Ant West Struggles With Still-Mending Arm at Donington Park

“I wish I could rest before Brno, but I’m flying tomorrow to Japan to race the Asian championship.”


This just in from Anthony West:

GRITTY PERFORMANCE FROM WEST REWARDED WITH POINTS SCORING FINISH

Round 6 United Kingdom

Donington Park, England

The EAB antwest Racing World Supersport Team arrived in the UK encouraged by Ant West’s brave performance and result in Italy following his highspeed crash in Assen and subsequent wrist fracture and surgical repair.

With another ten days of recuperation between Imola and the UK round, Ant was looking forward to getting back on his Kawasaki ZX6-R. Before the weekend started, Ant was expecting to struggle physically in the Fogarty esses and the final two one hundred and eighty degree turns that finish the lap. Riding the bike, Ant found that although those braking areas were difficult, they were far easier to deal with than the highspeed direction changes required for achieving a fast lap around the circuit.

Free Practice 1 started with full wet conditions and a steady rain. Ant’s prowess on the wet and slippery track was on display for the crowd and rewarded on the timing sheets. Although wet conditions require more mental focus, the physical effort required is reduced. At the end of the fifty minute session, he was third behind Mahias and Cluzel.

Free Practice 2 started under gray skies and a wet track. The bike was setup for the wet at the beginning of the session and a full dry setting was prepared and ready to be installed should the track conditions change. Ant started the session on rain tires and quickly resumed where he left off in FP1—at the front. Conditions changed quicker than anticipated and a dry line developed, bringing competitors in for slicks. With slicks installed and suspension adjusted to a full dry setup, Ant was back on track. His first flying lap was five seconds faster than his previous fastest. He was holding his position well within the coveted top ten positions that advance to SP2. With less than ten minutes to go in the session, competitors were installing fresh slick rear tires for a final time attack. The team miscalculated the track drying and a second rear slick was not prepared. Without a fresh rear slick, Ant was unable to respond to the improving track conditions and tumbled down the order in the last few minutes and falling out of the top ten.

FP3 started and Ant was eager to get up to speed and take that momentum into SP1. The dry setting from the day before was working well and Ant finished in seventh position and top Kawasaki.

SP1 was also dry and the track temperature had increased from 16 degrees to almost 32 degrees. Ant and the crew were focused on a time attack and worked out a strategy for three flying laps on a new slick and then a second run of three flying laps on another new slick, the additional flying lap made possible by the short four kilometer distance of the track. Although the lap strategy worked, the rising temperatures saw a decrease in rear grip and the physical nature of the track hampered Ant’s ability to match his time from FP3. Finishing fifth in SP1, Ant would be gridded on the fifth row in fifteenth.

After a few minor changes for the Kawasaki ZX6-R in morning warmup, including moving the shifter down to accommodate Ant’s compromised riding position, it was time to race. Ant got a decent start went the lights went out and was able to make up a position and cross the line in fourteenth after the first lap. By the end of lap three he was up to twelfth. Lap six and he was up to tenth and had completed as many laps in a row that he had done all weekend. After briefly getting as high as eighth position, Ant was struggling to hold on to the bike through the fast direction changes and losing time. Instead of pulling in to the pits, he adjusted his body position and was trying to hold on with his legs. When the checkered flag flew, he was eleventh across the line. When he arrived in parc ferme, he got off the bike and nearly collapsed on the floor, all the color was drained out of his face—a testament to how he fought through the pain and discomfort of the twenty lap race.

Anthony West 13, P11

That was hard. I really thought my arm would be stronger by now. Before riding here this weekend, I thought I’d be ok in the first sector and struggle in the hard braking zones in the last sector. The first dry session and I realized the opposite was true. I was struggling to stay on line and change direction in the fast first sector. I kept missing my downshifts because my leg felt dead. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to finish the race but I’m glad I did to keep my position as top Kawasaki rider in the championship. I wish I could rest before Brno, but I’m flying tomorrow to Japan to race the Asian championship.

EAB antwest Racing is a critically underfunded yet competitive team competing in the World Supersport championship comprised of Australian, American and Dutch members. EAB antwest Racing is supported by EAB, Accent Timber Flooring, Putoline, National Tiles, Race-Pro, Riva Moto, FuSport, Arai, Furygan,

Danske Frargtmeand. Unique season long and one event sponsorship opportunities are available.

For more information contact Murph at Syndicate Motorsport Management.


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