Photo Credit Cami Pix Photography
This weekend saw the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship compete as part of the Motul World Superbikes for one round only. This is instead of the 600’s and 1000’s going to Assen with the rest of the British Superbike Championship contenders.
It was set to be an absolutely grand weekend with inspiring battles to be had by some of the greats, and in amongst it, a couple of national races were to be put in the mix as well.
Luke Hedger had a great race out last time round at Oulton Park placing himself in a podium position for a good part of the race but due to the ever changing weather conditions this did not last.
However this time round was to be a different turn of events, with great sunshine and hot weather the choice of tyres was the least of his worries. Hedger had less time than normal to test settings on the bike as they were given only one free practice before a shortened qualifying session on the Saturday and then straight into the 100 mile race.
Hedger, 21 from Yate started free practice and struggled to find a good set up on the bike; by Qualifying late in the day, Saturday they was getting close to finding a good setup but after 15 laps he pulled back into the pit lane in 16th place.
From the data and talking to Luke the team change a few thing for race day hoping the changes would work, there would be no time to test them because they had no morning warm up
With fresh eyes on the prize Sunday afternoon he was ready to battle his way through the field and as the lights went out they were soon on their way to Redgate – the first corner. The first lap always being the most nerve wrecking as you have 30 or more riders all going for the same line on the track.
He soon went up the field 7 places to 9th place battling with Tunstall, Weaving, Law and Elliott where he stayed for the remainder of part one of the race. He went over the line to take the chequered flag and into the pit lane in order to change tyres and re fuel ready for part 2 consisting of 18 laps.Staying in 9th position he held off Tom Tunstall to take the second chequered flag of the day putting in the fastest time in sector 4,a massive achievement for Luke moving forward.Luke still sits 6th in the championship.
afterwards, Luke said of his weekend rubbing shoulders in the paddock with the world’s leading Superbike riders: "The weekend started off steady and if I’m honest, Friday was the toughest day one for a while and
Q1 wasn't much better. But come race day, I knew that Ian and the EHA Racing Team would have the bike where it should be – and they did just that for me.
I was feeling confident for the races and I got off to a good start and finished the first part in ninth. The second part was much better and I went faster and was on the back of the leading group at one stage, but we ended up with ninth.i couldn't progress up the field any further due to arm pump which was a shame.
The weekend ended on a high as I know we had the pace to run top five which is positive. I’d like to thank the whole EHA team and Ian for working really hard.I look on now to Knockhil in three weeks time as well as Snetterton British Superbike Official Test Day."
Also I would like to thank to my personal sponsors, SRS international(Simon Whatley), Swindon Karting(James and Matt Cox),IN Aprilia(Ian Newton),One-X Leathers(John McQueen),J.C.Cook Cycles(Andrew Jones),HJC Helmets,Daytona Boots, Cami pix Photography and Dave Siney.