After the disappointment of Brands Hatch, Dan was looking forward to racing at Oulton Park this Bank Holiday weekend one of his favourite circuits
Neil Pearson - NP Motorcycles had worked hard to repair the damage to the Kawasaki ZX6R sustained in the feature race of Round 2, but the bike was still untested and the free practice sessions would be crucial
During and after both sessions Neil worked tirelessly with Dan to try to improve the set up and handling of the bike, but the improvements in the lap times were not coming
They continued to feedback and make further changes during qualifying and Dan managed a personal best lap time of 1:42.6. But both Dan and his mechanic were in agreement that the bike was still not performing too well, and Dan knew he could ride faster if there was more time to test and adjust the setup.
The Sprint race got underway on Sunday afternoon, and Dan's lap times were tailing off towards the end of the race as he struggled to maintain position; coming over the line in 21st position.
It was clear that this had been a huge physical demand on Dan as he continually wrestled with his machine during the race, struggling to make the bike work for him. The team regrouped to ensure those issues could be redressed by Mondays feature race.
It was decided on Sunday evening that they would rebuild the bike around another frame, and hopefully the issues with the geometry would be resolved. A long evening ahead but by Monday morning the team were ready for warm up - this would be an 8 minute test session for Dan to settle with a newly built bike
Straight away Dan saw an improvement - and with further track time the team would have been able to maximise the set up of the bike; but that was not an option as the Feature race would take place that afternoon.
The crowds were enjoying blistering Bank Holiday sunshine, and team had a huge amount of visiting friends and supporters over the weekend to cheer Dan on
The feature race took place at 3:40pm and it would be a demanding 16 laps for all the riders, with scorching track temperatures asking so much of the tyres.
Dan started in 22nd place on the grid but knew a cool head in the early part of the race would be essential, and physical fitness would also play a part in the sun drenched 30 minute race.
He went on to knock a further second and a half off his lap time during the race, setting a new personal best of 1:41.1 and bringing the bike over the line in 14th position and back into the points once again
"It was a difficult weekend struggling to get the bike to work as we intended - but as a team we worked extremely hard to identify the problems and rectify them for the feature race. Neil and my dad put so much effort into giving me the bike I needed for the race, as I knew I could ride much faster. We had so much support this weekend, which was kindly sponsored by Allan James Financial Services".
If you would like to follow Dan why not visit his website: www.dandrayton.com
Image credits: Ian Hopgood Photography
Press Release prepared by: K Drayton