Padgett's Honda showed up at Oulton Park last Saturday 20th April, with a low-key, unannounced, minimalist entry into the Hottrax collective’s MotoSolo Allcomers races, in order to give BSB rider Jakub Smrz experience of Oulton Park prior to the upcoming third round of BSB.
In both races, he started from the back of the grid due to having missed the previous day's qualifying sessions. In the second race he stormed through the field to finish second, which is an emphatic demonstration of a world-class rider’s ability to learn a circuit quickly (it didn‘t count though - the entry was so unofficial that he doesn‘t feature in any of the official results).
We caught up with Smrz in the paddock afterwards under the pretence of getting his autograph:
Us: "How's it going?"
Smrz: "Is OK. Is easier than I thought."
This sort of scenario, of using club events as tests, doesn't happen in the four-wheeled world anymore (that lot just use computer games) and it's what makes bikesport so much more interesting.
If I was a novice racer and a top pro like Smrz lined up behind me, first I’d think I was dreaming, then I’d probably be petrified...