Gravesend National Trophy 26.11.17

Race report from supported rider Emile Alexander E1I rode the course the day before the race. It was dry and technical with lots of tricky off-camber sections and a long steep hill which was the main spectator area. The start straight was around 1km long so I came up with a high risk strategy the night before. I planned to pump my tyres up to 70 psi to give me an advantage on the tarmac, then pit as soon as I was on the main course. I would have tried road tyres if we’d had a pair in the van! I rode a few laps again the next day and realised that a lot of the areas I practiced the previous day had changed overnight, the off camber section had become even slipper than it was the day before. This was slightly annoying as to get to the on the first lap you had to go through that bit and as you can probably tell this was not going to be easy on 70 psi as it was barely rideable on 20. I decided to go for it and see what happened.
I was gridded fifth, this was great as three Lichfield riders (me, Matt and Dan) were on the front row. I had a good start pushing ahead due to my tyre pressure choice. I gritted my teeth and was first into the off-camber section as a big crash happened behind. I decided to get off and run rather than risk sliding and losing even more time. Doing this put me into 4th. I went into the pits ready to swap at full pace when I realised that the back wheel on the spare bike had not been put in properly. This was my own fault and moved me down to 10th. I quickly resumed the chase and within a lap was into 4th place but there was now a large gap between me and the top three. I chased hard for the rest of the race but couldn’t get any closer and eventually finished in 4th, which I was pleased with as the course was fast and technical and didn’t play to my natural strengths.
Emile Alexander

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