Bailo Increases his Points Lead and Hales Wins at Ammanford – Greenfield Dirt Track Team Report
Images courtesy of Braking Point Images
Gerard Bailo, with a third and a fourth in the half mile of Ammanford (Wales, GB), increases his advantage in the British Flat Track Championship to 11 points over the Gary Birtwistle (Honda) with two races to go. Ferran Sastre, third in the points table, is 14 points back with 40 at stake and Toby Hales was the rider who scored the most points over the weekend with a victory and a second place and moves up to fourth in the title hunt.
It was a difficult weekend due to the rain and the challenge of racing on the longest oval in the series, an asymmetric half-mile. Because of the rain, the Saturday main was cancelled and overall results were based on average of finishes in the heat races. Championship leader Bailo was third and Sastre fifth. It was the best result of the season for team mate Toby Hales, who scored his first win and backed that up on Sunday with a strong charge through the field that took him to second and made him top points-scorer for the weekend.
With dry weather for Sunday, Dutchman Maikel Dijkstra (Honda) won the Main followed by Hales, Birtwistle, Bailo and Sastre, Angus Gough and Franc Serra…a group of seven riders, all fighting in a tight pack for the win. For Ferrán Sastre, it was his first time riding this track and it took him a little while to adapt to the size and conditions of Ammanford, but he progressively improved his pace and even ended winning a few heats on Sunday.
Bailo is still leading with two races remaining, the Redcar Speedway oval on August 17/18 and the final in September on the Greenfield circuit.
George Pickering – Team Owner Greenfield Dirt Track:
“There was a lot of competitive racing at Rounds 4 and 5 this weekend. The DTRA team were working hard and made the right decisions. Toby Hales is usually very competitive at this half mile track, so going into it we were hopeful he would come away with good results. Gerard finished on the podium here last year and he was fast all weekend and was able to add a point to his advantage in the championship. For Ferran Sastre it was his first time riding this track and it took him a little while to adapt to the size and conditions of Ammanford. Once his father, Pep, had made some little changes to the bike, he had sussed the track out and was back to his usual self.
The final was probably the best race of the season. Any of the Top 7 could have won it. So, we were pleased with P2,P4 and P5 finishes. Our goal is to have all three of our riders on the podium at Redcar next month!”
Gerard Bailo #17:
“Not bad. I came in with a 10-point lead and I’m 11 leaving points ahead of Gary Birtwistle and 14 ahead of Ferran. I was looking forward to this big circuit. On Saturday, my three seconds in the heats put me third overall and on Sunday, after so much rain, the circuit was very bumpy. I won a heat but in the final I finished fourth when I couldn’t hold off Toby in the final laps. We were off the podium for the first time in the whole year but happy to come out with a bit more advantage and looking forward to the next round on a circuit that I really like.”
Ferran Sastre #215:
“Saturday was a bit difficult with very few laps to adapt on a bigger circuit than we have run until now and with a soft, sandy surface. With only four laps of practice before the first heat and with the main cancelled, I was fifth on the basis of average finish in the heats. Sunday was much better and I won two of my heats against some riders who ended up on the podium in the end. Progress during the weekend was positive. We finished with good pace, adapting to a difficult circuit. For the work we have done and how everything has evolved, I am very satisfied.”
Toby Hales #1:
“The rain kept us from running the main on Saturday but I won all my heats and that gave me the win! In the Sunday main I didn’t get a great start and was back in fifth in the tight pack for a few laps, but I finally got by Angus Gough and went after Bailo and just caught and passed him with a lap to go and I just managed to get inside Gary (Birtwistle) on the final corner to finish second.”