MOTORCYCLING: Racer Jaggard at Thruxton
Diary of his latest championship weekend
BY COLIN HILL
Eight weeks since the Championships last outing at the end of May, Rugby Racer Keith Jaggard and the rest of the competitors got back into action at the fastest circuit in the country, Hampshire’s Thruxton circuit.
With the Championship having never raced here before and the forecast hot weather conditions, the weekend was going to be a challenge ... but a challenge that Keith was looking forward to tackling.
FRIDAY FREE PRACTICE
Alongside learning a new circuit and all that goes with it and trying to get the best out of the bike and tyres in the hot conditons Keith was also celebrating his 39th birthday for the third time in three years and celebrated by getting out on track and giving it his all and settling for 28th fastest, which he was content with going into Saturday’s Qualifying and race 1.
A new day dawned and what a day it would be with temperatures set to soar to over 30 degrees, and Keith and his wife, Chelsea’s first wedding anniversary, but, Keith and the rest of the Ducati racers would only have to contend with the heat once in the day as their Qualifying was to take place at 9am which would help with tyres. After the 20-minute session Keith would be starting the first race from 27th on the grid.
In probably the hottest part of the day the 34 machines took to the grid for the first of their two 10-lap races. Keith was determined to improve his position. So when the lights went out he gritted his teeth and got stuck into the race with the riders around him and after a good race long tussle with the group he managed to steal one place, finishing in 26th overall.
SUNDAY RACE 2
After morning rain threatened to put a dampener on the day the Ducati’s had to wait the whole day before they got their chance to head out on track for the second of their weekend races.
Once again Keith would be doing his utmost to push forward on the grid and as the lights went out he set off in pursuit of the pack ahead of him and for the first 4 laps he was really on the pace, making a couple of passes to move up the standings, but his pace was to drop off for some unexplained reason and on the penultimate lap he was forced to pull his Total Plant Solutions Ducati into the pits and retire with what turned out to be a fly in the eye which had hampered his vision.
Despite the DNF Keith and the whole team were satisfied with the weekend as a whole, with bettering his times all weekend and had enjoyed being back racing after such a long break ... not to mention the personal celebrations.
Next race weekend for the Keith and the Ducatis will be at Lincolnshire’s Cadwell Park over the August Bank Holiday.