Tough Weekend In Steel City
Oakleaf Motorsport Honda headed to the steel city in Sheffield for round seven of the Arenacross championship last weekend. After a solid showing from both riders in Glasgow, Angelo, Romain & Joe were looking to improve on last week’s results.
The morning started with practise and qualifying. Angelo and Romain headed out in the first qualifying session. Lap eight saw Romain post his fastest time which whet on to give him sixth, while Angelo put his fastest lap in on lap seven which saw him top the group. Qualifying session two saw Romain move up a spot to 5th & Angelo drop to 2nd. There times mixed with the other qualifying group meant that Angelo got 5th & Romain 11th heading into the nights heat races.
Rookie rider Joe Clayton was also on the pace once again in qualifying, taking third in Q1 with less the one second splitting the top three. Joe then found his rhythm and tried some new lines in Q2 which took his time to the top of the board for that session, which gave him second overall in qualifying.
Heat one saw Romain & Angelo take to the track. Romain was second around the first corner while Angelo was in fourth. A couple laps in Angelo found his rhythm and made the pass for 3rd. Lap 4 saw Angelo and Romain wheel to wheel battling it out for 3rd. By the end of the lap Angelo had found a way around Romain. After a couple small mistakes by Romain, the heat ended with Angelo taking second and Romain fifth.
The rookies took to the track next which saw Joe Clayton behind the gate. Joe was fourth around the first corner behind series leader Ollie Osmaston. Joe and Ollie swapped positions a few times on the opening lap, during lap two Osmaston made a massive mistake and went over the berm and off the track, this put Joe into 3rd and he was soon on the hunt for the win. By the end of lap four Joe was out front where he rode a solid race and pulled a nice lead to take his first win of the series.
Romain Biela was up next for his second heat of the night. A good start saw Romain second around the first turn, by the end of lap two pressure was coming from Adam Chatfield who made the pass on Romain. Romain took home fifth after a small mistake let past Loic Rombaut and Mickael Musquin.
A good start saw Angelo Pellegrini take the holeshot in his second heat race and create an early lead. Angelo came under pressure at the halfway point from French rider Florent Richier, but Angelo withheld the pressure to take the win in heat 4, meaning both riders progressed through the nights main event.
Head to heads were up next where Angelo won his first two rounds against Cyrille Coulon & Adam Chatfield. He met Thomas Ramette in the final where he came up just short on the win but still took 3 extra points towards the championship standings.
The main event saw Angelo and Romain both with good gate picks, but that all changed when the gate dropped. A first corner crash took down five riders including Romain Biela, while Angelo Pellegrini managed to avoid the carnage he sat in second behind Mickael Musquin. On the second lap Angelo made an uncharacteristic mistake and crashed moving him down to 6th. Meanwhile a Romain had remounted and re-joined the race a couple laps down. Angelo Pellegrini made a couple good passes towards the end of the race and moved himself into 4th where he would stay until the cheques.
Main Event Result:
Angelo Pellegrini – 4th
Romain Biela – 12th
Angelo Pellegrini #941: “The day started good, I took first in my group in the first qualifying session & second in the second session. In the first heat I started around fifth and finished second, I rode pretty well. In the second heat race I started around 5th again and went on to win that race. The head to head also was good I finished second. In the final I gated second, but on the second lap I made a big mistake and crashed, I was round 6th when I got going again. I passed a few people and came back to fourth. I am happy about my speed & confidence, but not this race. I think if I didn’t crash tonight I would have been on the podium, we’ll see at the next race in London.”
Romain Biela #601: “This morning did not start so well. I crashed in first practice, but came out with sixth in the first qualifying session and fifth in the second. I had a good start in my first heat race; I gated second and finished 5th. In heat three I gated second again and finished in fifth.
I had a good start in the main event, but there was a big crash in the first corner which was not good for me as I went down and hurt my arm, but that’s racing.”
Joe Clayton #14: “In practice I didn’t really go for any quick laps as I was just trying to get used to the track. George (My Mechanic) told me I should go for the finish line triple straight away to get it out of the way with, which I did on the first lap with no problems.
The first qualifying session started off well by getting the fastest lap in, but then I hit the whoops a little wrong one lap and crashed, I couldn’t get back into a rhythm and ended the session with 3rd. The second qualifying session was good, I was second for most of it, but took the top spot on the last lap making me qualify 2nd overall for the race in the evening.
In the race I had an ok start coming out 4th in the first corner with Putnam, Margetson and Osmaston. We all stayed together for the first few laps, but then Ollie crashed. I moved into first in the next two of laps and opened up my lead and rode steady on the last lap to take my first win of the series.”
Pro Championship Standings
- Thomas Ramette – 134
- Florent Richier – 128
- Angelo Pellegrini – 110
- Cyrille Coulon – 102
- Adam Chatfield – 101
- Elliott Banks-Browne – 75
- Loic Rombaut – 75
- Harri Kulas – 73
- Romain Biela – 66
- Ashley Greedy – 55