MOTORCYCLING: Best ever finish still disappoints Shelton

Arnie Shelton at Cadwell Park'Photo: Ian Boldy
Arnie Shelton at Cadwell Park'Photo: Ian Boldy
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ARNIE Shelton returned from the latest round of British 125cc Championship races disappointed despite recording his best ever finish – a fourth place at Cadwell Park on Monday.

“I am disappointed because I didn’t get a podium place,” said the Bourne racer.

“The race was red-flagged early and I was in a group fighting for second place. I felt relaxed; the bike felt good and every time I had a chance I overtook.

“One more place would have been a dream. Half a second cost me two places. I should be happy, my previous best was eighth. But I wish I could have gone one place higher. One more lap and I would have done it.”

Shelton, who overcame a crash in the opening qualifying session, was charging for a top three finish when the race was cut short due to an accident.

“I started from 10th place which was not good,” he said. “I’d crashed in practice and that knocked us back.

“It had been raining overnight and the track was still damp. My expectation were high so perhaps I tried too hard.”

Shelton usually favours racing in the wet as it evens up the differences between riders’ bikes, and right on cue on Monday’s race day the clouds burst.

“It started raining on the warm-up lap when we were all on drys which is not much good. Then there was a delay and while that was happening all but one of us switched tires.

“At this point I knew that I had a good chance.”

But only seven of the planned 11 laps were completed, leaving Shelton too little time to climb through the front of the field.

Monday’s fourth place also lifts Shelton to 14th in the rankings with a top ten spot a realistic target between now and the end of the season.

The 24-year-old will miss a round of races in the Netherlands but plans to compete in all three other meetings, beginning with Donnington Park on September 9 where Shelton fancies his chances of another successful race.

“It’s the most technical track of the year and easily my favourites. It’s narrow, twisty and everything is off camber.”

Shelton also proved pretty quick on pedals at Cadwell, taking second place in a bicycle race in aid of the Chris Jones Race Fund, in memory of a former racer who was killed in an accident.