Round 6 of the Europeans - Imola, Italy
Day 1 in Italy started on a positive with P2 in the qualifying session and put Todds confidence where it needed to be for the weekend. Todd's finally sorted his qualifying weakness out and he finally has it in his head that he CAN do it! 2nd gate pick for the races this weekend in Italy, Todd liked the track reasonably well and was generally confident all round. Unfortunately, it didn't happen. Through no fault of Todd's but bad luck. Race 1, saw Todd very close to the back pack of the riders up the start straight after being hit by another rider. Todd focused and pushed hard to get himself past both P1 and P2 in the championship riders to be positioned comfortably 2nd in the race, closing on wildcard and local rider Lacopi who was leading the pack. Little did we know on the side line, Todd had a bike problem from lap 1. The bike wasn't changing gear smoothly, jumping gears and just generally being quite a hinder. With this in mind, P1 was looking very hopeful with the way he was riding and compensating for the mechanical. 3 laps to go, the bike finally gave up the ghost and jammed in 2nd gear. With no choice other than limp it home. With the massive jumps, it was dangerous and therefore Todd found himself having to pull out of the way rather than try and hold his position for his own and other riders safety. At the end of the day, positions are what we want but safety comes first. Amazingly, Todd managed to limp it home in 2nd gear for 3 laps to finish 4th place!
Just to make things a little worse, we had drove to Imola, Italy this weekend with only 1 bike due to the practice bike blowing up last week. Todd walked round the pits for an hour in 35 degrees trying to find a Yamaha YZ250 2stroke engine that we could borrow. We were happy to pay anything just to get Todd back out there on the Sunday. Eventually, Todd found an Italian team that were happy for us to rent an engine for the Sunday for 200euros. The team fitted the engine for us whilst Todd competed in the very different and eye opening 2019 E-bike World Cup. Todd was very much underpowered and focused on everything else that was going on but brought it home to 10th in the World Cup.
Day 2, 1st lap take out, left Todd a long way back from the pack, a sore knee and a very devastated rider. Todd rode the wheels off the bike to pull back through to 11th with 2 laps to go and the seat and side panel fell off! As if our weekend couldn't get any worse! Knowing it was a borrowed engine, Todd was concerned about it getting too much air and blowing up, so he sat down to slow the airflow down and limped it home in 17th position. Everything went against us this weekend but we got back to the van, regrouped and focused on the positives. Todd is still 3rd in the championship with 20points over Kovar in 4th and 38 points over Lusbo in 5th.