Podium finish boost for Cornish after setback
PUBLISHED: 14:44 17 May 2012
Teenage supermoto ace Lewis Cornish enjoyed another podium finish boost in round two of the British championships.
After scooping a podium spot at the previous British Masters meeting the Caister-based Nameplate Services/DCR racer was full of confidence heading into round two at Rednal Raceway, Shropshire.
Lewis quickly laid down a marker during qualifying for the 450 Elite races by setting second quickest lap time.
However a series of crashes, one being caused by an unexplained mechanical failure meant that he finished the day battered and bruised with only a best place finish of fourth in race two to lift his spirits. The team worked late to prepare a spare machine for the following day’s Open Elite races.
During qualifying, the difficult and changeable track conditions prompted Lewis to put in some hot lap times early in the session just in case the weather took a turn for the worse.
Setting some blistering times on slick tyres on the damp tarmac Lewis was soon top of the leaderboard and when light rain finally started to fall the team pulled him off the track as it was clear that nobody could better his stunning pace. Lewis’ nearest rival was over half a second slower and this was the Norfolk youngster’s first Elite Pole position. In race one in the mad dash to the first turn Lewis was pushed down to fourth place but he soon made up time and was hunting down the leader Douggie Cunningham.
On the dirt section Lewis’ speed was clear and as he moved in to make a pass on Cunningham, Lewis hit his rival’s rear wheel which saw Cornish hit the ground stalling the bike. By the time he had restarted the race he was last and with his goggles discarded he set off in pursuit of the pack.
An amazing display of firm but calculated riding allowed Lewis to reel in the riders in front and battle his way through to 13th position at the flag. This meant a 13th place on the grid for race two and in yet another amazing display of aggressive and controlled riding Cornish forced his way past rider after ride to cross the line in a well-deserved 5th position.
So with a second row grid place for the Trophy Final Lewis fired his DCR- tuned bike off the line and up into second spot. The damp track suited Lewis but with a drying line he’d opted for slick tyres as the Trophy Final was the longest race of the day.
A slight mistake was all that reigning British Champion Chris Hodgson and runner-up James Addy needed to move past Cornish.
Lewis not deterred by this, recomposed himself and rejoined the four rider freight train. All of the riders in front of Lewis were former motocross champions but Cornish’s speed over the dirt section was easily equal to them.
However it was on the tarmac that Lewis became the biggest threat to the competition and he powered back up into third position which he managed to hold until the finish line. This impressive result has seen Lewis on the podium at all four race meetings so far this season.
“After such bad luck on day one, I really wanted to do well today and before qualifying Dave (Clarke) told me to get some fast laps in quick before the rain came. This worked, but because I crashed in race one I didn’t get the chance to challenge for my first Elite win.
“I rode so hard to get back up the pack and I know I’m one of the quickest on the dirt and this helps here.
“The last race I was waiting to see if James’ wet tyres would last the distance and obviously this was the wrong tyre choice, which helped me pass him to get another podium.
“I guess it’s been a tough couple of days and I know that race win isn’t far away now.”
Later this month, Lewis will be looking to extend his lead in the Southern Supermoto Championship at Bordon, Hants before heading off to Blyton Raceway in Lincs for the next round of the British Supermoto Championships.