BARRY SHEENE ONCE QUOTED PHILLIP ISLAND AS 'THE GATEWAY TO HYPOTHERMIA', HE'D CLEARLY NEVER BEEN TO SNETTERTON IN EARLY MAY!
Silverstone: "I'm the coldest, windiest place to go testing!"
Snetterton: "Hold my beer...and can I borrow your umbrella?"
Three days of testing (huzzah!) one full day of 'Open PitLane' (oh yeah!) and two days of six sessions (for chipping away/step by step purposes, obvs) so plenty of 'seat in bum time', to quote the current STK1000 Champion, which might be a thing in Geordieland but not in Norfolk where it's positively frowned upon! It could all have been so good, it could have been just the start to the season everyone needed but then again, this is England and we should know better than to 'cast a clout 'til May is out' (which I believe is something about taking your vest off) as Mother Nature ALWAYS has to have the last word... and we're not even married!
Monday night's horrendous weather set the tone for the week so as Tuesday morning came the track was cold and wet. Now, call me old-fashioned, but if you cast a glance up pitlane and 99% of the teams are wearing tyre warmers instead of jackets then surely the alarm bells will ring...? Erm, no. A handful of 'brave' souls took to the track - y'see, the nature of the beast says we'll have a wet BSB weekend at some point so why not get a feel and a setting or two - well, that's if you actually manage to make it all the way round to complete a lap, right Fraser Rogers? Whoopsie... (he's perfectly ok, though).
The IN Competition Aprilia man wasn't the only one, though as five of the seven riders who took to the track had an off of some description, just some earlier than others! Kudos to the Dynavolt Triumph fellas for sticking it out, though, as that was some cold and wet riding but hopefully not too expensive in the end. It was definitely a shock to the system for Brandon Paasch who, just a few weeks ago, was in the Sunshine State of Florida spanking the banking at Daytona before ploughing laps at a single digit, windy and wet airfield circuit in the depths of Norfolk. Yin and yang, baby, yin and yang...
Two meaningful sessions for the big class on Wednesday and three for the rest saw pitlane go from ticking over to full throttle as every man and child wanted to be on track. Then it rained. Seriously, it was like being teased - here, have some track time...haha, no not really, have some rain instead! And just to add insult to injury, it hailed early evening while having tea (no, not dinner...tea; breakfast, dinner, tea...) Yeah, cheers. As for Wednesday, the least said the better - early stack and home in time for tea and medals!
So onwards we go to Oulton Park in leafy Cheshire, the undulating rollercoaster of a circuit that is adored by many but feared by few. Please, please, please let it be warm and dry... And the best thing about OP, regardless of the weather? Yes, the one thing missing from 2020 - YOU! - spectators are allowed in on pre-booked tickets and in limited numbers to see the riders in action for the first time since Brands Hatch 2019! Wonderful.