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Windley 0.3s off Podium at BDS !

Windley 0.3s off Podium at BDS !

James Windley Race Report - BDS Rd 4, Moelfre

Fort William seems like a long time ago now but it felt good to get my first BDS race under the belt and get some quality time on the downhill bike for once. I?d been looking forward to riding Moelfre although I?m always a little apprehensive when racing a new venue for the first time ? watching the on-board GoPro videos only go so far and hardly ever reflect the actual track come race weekend.

Recently I?ve been playing with my bike setup a fair bit, made some good changes at Fort William but since I?ve gone longer on the stem to 50mm and upped the fork pressure by 10psi and the rear shock by 15psi as the bike felt a bit too keen to get into the travel. I think this really helped this weekend as the Moelfre track was pretty flat out and keeping speed through the drifty switchbacks and long traverse around the mountain was key to a good result. I think I?ll keep the bike like this for the next couple races and see what happens. I?m still struggling on brake setup and compound mix but that?s a problem to fix another day.

Saturday was a cracking day. The sun was out all day and it did get quite hot in the afternoon, but to be honest it felt just like an uplift day with some of my best mates banging out the runs until the final uplift! Track was running real loose but I just kept pushing the bike that little bit more each run and felt so comfortable keeping up with (Josh) Corbett which hasn?t happened in a long time!

I managed two practice runs on Sunday morning but kept it at that as I wanted to save the energy and save the legs for qualifying and the race run. I had a good run in quali although I elected to start behind teammate Gouldy (30 second interval between riders) to spice things up a bit. I did manage to catch up on his chilled effort and got the overtake through the 4X section ? the crowd loved the TMC banter train at this point! I think I qualified in 15th place.

Then the rain came down. Race run in the damp having only ridden a bone dry, dusty track was interesting! It was hard to keep warm up top but I just rode the track like it was dry and managed to beat my (steady) qualifying time by a couple of seconds which was quite cool. Kep the rubber side down and the bike felt it was on rails the whole run except the corner before the 4X jumps! Managed to case all 4 jumps, lost so much speed but ended up in 6th place in Seniors 0.3 off the podium which sucks but that?s how racing goes. It?s good to know I?m there or there abouts on pace so I?m looking forward to the next BDS round to try and score some more points.

As always huge thanks to the Team for their support and to mechanic Dave and team owner Andy, plus it was great to see Stephens Racing down for the weekend and watch the Scottish boys rip the place up! I think I owe the guys a beer or two at the next one!

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