Feature Minibike Racer Blaine Blackwell on his Season so far!
Our feature Minibike Racer Blaine Blackwell gives us an update on his season so far..
Images courtesy of Harry Lessman – Picturebike
“In March we headed to Champs Parc(Kettering) for the Minibike National, a one off 2 day meeting which is a good practice for the Minibike Championship in the following month. I had a good practice and qualified pole in the Expert class for the weekend. Race 1 I had a great start and was leading, Troy Beck passed me half way through to take the win. In Race 2 again another great start, 2nd into turn 1, and I stayed with the leader trying to make a pass but didn’t manage to get passed before the finish flag.
I started badly in Race 3 after colliding with another rider, but I worked hard all race and managed to get back to 3rd place, catching close to 2nd. In the Race 4 I was 2nd into turn 2 and chasing the leader Kris Ayres, who made a mistake and went down and was unable to start his bike for the rest of the race, so I took the race win.
For Race 5 all I had to do was finish to take the overall, instead I managed to grab the holeshot and lead until the finish flag for 1st and the win overall. I was really happy with that. I had also double entered in the 140cc class. In that I had some good battles again with Kris Ayres but with 3 out of 5 wins I also took the overall in the 140 class.
Next up it was rounds 1&2 of the British Minibike championship. The competition was tough with French rider and current world champion Mike Valade attending, so I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I qualified 6th, and in the first race I had an average start in around 5th position. I made a pass into 4th, and one of the front runners had a puncture and pulled out, I passed one more to get 2nd which I was very pleased with.
Before the start of the race 2 I noticed my chain was jumping. After stripping the chain guides off I had worked out that my gearbox was starting to go, I didn’t want to risk further damage so I used a spare bike. This bike was a lot slower then my race bike, I started around 10th and got up to around 5th. 2 laps from the end the bike stopped and I pushed over the line for 22nd!
Race 3, 2 bikes down I had to go out in the last pro race on the 140cc bike, this was very hard as I didn’t have the power out of corners like the other guys, I managed 6th in this race. The next day I fitted a spare engine over night so practice and qualifying I was running my bike in, I put 1 fast lap in on the 140 just for a gate pick and managed 6th.
Race one I started 5th and by half way I had reached 3rd position, Brad Pocock had bike trouble and pulled out making me second, on the last lap I put in a pass on Kris Ayres when we got to the lappers, which gave me my first pro160 race win!
In Race 2 I good start in 4th making my way to second. On the last lap I cross rutted on one of the jumps which threw me over the bars, I managed to jump back on and finish 3rd but my shoulder was very painful. Race 3 after a lot of pain killers I went out just to get a finish, I managed 8th with a bad shoulder finishing joint 3rd overall but being put down to 4th due to count back from the last race. I’m sat 4th in the championship and I will be determined to make the top 3 by the end of next round. I also double entered in this championship and was in the 140cc class too. On Saturday I went 1st 2nd 1st for 1st overall, Sunday I went 2nd 2nd 3rd for 2nd overall.
Next up for me is the 3rd and 4th rounds of the British Minibike Championships on May the 26th and 27th at Kieradan Park, Scunthorpe.”