We arrived in Spain on Tuesday morning and headed straight to Rancho Canudas, north of Barcelona. An awesome venue, with a 1500km TT dirt track and an oval exactly the same dimensions as the one in the Palua Sant Jordi stadium.
We tested at this track Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and found a great set up on the Honda CRF 450 flat trackers; we had to use 17" wheels as opposed to the 19" wheels that we normally use, but we both felt very comfortable from the word go.
We did a couple more laps on the Friday morning to confirm we was happy with the bikes, before heading to Barcelona city to prepare for the allocated 4 minute practice session inside the stadium on Friday night. As others struggled with the rough 'flat track', we was able to get straight onto the pace, and so we both felt very confident for the qualifying session on the Saturday morning.
Qualifying couldn't have gone much better for us and we both finished within the top 5. Tim qualified in 2nd overall (12.25) behind AMA Flat Tack pro Brad Baker and just in front of 2014 AMA Flat Track champ Jared Mees and 2x MotoGP Champ Marc Marquez, Tom qualified in 5th right behind these guys with his time of 12.46; both ahead of the 8 other world champions from supermoto/road racing/endurocross/grasstrack.
These times gave us great confidence for the races ahead, and with fastest qualifier Brad Baker crashing straight after his fast time, putting him of the event, we was sure we was in for a good run.
Unfortunately, 4 hours after the very successful qualifying, we both struggled in our heat races. A combination of bad starts and getting tangled with other riders in turn 1 didn't help, and the nature of the track meant passing was very difficult - most races were won the first corner. A crash in Tim's last chance qualifying race ended his shot at making the open or super final, and after a rider collision with Tom, he stalled his Honda, also putting him out of the finals.
Such highs after qualifying followed by such disappointment in the races took some swallowing, and we were both pretty speechless for the next few hours.
Nevertheless, there are still so many positives to take from the whole week's experience, we both received some great recognition for our qualifying times and we have met so many more great contacts within the biking world.
We'd both like to thank Vroom Media, who recently jumped on board to help us boost our rider profiles and step up our proffesional image. Our new website - www.neavetwins.com is now active with up to date results, pictures, future plans and current sponsors, please take a look,
Silkolene Oils for their continued support with the best quality lubricants on the market,
Agrii (agronomy services) for their financial support,
LR Designs for the bike decals,and to Slip Stream Motorcycles and Richard May for the use of their 17" wheels.
Hope you have a great Christmas,
Tim & Tom