Ducati Trioptions Cup, Round 2 – Oulton Park
May 8, 2019
Here is the round 2 race report from our Chamois sponsored rider, Richard Spencer-Fleet:
Having come home from Silverstone weeks before with very high spirits, the team set off to Oulton park looking to build on what had already been achieved. Having raced Oulton last season, we knew it was a physically demanding track and we struggled with arm pump previously.
The weekend weather was looking very uncertain and Qualifying didn’t go as well as planned. With the riders going onto the track the rain started, drizzling in areas and rain flags all over circuit. Still having good pace in areas we qualified in 20th and I was keen to save myself and stay firmly focused for the race. Where it counts…
Race 1 – Had a great start from 20th was up into about 15th by turn one. I felt I was on for my first point! But pushing hard and hanging on I started to struggle again with arm pump. Then suddenly, at lodge corner I had a little slide (pictures show it all) losing valuable positions. Looking down and around the bike I couldn’t see any fluids etc so continued the lap. I then had a slide again and I knew it was time to leave the track ..unfortunately the legend Pete crashed and the race was red flagged finishing in 22nd. Finishing where I did I was disappointed and still unsure for the slides. Tyre pressures checked and whilst in parc ferme we looked over the bike and couldn’t see any evidence of any fluids. Taking the positives from the race I had smashed my PB from previous year by nearly a second! And I was also fastest through the speed traps at clay hill and over the finish line, showing I have the speed, I just need to put it together.
A few hours later I was shown the pictures of the little slide, and we realised there was something wrong. The bike must have overheated and spat all its water out in one gulp. Thus causing the slide. Throughout the night, we stripped and rebuilt the bike and checked everything over in readiness for the warm up session in the morning. The next morning it was raining and we were still prepped to go test the bike, but the session was cancelled. So it was down to the race! Putting in a better time in race 1 allowed us to start from 18th on the grid in the race.
Race 2 – Having yet another great start, I found myself right in the mix into turn one. So far in the mix I found myself on the inside kerb with nowhere to go. Having to roll the throttle and lose some places. We settled into the race, battling it out with some fast riders. The first 3 laps I broke my PB again and felt good apart from lodge. Confidence there was lacking slightly and the riders were just able to gap me. Having put the fast laps in at the beginning I had a substantive lead over the riders behind, so I rode the last few laps with ease. Finishing the race in 21st setting a new PB was not to be grumbled at in this paddock.
Even with the bike and arm issues, I still came away with a smile, new personal bests and held fastest speeds in 2 of 4 sectors (at one point over the weekend). I’m now looking forward to Donington Park on the weekend 25th May.
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