Melton motorcycle racer grabs international podium at Donington Park

Ant Hart at Donington EMN-171005-145803002
Ant Hart at Donington EMN-171005-145803002
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Motorcycle racer Ant Hart went up against riders from across the world as he lined up for round two of the International Classic Grand Prix series.

The Donington Park meet attracted competitors from all over Europe and as far afield as Australia, South Africa and Brazil.

There was a free practice organised for the Saturday morning before qualifying for grid positions started in the afternoon, but several riders gave it a miss because of the poor weather conditions.

Hart, riding the Manchester Yamaha Classic TZ350, decided to brave the wet track to familiarise himself with the machine he had not ridden since last year.

Development work over the winter had improved the performance of the bike and the team decided it was important to make use of the free practice to gain set-up information ready for the afternoon’s timed practice sessions.

Fortunately the weather cleared up and qualifying took place in dry, but very cold and windy conditions.

Using the data gained from the free practice, the team was able to optimise the settings and Hart set a time which qualified him in fourth position on the second row.

Sunday brought a welcome change in the weather and the first race got under way in dry, sunny conditions.

Hart made a clean start and circulated in seventh position until he found his rhythm to move up to fourth, a position he held to the finish.

With the Melton racer experiencing a loss of rear tyre traction during the race, possibly because of the low track temperature, the team made some small adjustments to the suspension for race two.

From the start of race two, Hart’s greater consistent was prominent, lapping at a constant pace to bring his machine home in a superb third place.

Team manager Arnold Fletcher said: “In this class of field, Hart’s performance was very creditable and with further improvements in the pipeline I am sure he will be in contention for many more podiums.”