Flying finish by Caister speedster Lewis
Following a tough 2011 season racing in the British Supermoto Elite Championship, Caister teenager Lewis Cornish was looking forward to a good weekend at the televised Cadwell Park finale.
The Nameplate Services/DCR racer was looking at improving on his first full season in the top flight class where he finished in eighth.
Qualifying in an impressive third place on the grid his bike unfortunately expired on the very last lap of qualification, which meant a hasty switch to his standard 450cc machine for the rest of the weekend.
In race one Lewis powered off the line and into the lead but on the long Cadwell start straight he was overhauled by his competitors faster machines. Following a hectic first corner, the Norfolk racer emerged in third position ahead of multi-national champion James Addy. Throughout the race Addy put an inordinate amount of pressure onto Lewis but the youngster kept cool. With two laps to go Addy forced his way past at the hairpin but undeterred Lewis pushed hard and retook the position on the inside. A desperate last-ditch attempt by Addy to pass within sight of the finish line was warded off by Lewis who was ecstatic with his best ever third place result in the Elite class.
In races two and three Lewis couldn’t repeat his podium spot and despite finishing in fourth place his more experienced rivals knew he was right on their rear wheels looking for a way past. Lewis’ Titanic effort was rewarded by securing the Michelin Rider of the Day award.
Sunday’s weather conditions saw an improvement and several more International standard riders joined the grid for the Open Elite races. Lewis knew his standard 450cc bike was at a distinct disadvantage compared with his rivals but he still managed an eighth place in qualifying to put him on the second row.
As the lights changed for race one Lewis was right in the mix for the lead going into turn one. With much bar banging the teenager pushed his way past several riders in front and he crossed the line in sixth.
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However race two didn’t go to plan and a collision in the braking zone into the hairpin saw Lewis off the circuit and out of the top 10. Regaining his composure he pushed hard and battled his way up into sixth place when another rider clipped his rear wheel causing them both to fall. Unable to restart his damaged machine Lewis was a spectator for the remainder of the race.
This meant that for race three he would have to start at the very back of the grid. With nothing to lose Lewis put on a truly impressive riding display as lap after lap he overtook riders on faster bikes. With two laps remaining he pushed his machine even harder and finished his last race of 2011 in an impressive seventh place.
Lewis said: “That was one of my best races ever, to come from dead last to seventh in a grid of this quality was great but I suppose yesterday’s third in the 450s has to be my highlight of the season.”