Tough time at Mallory but all is not lost
Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood endured a difficult fifth round in the Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship.
But despite a string of technical difficulties at Mallory Park, the double British champions managed to hold on to second place in the standings.
Portsmouth-based Stevens said: ‘After Snetterton, we were really hopeful we had cracked the grip issue on the outfit.
‘Going into this round, the engine needed a refresh so we changed it for a new one.
‘Sadly, we didn’t quite manage to get the settings right.
‘I’m also still recovering from a foot injury.
‘So my gears are on the handlebar when I’m more used to changing gear with my foot.’
Stevens and Charlwood kicked off the first race from seventh spot on the grid.
But the lack of grip made it near impossible for them to make up time.
Eventually, they finished third – but only by the skin of their teeth.
In race two, the reverse grid meant they started from row four and managed to get up to fifth in the class.
However, in a cruel twist of fate, they spun the outfit at the hairpin on lap 14 of 20 – ending up at a 90-degree angle to the corner, which is raised a few feet and on a steep camber.
This put them back to 15th and – with little time to recover – they finished in a disappointing ninth place.
Charlwood said: ‘We were having a good battle with the other teams in the second race but I think we were trying too hard to make progress which resulted in the bike spinning at the hairpin.
‘Having said that, we are still second in the championship standings so it’s not all bad.’
Stevens added: ‘We’ve not had a great season so far and I feel like we keep saying the same thing.
‘But I think we have diagnosed what the problem is and it’s something we can fix for Brands Hatch.
‘Hopefully the next round will be better and we can prove it is the bike at fault and not us!’