FEATURE TEAM REPORT: Bailo wins at Redcar for Greenfield Dirt track at Flat Track Nationals Round 3!
Round Three of the Dirt Track Riders Association Indian Motorcycle Flat Track Nationals saw the team head up north for the first ever Flat Track race held at Redcar Speedway. The racing would take place over the weekend with the Pro and Inter’s taking to the track on Saturday night, reverting back to the much-preferred new format of timed qualifying. With support from the Vintage class and Youth Senior’s. Sunday’s racing included both the Youth Junior and Inter classes, along with the majority of the DTRA classes.
Images courtesy of Paul France
Qualifying on Saturday kicked off at 3pm, with two, three-minute qualifying opportunities. With over 36 riders competing it was critical to fall inside that top 36 to make it through to the heats. Both Bailo and Pickering were on it, with consistently high lap times. There was not a lot in it with Gerard qualifying third with 15.331, with George coming in at fifth with a time of 15.438, only milliseconds separated the top five.
The schedule resumed at 6pm with George heading out in the first heat race, lining up on the front row alongside fastest qualifier Rob Mear and Richard Mason. Pickering slid past Mason on the last corner of the first lap, with a controlled manoeuvre up the inside, on a freshly watered slick track. Pickering crossed the line in second, transferring him straight into the semi. Bailo had an effortless heat win, leading from start to finish, once again showcasing his talent on short tracks. The top 24 riders were split between two Semi’s, Bailo riding in the first of the two, stayed out of trouble and took the chequered flag. Pickering made a solid start in his Semi but on the first lap there was a multi-rider pile up, resulting in the red flagging of the race. The riders then lined up for a full re-start, with Pickering holeshotting leading the way, until a coming together with Mear unsettled him, pushing him back to third, where he finished the race, transferring him straight to the main with the other top five finishers.
The final was the first race of the day where the Team Greenfield riders’ paths crossed. Despite winning all of his races Gerard had the second gate pick, after Rob Mear who also won all of his races and had the fastest lap out of the two. Pickering took sixth pick. As the light went green Pickering struggled to get off the line, exiting the first corner in eighth, while Bailo battled his way to the front. As the race progressed Pickering made up places to sixth, hanging onto the tails of Dijkstra and Birtwistle, who followed the leading pack, quickly pulling away from the other half of the pack. Bailo sat tightly behind Mear, waiting for his opportunity. As the laps were counting down in the fifteen lap final Bailo rode as if every lap was his first, faultlessly he made a pass up the inside of Mear and very quickly broke away from him and the rest of the pack. Pickering continued to put pressure on Dijkstra but just couldn’t make the pass, Pickering crossed the line in Sixth. Bailo won the DTRA’s first ever Flat Track race at Redcar Speedway and became the first ever Spanish rider to win a race meeting in the UK series.
The Youth Inter class was fiercely competitive at Round three, with many of the riders displaying significant improvements and increased aggression. Fergus looked sharp all day placing second behind Luke Gardner in all of his heat races. It was clear that Fergus was struggling with his starts, making hard work for himself in some heat races where he was held up in traffic, allowing Gardner to pull away from him. Fergus crossed the line in second for his double point final, cementing his overall finish position of second place. Fergus showed real tenacity throughout the day and was constantly seeking advice and tips from his more senior team mates on how to get the best out of all his races. His eagerness to learn is a credit to the Greenfield Team.
Toby Johnson the Team’s Youth Junior rider gained more valuable racing experience over the weekend at Redcar. A little ‘off’ in practice was Toby’s first ever crash during a race meeting, this incident resulted in him missing his first race, while we sorted out a freak problem with the carb on his bike. Toby took back out to the track steadily to complete his days racing. We’re pleased that Toby carried on and we look forward to seeing him back out there next time.
Unfortunately, Max Inman our Youth Senior rider couldn’t make it to Round Three. But we look forward to seeing him at the next Round of racing, here in Greenfield for the TT. The next Round of the Flat Track Nationals will be held over the weekend of the 7th and 8th of July.