Forcefield News

Forcefield Sponsored Cornish takes on the World's best at Mettet

24/10/2011 10:09:00

Forcefield sponsored rider 18 year-old Norfolk based supermoto racer Lewis Cornish set off for Belgium to compete against almost 400 of the world’s best riders in this, the sports largest event. The three-day annual ‘Mettet Superbiker’ is now in its 25th year and Lewis was hoping to improve on his previous best placing when he qualified 10th and directly through to the semi-finals last year.

Lewis Cornish in action

The legendary Mettet Superbiker moved from its traditional home through the streets of this usually sleepy Belgian town to its new purpose built venue in 2010 and despite losing some of the heady atmosphere as 48 bikes race past bars and cafes at 100 plus mph the 30,000 fans lining the superb new circuit didn’t let the wet conditions dampen their enthusiasm. Lewis’ first practice session revealed that thanks to the four rather extreme off-road sections the suspension would need some serious adjustments before qualifying began. In the first qualifying session the Nameplate Services/DCR rider posted a reasonable 11th placing which was due to a tyre choice gamble that didn’t work out in the wet and changeable conditions. An unforeseen technical problem reared its head for Q2 so Lewis sat out this session that unfortunately dropped him down the grid for his first race.

Lewis was out in Saturday’s Heat race one and lined up alongside 47 other riders knowing that only the top 10 would automatically make it though to the semi-finals and hopefully the main Superbiker final. As the lights changed Lewis had an exceptional start, forcing his way past his rivals and maintaining an amazing pace in the opening laps. Running in a safe 8th position Lewis applied pressure to the riders in front who were forced into a mistake as he moved up into an impressive 6th place. As the race wound down he knew from his pit signals that he had a comfortable gap and so could ease the pace over the extreme off-road to guarantee a safe finish, which allowed him to cross the line in a well deserved 6th position for the following day's semi-final. Lewis was in a select band of only three British riders to make the cut and he could sit out the rest of the day watching his compatriots attempt to qualify in the last chance repercharge heats.

A new rear Michelin 'wet rear tyre was fitted and the pressure was now on for a result in the semi-final. Despite his superb 6th place finish in race one Lewis once again found himself suffering from his poor showing during Friday's grid qualifications, Back on row three he was in good company sat next to recently crowned British Champion Chris Hodgson. As the lights went out Lewis once again had a dream start as his DCR tuned bike found grip on the wet tarmac which allowed him to power his way past several riders before entering the first dirt section. Racing against some World Championship GP winners the Norfolk youngster wasn't fazed and as the race wore on he found himself in the final 12th qualifying place. Under an extreme amount of pressure from riders eager to qualify Lewis was forced off line in the dirt whoop section and he crashed in the deeply rutted sand. Quickly remounting he set off after the riders that had passed him and after a nail biting couple of laps he worked his way up into 15th spot but knowing only too well this wasn't enough to make the final he threw caution to the wind and as he lined up the rider in front for a pass Lewis once again found himself on the ground and out of the running.

Lewis said "That was the toughest supermoto race I've ever done, the dirt sections are seriously rutted and very tricky, it's really difficult to make any impression on the dirt because these European riders are just way ahead on these sections because they race on these type of circuits every week. My speed on the tarmac allowed me to keep
in touch but really had no option but to take some big risks trying to make the final. Having said that I'm really pleased to take 6th and an automatic semi-final place, just about all the other British riders were fighting for survival in the repercharge races and most didn't even get this far, so overal I'm pretty happy with my Mettet weekend."

Lewis' two remaining 2011 races are tarmac only affairs at Lydd International Raceway and Cadwell Park where he hopes to finish off his action packed season with some good results to move up the British Supermoto Championship tables where he currently holds 6th in the Elite 450 and 7th the Elite Open classes.

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