2015 had kicked in.
I have debuted in my new team. Beautiful day, massive 500 crowd watched us race against the Champions, Ostrow. I have to say I was rather confident we can win, so was our coach. The squad is strong, with a long bench, there is a lot to choose from. I was properly introduced to the crowd, and given a shirt by one of the sponsors.
Nice touch, pressure mounted. Bike looked and felt immaculate. I have opted out for a Maxxis on the back this year, especially for Poland. Swietochlowice has some good juniors in their squad, and with Grabo joining the seniors this year, we had high hopes for our youngsters. It didn’t quite go like we wanted. A draw in the first junior heat was quite below expectations. From race 1 we could see that the visitors had a tactic in their heads. They raced like a British team would have raced. 6:4’s from the insides, 5:5’s from the outs. It was difficult to react to this dramatic stubbornness. We felt frustrated as our track isn’t perfectly suited to overtake so it was playing to their hands. I was concentrated to do the job for the team. At the end of the day this was the reason I was there. First race was all about watching my back and trying to hold on to Grabowski, who looked fast, after only twice being on the bike this year.
Second race was quite interesting. Bartek gated strongly from four, which I didn’t expect so I was playing catch up. I have managed to squeeze in between the Ostrow pair and get my young partner through. I had to stop dead to allow him to get around me, but he was a bit too slow and I had to sacrifice my second place and make sure we get a 6:4. It was getting a bit too nervous for my liking. We were making mistakes and getting gated. The score was still very close, only 3 points in it. Unfortunately this is how it finished. We have lost by 3 points. Last race of the inside grids, we needed 7:3 to grab a last minute win, but only managed a draw. Let’s hope we can only improve from that.
Here is the match on footage from a local TV.
I didn’t have time to dwell on that result, the Elite League was starting next weekend. Good training followed by the good old back injury, had left me with mixed feelings. Early night after the disastrous Warsaw Grand Prix. Up at 3:45, on the plane at 6:00. Landed at Luton, met Marcin Paradzinski and we made our way to Oxford in a hired car. It was good to be back in the UK, driving on a motorway :) We went for breakfast in town as Para have never been. Nice, but rather cool morning, my back was not playing ball at all. Track was quite deep and I was on George Horsley’s bike (Thank You), with a Maxxis on the front. I don’t rate this tyre at the front, prefer a Kenda 1,95. A good gate in the first race and a trademark 7:3 with me and Lewis.
Next race I had Greg on 1, I was on 4. I thought I will give it a go and try to chase Gluchowski. Greg have left me after the first bend, although I wasn’t loosing that much ground, I certainly wasn’t gaining any… He is looking very sharp at the beginning of the year, if he carries on, he will be difficult to beat around Wednesfield in the summer.
Next race I was on grid one, with Gav on two. Feeling vulnerable I got gated, even though I made a good start, experience and determination got Gav a win. Race after that I was gating 4 to 1… Strange days.
Last race was just a formality, me and Boaler made sure we got the points, we got 7:3’d by Gav and Greg but won the match by 1 point. Straight after the match we had another race to win. Me and Marcin had to make a drive to Luton, via Stansted to catch our respective flights back. I drove myself to Stansted and Marcin carried on back to Luton, checked the car out with an hour to spare to check his bike bag in. Very tight indeed. Some fast driving saved us some valuable time.
Injury is slowly getting better and I am starting to enjoy training again. Wroclaw’s track is getting worse with the dry weather. It is very demanding, you have to wrap yourself around the second bend to keep the wheels inline and with my back hurting it is challenging even more, but it is getting better. Yesterday was positive. I am seeing that this year, the competition is getting tougher, riders have put the hard work in and there is a lot of fast riders out there. I am doing my best to join them and keep the boat afloat. I hope I can get there in time and enjoy another season with the best.
Sunday is another away match for me (aren’t they all?). Torun away is always tough… Looking forward to see my old friends and race against them. We have nothing to lose.