Reading, Berkshire United Kingdom (PressExposure) May 06, 2011 -- The lows and highs of a Royal weekend at Pembrey in the BEMSEE Thunderbikes Championship.
On the Royal wedding day thing for James did not go to well, unfortunately the cams on the vertical cylinder decided to let go 3 laps into the first session of practice. But fortunately for us Louigi Moto had new head at the circuit. So, during Friday evening an engine repair took place ready for Saturday morning practice.
The practice/qualifying session was the first chance for James to try the chassis mods out that had been carried out over the last week and all was looking good. James was on the pace and the team could sense further success. In qualifying James qualified 4th with a time of 1:05:975, but felt his race pace was better.
As the first race started, James got the hole shot off the line and was off in the lead when one of the other riders went down and the race was stopped. On the restart, James again went off in the lead only to be passed, then disaster struck in Honda bend, the front washed out and James crashed at about 140 mph. Luckily, James was soon to his feet but the bike wasn't in such good condition.
The team set about rebuilding the bike and 3 hours later the bike was ready to race again with about 1/2 an hour to spare before the 2nd race. James had to start from the back of the grid and after a few tentative laps making sure the bike was in good shape he started to drop his lap times and fought hard and managed 4th. This mature and competitive approach to the 2nd race earned James the rider of the day award. Day 2 at Pembrey started with James waking up very sore from Saturday's crash, but mindful of the situation and ready to correct yesterday's problems by returning to the podium.
The warm up saw James get back into the groove and the aches and pains were forgotten, setting consistent laps times while ensuring everything was right5 with the bike.
The first race saw James battle hard from 5th to eventually finish 3rd, so the day had started well but James wasn't happy with the handling of the bike through the very fast woodlands corner. So the team set about changing the suspension settings for the second race of the day.
The second race started very similar with James finding himself in 5th, while he checked that the suspension changes were working how they were expected to. Then a happy James upped his pace and quickly moved up into fourth and set about catching the 3rd place rider. By lap 5 James was on the rear wheel of 3rd place and playing the waiting game. Then the leader suffered engine problems as he crossed the line with 2 laps to go. James still pushing, the now 2nd place bike made his move with some tremendous late braking into the hairpin, took 2nd place and then pushed for home, in the end making a comfortable second place.
At times the weekend tried the team's nerve, but James did us proud with some great ride, showing the team and all James followers and fans just why he is regarded as a future champion.
We would like to give a special mention to Louigi Moto and Hawk suspension for all their help this weekend.