EVESHAM racer Mike Tustin was left frustrated after a dramatic crash brought his efforts in the 2015 Thundersport GB championship at Cadwell Park to a premature end at the weekend.
Tustin and his colleagues from TeamMTR headed into rounds seven and eight in confident mood after successful results at Snetterton.
The team were hopeful of some similar results this time out at a track where the team has enjoyed previous success, but a crash in race one of round eight on Sunday meant an unhappy conclusion to proceedings.
After rebuilding the bike after Snetterton’s overheating problems, Tustin qualified in an average seventh place in the wet qualifying session, having been unable to really try the bike to its full potential due to the poor weather.
He got off to a good start in race one of round seven on Saturday and was excited to see how the bike would perform in the weekend’s first dry action.
He slotted into fourth place going into the first corner and tried to get away with the pace-setters. Tustin tried an audacious move into the Park Corner section of the track, only to outbrake himself and end up in the grass and out of the race. It was a disappointing start to the weekend and not what the team had predicted.
After the disappointment of race one, Tustin and the team were desperate to show the pace they had and, again in dry conditions, Tustin got away well and slotted into seventh place into the first corner, desperate to stay out of trouble in race two.
After settling into a good pace and rhythm, he began to make inroads into the riders ahead and started picking off riders to put himself into fourth.
With three laps remaining, Tustin started bridging the three-second gap to third place, but was unfortunate not to grab the final podium spot having run out of laps and eventually finished 0.5 seconds behind Mallinder who finished in third place.
On Sunday morning the rain was back to make things difficult for all the riders involved. After morning warm-up, the team realised the front wet tyre was badly worn, so this was replaced with a new tyre to help Tustin with the feel and feedback needed in wet weather riding.
Qualifying in fourth spot meant Tustin had a real opportunity to get away with the pace-setters in race one of round eight, but a terrible start and impaired vision due to spray from the circuit meant he slotted into tenth place into the first corner.
However, Tustin began to pick his way through the riders in front and by lap five he had got up to fourth position, only for disaster to strike. While braking into the Mansfield section of the circuit, Tustin hit a false neutral, causing the bike to become unsettled while braking.
This caused him to crash and hit the tarmac at around 60-70mph, trapping his leg between the bike and tarmac, with the footpeg piercing his leathers and skin.
The bike continued to slide off the track, only to flip over twice and cause serious damage to the tank, frame, engine casings, sump, subframe, handlebars, levers and footpegs. This unfortunately ended the weekend’s racing for TeamMTR and the bike rebuild starts again.
Afterwards Tustin conclusion was: “Cadwell Park can only be described as a disaster for TeamMTR, only finishing in one race out of four.
“However, although the weekend was extremely difficult for the team, we have only dropped one place to fifth overall and are still well within touching distance of the four ahead.
“As we all know with any kind of racing, anything can happen and there is still over half of the championship to go, so we will be fighting fit for the next round at Oulton Park on Saturday, June 27.”
Tustin would like to thank his sponsors Jet Plant Hire, GM Roofing, Evesham Trade Centre and Karndean Design Flooring.