TOM Neave stormed the NG Road Racing paddock at Cadwell Park this weekend, taking four wins from six as he shared Powerbike spoils with Josh Day.
But it was far from smooth sailing for the reigning champ, who suffered two crashes in two days and had to borrow a bike in a last effort to salvage championship points.
Day was the only rider in the 1:29s during the Saturday morning Phoenix Open qualifying session, sticking the Kendrick and Spalding ZX10R on pole with a 1:29.938s lap, with local man and club hustler Phil Crowe second just a few tenths behind and Neave completing the front row.
But disaster struck for Day in the Bluebell Lakes Powerbikes qualifying just a couple hours later, when he lost the rear around the second corner, destroying his bike and any hopes of another pole.
Hand Trans Haulage BMW rider Crowe had set the fastest lap of the session, but he tangled with another rider through Hall Bends and hit the tarmac, which ended his weekend as Neave and Ivan Lintin were left on the front row.
Neave led the first Open scrap lights-to-flag as he brought his Stevowaki/Boxing Social Suzuki home six seconds clear of Dafabet Devitt Racing’s Lintin, while Day crossed the line a lone third to salvage points on a borrowed 600.
With his ZX10R back together, albeit lacking a subframe and covered in a generous amount of gaffer tape, Day made the grid for the first Powerbike race and stormed to victory on a wet track with a 28 second gap over Jaime Goldthorpe and Outlaw Tools rider James Kiff.
After an overnight overhaul, Day was back out for the Sunday morning Open race as he grabbed the early lead ahead of Neave and Lintin, but Neave braved the damp circuit and slipped through three laps from the finish to take the win.
As the track finally dried up around noon, Day found some extra speed as he hit the front of the second Powerbikes race, setting a new class lap record of 1:30.563s on his way to victory, with Neave and Lintin on the podium once again in second and third.
Back out front in the final Open race of the weekend, Neave held off Day by a mere 0.044s while the defending champ set a furious pace in pursuit, cracking the outright club lap record with a 1:30.122s.
And it may have been a hat-trick for Day, but a suspect tilt switch caused his Kawasaki to cut out at Charlie’s Two just one lap from the finish, forcing him to bail and his bike to barrel roll as Neave cruised to a fourth win 13 seconds clear of Lintin and Kiff.
Despite the crash-plagued weekend, Day still leads both big bike championships as the club heads for Snetterton in just over a fortnight.
*Main and bottom image: Steve Snelling
*Crowe image: Jenny Wells