Ifield rider Don Gilbert has returned to racing after his 100mph horror smash, by tackling the notorious Olivers Mount road race circuit in Scarborough.
The high-speed crash in the Thundersport class of the British Championships at Brands Hatch put paid to his Horsham-based C Red Racing Team’s season.
But after rebuilding the bike, Gilbert decided to take on a life-long ambition of road racing and competed against some of the top TT riders.
The team prepared for the unknown with road racing known to be more dangerous, competitive and tense that track racing.
In the first practise Gilbert realised he was off the pace and struggling to get used to the dangers.
He said: “This was my first proper road race, but I’ve completed two successful seasons in short-circuit racing.
“A big crash at the start of the year ruined our chances to compete in a full championship this season, so we took the opportunity to take the time and try our hand at a bit of road racing, which has always been a dream of mine since I can remember.
“I didn’t think it would be a problem at first, because I’ve ridden on the road for years, but its a completely different ball game when you’re pushing limits.”
Gradually improving, Gilbert finished 18th from 25 in qualifying, before finishing 16th in race one. In the second race, he started well to get up to ninth, but conceded two positions to finish 11th.
“I was overwhelmed at our progress throughout the weekend, we knocked off a total of ten seconds off our lap times,” Gilbert added.
“We broke the newcomers lap record by two seconds with a 1.58sec lap, and was the fastest newcomer ever on the circuit which we were over the moon about.
“I think if we had the budget and a bit of track time, we could be a serious contender in the BSB and national road races such as the Isle of Man TT. “
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