MOTORCYCLING: Sleaford rider Ridealgh wins on Mallory Park track debut

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Riding the RP Motorsport Honda, Sleaford racer Chris Ridealgh (27) rode to a fine win in the EMRA CB500 race at Mallory Park on Sunday, also posted the fastest lap of the race with 1min 2.502s at 80.06mph.

Originally from Grantham, Chris had never raced at the Leicestershire circuit before and had to contend with learning the short but intricate track layout and then had a poor qualifying session, which meant he had to start the race from the back row within a mixed grid of 32 riders, including the 1300 Allcomers.

But despite his disadvantage, he got away to a good start and was up into fifth place on lap three. On lap six of 10, he was leading the 500 class and was also third overall, mixed in with the much larger capacity machines in the 1300 class.

On the penultimate lap, he had a clear lead in the 500 race and went on to record a comfortable win. Although he had been holding second place overall, he was pipped to the post on the last lap by a Suzuki 750 rider.

The second race later in the day did not go so well for Chris who once again got away to a good start. He was lying second overall and poised to take the lead on the long sweeping right hander at Gerard’s when the leader, on a Suzuki 1100, pushed him wide on to the grass, causing him to crash. Luckily there were no injuries to Chris and just minor damage to the bike but his race was over.

Chris, who works for Anglian Water said: “Despite the crash in race two, I had an excellent result in the first race, especially as this was my first experience of the Mallory Park circuit and I was riding against machines twice the engine capacity to my 500cc Honda.

“The weekend was all about gaining track experience in preparation for my next race in the Thundersport Championship, and I felt more comfortable on the bike this time.”

The next race in the Thundersport Championship for Chris is at Rockingham in the Thunder at the Rock meeting over the weekend of July 25-26 when he will be competing in round six of the UK 500 Cup.