THE 2013 season was kicked in to gear for YRF newbie Lewis Rollo this weekend, with a 400 mile trip from his home town of Gifford, Scotland to Brands Hatch, Kent. And due to a slight mishap at the Mallory Park test, a stop off at the Scott Leathers factory in Barnard Castle was required to pick up a new set of leathers.
Competing in the Aprilia RRV 450GP class and the 650 Supertwin class (on the same Aprilia RRV 450), this would give the youngster a huge amount of track time with six practise sessions alone on the Friday. With the weather looking less than pleasant for the entire weekend, the Friday practise sessions were used wisely, setting the bike up for the conditions and adjusting to the bigger bike.
Weather wise Saturday didn’t fare any better, but with a day’s set up under his belt, Lewis felt confident and this showed in his impressive lap times. Even though he was competing against bigger bikes and more experienced racers in the 650 Supertwin class, Lewis managed seventh during qualifying on his Aprilia 450. With another qualifying session to go in the Aprilia RRV 450GP class, Lewis once again started to lap consistently and put in a lap time that secured him fifth on the grid come the races.
Saturday wasn’t quite over yet, with four races still to go before the end of the day. In the 650 Supertwin races Lewis brought the bike home in fifth position in race one. Then in race two blowing all expectations out of the water, stormed to first position by two seconds. Next up was the Aprilia RRV 450GP Challenge where he clinched fourth in the first race and yet another podium with third in a spectacular second race.
Snow greeted the racers on Sunday morning, thankfully clearing up before the days sessions began, however leaving behind freezing temperatures. Despite the conditions Lewis braved the cold and set the second fastest practise time in 650 Supertwin class. The high spirits were short lived however as Lewis lost the front during race one crashing out of third spot. Not letting the crash dampen his spirits he cleaned off his leathers for the first Aprilia RRV 450 race. Unfortunately the conditions got the better of the thirteen year old once again, cold tyres and a damp track do not mix well. This would end the day for the Scotsman, with the bike sustaining quite a bit of damage.
“I managed to qualify seventh in the 650 supper twins and fifth in the 450 challenge, what we thought was good for my first race weekend with the bike. I went out in the first 650 race and came fifth and in the 450 race and came 4th. Then went out in the second 650 race and I won it by 2 seconds and we were really happy with that. The last race I managed to get 3rd in the 450 so not a bad day for my first race day two podiums. We got up on Sunday to snow but it cleared up before practice but it was really cold. Practice went well I was second fastest in the 650 class. Then the day fell apart whilst lying third in the third race when I lost the front and crashed out. In the second race I crashed out on a wet patch at the start of the race on cold tyres, the bike was too badly damaged, weekend over.”