After overcoming a difficult final qualifying session that saw the youngster from South Africa slip to 19th on the grid, Troy Bezuidenhout was back on form on Sunday racing to a well earned 10th position finish in the penultimate round of the Pata European Junior Cup at Jerez.
The 4.423km circuit in Southern Spanish is where is all began in terms of European racing for Troy, he made his EJC debut on a CBR500cc Honda machine last year finishing 13th on his debut in the category.
This year, and with confidence high after the Misano race coupled with a promising test at Almeria Bezuidenhout arrived at the circuit full of optimism and after a successful opening day things were looking good. Saturday saw an increase in temperature and Troy, although able to improve his time from Friday found himself slipping backwards, eventually qualifying on the 7th row after an issue with his back protector prevented him from being able to move freely on the bike.
Clearly unhappy it was a case of going back to the drawing board and with the saying ‘bad practice good race’ in mind Troy began to focus on making amends come race day.
The race itself was stopped after several laps following a spectacular crash involving a couple of riders at the final corner. It was restarted over 5 laps with Troy beginning the restart from 13th.
The second start once again saw Troy in contention, running as high as 8th in the early laps before taking the flag in 10th to record his second consecutive top ten finish. The Spanish result means that the 15 year old has now scored points in all but the opening race and with one round remaining he has a real opportunity of ending the year well inside the top 15 in the overall classification.
Troy Bezuidenhout – 10th position: “I’m very happy about the result but I must work on my qualifying so I have a better chance during the race, it is imperative. I got really good starts and made up places in the first two corners on each start which gave me a huge amount of confidence. At one point in the race when I was running 8th I had to wipe my visor as there was lots of water on it from another riders radiator exploding, which made the track a little slippery and I lost some places. All in all I am happy with the result and I will push hard to finish the year strong in the next race at Magny-Cours!”
Troy now lives near Malaga in Spain, and after the race Troy was invited on stage at the Race Day Paddock Show where he spoke to the fans using a little of his Spanish speaking knowledge which went down a storm. He was also able to meet and greet a number of employees from his main sponsor Into The Blue Diving, Costa Del Sol as well as spend the weekend with his grandparents who had flown in from South Africa to watch the event.
The final round of the 2015 Pata European Junior Cup takes place at the Magny-Cours circuit in France on Sunday week.