Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Weekends of ups and downs at Assen Round 2

DMC Racing have arrived in the UK with mixed emotions after a difficult weekend at Assen Circuit, Netherlands.
The team headed to the weekend to capitalise on a weekend full of improvement at Brands Hatch.

Throughout the Friday practice both Robbie and Alexey managed to get to grips with the circuit which neither had previously ridden before. Each rider describing the circuit as ‘incredibly fast’ and ‘fun to ride’, they stayed in the top 10 during the 3 sessions. Unfortunately though a wet final session hampered the progress for Alexey after a small crash onto the back straight, causing him to miss valuable track time. Unharmed though Alexey passed fit for the following days qualifying practices and looked forward to the task at hand

“Today we made some great progress with the bike and the setup. I felt confident on the bike but unfortunately made a mistake in the wet practice that caused my crash. Overall though I am happy and feel confident for tomorrows qualifying sessions” commented Alexey

With three qualifying sessions in which to put in their fastest lap, it was a gamble when would be the best time as there were showers throughout the day. Robbie and Alexey went out and improved on the lap times on the Friday practice instantly, but unfortunately Alexey’s session was bought to a premature halt when he had a huge high side, dislocating his right shoulder. After a trip to the hospital Alexey was able to get back on the bike for QP2 and QP3, eventually qualifying in a very credible 14th Position after battling through the pain barrier.
Robbie unfortunately failed to improve on his morning’s performance and qualified in 8th position.

The following day (Race Day) Alexey woke to some very disappointing news. He was summoned to the medical centre and informed that he would not be able to take part in Sundays races.

“It is a real shame I was told I can’t ride during the races. I felt good when back on the bike yesterday after my accident but the medics were worried the arm may come out of the socket again and cause more harm to myself or another rider. I plan to recover before Thruxton and be back fighting fully fit” explained a disappointed Alexey.

Seconds before Race 1 was due to start, the heavens opened and the track went from completely dry to almost all wet. Within the same amount of time the rain stopped and the rain didn’t look to return. Based on this Robbie took the decision to remain on dry tyres, even though there was standing water on the circuit.
Unfortunately the early laps Robbie was unable to improve much on his position due to the conditions and all of his rivals were pulling away as they were on wet tyres. As the race went out the track got dryer and dryer and Robbie started to come through the field. With the race shortened to 10 laps Robbie couldn’t capitalise fully and crossed the line in a season best of 5th.

“That was one hell of a race. I enjoyed every minute of that. The early laps were really difficult to keep the bike upright as it was like riding on marble. I pushed and pushed and eventually the tyres came to me and I started moving forward. 5th place isn’t where I want or need to be to fight for the championship but its points and I cant complain” Commented Robbie

Race 2 saw a completely dry circuit and Robbie had made some drastic changes to the suspension and gearing in the hopes of bridging the gap between him and the leaders. Unfortunately though it was soon apparent that Robbie was struggling with grip. He got a reasonable start and pushed hard. His race was a lonely one but he lay in 5th for the majority of the race. Aaron Brown was lapping much faster and started catching Robbie. Unable to respond Robbie had to just let the inevitable happen, after nearly losing the front Robbie was passed on the final lap but at the final turn he took a last dive on the inside of Aaron to secure 5th place.

“This weekend proved how big a step we have made with the bike. I am still struggling a lot with suspension setup but overall its been a good weekend. Race two was my mistake after making some changes, I really struggled to finish the race and not crash as I was losing the front at almost every corner, when I saw Aaron was catching I just couldn’t respond I tried but nearly crashed again. My arms were like rocks after the race just because of the battle I had to have with the bike, Im glad I managed 5th in dry conditions. Roll on Thruxton!” explained Robbie

Robbie and Alexey now have a two-week break before heading to Thruxton on 28th May 2011. Keep an eye on the website for photo updates.

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