Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Top Ten After Being Tackled by Tank.

On Friday we left Halmstad and traveled a couple of hours to Uddevalla for the GP of Sweden. After parking the camper, the go carts were calling my name! We enjoyed a nice barbecue for dinner and then called it a night. We are still getting used to falling asleep in almost total daylight in Sweden.

On Saturday morning I felt really good and I liked the looks of the track although it was really dry. I was 4th in both the free practice and the pre-qualifying practice which gave me 4th gate pick for the qualifying heat. I was late off the gate only to be held up in the first turn as Roczen and Frossard had a crash. I think I came out in about 15th place but I began moving forward right away. On the third lap I made a clean pass in a corner just before the big finish line tabletop jump. As I had passed on the inside of the corner I didn't have the drive to make it over the jump. I stayed as far to one side as I possibly could and rolled it only to be landed on by the sketchy Russian rider Alexandr Tonkov (who goes by the well deserved title "Tank"). He landed straight on my back pushing my weight forward and over the bars. The aftermath: 36th gate pick, tire marks on my back, and sprocket burn.

I woke up feeling pretty sore on Sunday. As I had missed the majority of the previous day's race, I used the warm-up session to get the feel of the pace. By the end of the warm-up I had the fastest lap time and most of my soreness was gone. For the first moto, I chose the very outside gate hoping to be able to make several passes around the outside of the first corner. I got a good initial jump off the gate but being so far on the outside was a huge disadvantage for me. I came around the first corner in 20th position and by the end of the first lap I had moved to 14th. On lap 5 I had to throw off my goggles as they were fogged from the humidity. At this point I was in 11th position and had a couple of riders in sight. I kept pushing on and putting in good laptimes. As I approached Christophe Charlier I knew that I had to make a pass quickly because I had no goggles. I was also able to pass Joel Roelants and Shaun Simpson. When Ken Roczen's bike quit with a few laps to go I moved into 7th position and finished the race there.

In the second moto I was able to take 32nd gate pick. I got a nearly perfect jump off the gate but again being so far on the outside was detrimental. I came around the first turn in around 15th, but after a small crash in a corner on the first lap I found myself in 25th with a lot of work to do! I moved forward slowly but surely until lap 14 when I came upon a group of 5-6 riders including Christophe Charlier, Jake Nicholls, and Shaun Simpson. I finished the race in 9th position. Although I was somewhat disappointed with my result, I was pleased with my laptimes and my ability to pass on a track with very limited lines.

This week I am thoroughly enjoying complete relaxation and rest. After the GP we traveled through complete wilderness to Kenneth Gundersen's wife-to-be's home in Sweden. Today we went for some shopping and just hung out. Tomorrow we are traveling to Are, Sweden where Kenneth and Amelie will be getting married this weekend. It is also the place where I do a lot of my winter training on cross country skis. Next week I begin training again. We will be staying in Sweden and Norway until the next round of the British Championship at the end of the month.

That's all I know until next time. Thanks for reading!



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