1 group/race) who were all "stop-and-go" racers. Total mess and several of them had a bit more ambition then ability. They were overdoing it in so many places I cannot understand how not more then 1 of them crashed. He crashed spectacularly in front of me going into turn 14.
However, through most of this Moses stuck behind me getting in front of me on a couple of occasions. I had no problem retaking the position from him, so felt that all I had to do was push a bit harder towards the end and he would stay behind me. So come the last lap and I try to pass this SBK into turn 7. He totally cuts me off even though I was on beside him on the inside going into the corner. Then going through the final section before the back straight I close on him and get in front on the back straight. He powers past me again on the inside. So I thought ok, let him get in front of me over the line as long as Moses stays behind. I consentrate on late braking and taking a nice smoot line through 15. The SBK in the meantime breaks way too early (while coming down the middle of the track into turn 15), but cannot hold it and drifts wide. By this time I'm up on his outside. So when he drifts wide, I am forced to take an even wider line. Moses who was even further behind eases up the inside and gets unhindered through and takes the flag right in front of my nose...
I was absolutely furious with the bloody SBK guy, but that helps little in the scheme of things. It's racing after all.
Sunday's race was better, as I got a better start. Moses got an even better start. However, I got in behind Max and the 2 of us pushed through some SBK's and caught up with Moses within 1 lap. Max got past Moses and Moses retook his place, before I overtook Max. After about 1 lap of this Max got in front and I also pushed in front of Moses. Max and I pushed harder and had several laps in the 2.23's. I was in fact about to overtake Max, but thought I should let him lead so I could control from behind. I let him back in front. Big mistake. He pushed even harder and although I was always in touch with him my rear tire started to slide towards the end of the race. I was on soft rear Michelin, whileas Max was on Medium/Soft rear...
So Max won both races. Moses and I had 2nd and 3rd between us, and as per MSS standard by virtue of my better position in the 2nd race I got 2nd for the round. However, in the championship it means nothing as Moses and I got the same number of points for the round.
So now it's down to the last round. Moses and I are still 13points apart. I absolutely have to win both races, and I need someone to come in between Moses and me in at least 1 of the races. If the SBK had not pushed me wide in the 1st race, it would have been all up to me (only 9points apart) to take the championship with 2 wins...
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