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25/6/2000

Snetterton

Taken out for the weekend at Snetterton

The Sigma team arrived at Snetteron hoping to build on the Oulton performance. First practice showed a small misfire, but Paul set a good laptime nevertheless.  Paul said 'It was a bit of a shame, I'm really up for it but the rest of the teams have been practicing during the four week break. We just don't have the money to do that and I felt like I was still finding my way round when everyone else was already on the pace'.

Second session arrived and very checked over bike went out for the session, Paul finished the session in 12th place, only half a second separated him from second place. Unfortunately going into the Esses with a few minutes of the session to go Paul missed a final downshift and that was sufficient to put him and the bike on the ground. The damage was quite substantial and in the three hour break between sessions the cylinder heads had to be removed and fine Snetterton dirt cleaned out. Battery and spark plugs were also changed, and a somewhat battered Paul went out for the last session, the misfire had gone but the unsettling damage of the crash showed and Paul settled for 14th on the grid.

The bike was serviced and set up for the warm up and good times were being seen when, in the last minutes of warmup, an over excited Nick Medd took Paul out at the esses, driving straight into the side of the Ducati and smashing up another bunch of bodywork, and further denting Pauls confidence.

After another rebuild and a day of building up Pauls mood the bike went  back to the grid for the race, in a race stopped by a crash at the Russels corner paul had got up to tenth and was reporting a much quicker bike and good handling. The race restart went well, and Paul was tow laps in, catching Howard Whitby and a rejuvenated Elliott Burgess when Elliott hit the brakes too late for Russells and went down taking out Howard and Paul in the process.

Paul said ' I am gutted, what do have to do?'. Neil Spalding said' it just goes to show, it is so easy to have everything go wrong, we really believed that if we got Pauls confidence up and the bike right we were on for a top six here, we had got the bike right and Paul was back to top form, coming through the pack and this happens…… we may have smashed a load of parts but we are going to try and do Silverstone and Oulton then we will have to see..

Sigma Performance and Paul Jones' racing is supported by; Robert Fearnell, Donington Park Circuit, Ducati UK, Dunlop, Lloyd Lifestyle, Glenns Motorhome & Leisure, Rock Oil, AFAM USA, DID chain, Ferodo and Champion Spark Plugs.

We are still actively pursuing further partners for our race programme. We have not signed a major associate yet and have not as yet had to commit to any particular colour scheme, the bike, rider and team could therefore be fully committed to a major sponsors corporate image'. For full details of the team and our previous adventures please see our website at www.sigmaperformance.com

 © Neil Spalding 2000. All rights reserved

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