THERE is no better way to finish a season than ending on a high.
For Huddersfield racer Jonathan Lodge the 2010 season came to a memorable end as he took fifth place in the year’s final event at Oulton Park – a very promising note on which to begin preparations for 2011.
While brother James was retaining his SpeedyRetail.com British 125GP Championship title on the Cheshire circuit, Jonathan stepped up to the mark in the Metzeler National Superstock 600 Championship with his best points return of the season with 11.
The Yamaha-Earnshaws Motorcycles rider was justifiably delighted with his best showing at this level of racing.
“To finish a race in fifth place in such a tough championship was by far my best achievement in racing,” said Lodge.
“And that was on a bike that is now three years old!
“I was the first Yamaha home behind the two factory supported Kawasakis and Triumphs.
“I made a decent start to the race and maintained my seventh position for two laps.
“I noticed I was catching up to the championship winner, Josh Day who was in fifth and from there managed to make up time and grab fifth place by the end of the penultimate lap.”
For Jonathan the 2011 season probably cannot arrive quickly enough and he will be looking to make an even stronger challenge in the Stock 600 class, while brother James has already suggested that he could look to move away from the 125cc class.
But for both it will be a challenge before they get anywhere near the track as they look for backing for next year’s competition.
“I’m hoping to have a proper go at the championship next year as it’s the last year I can compete in the Stock 600 class before I’m too old,” explained Jonathan.
“And I now know that when everything works well I can be right up there at the front.
“It’s just down to the usual story of raising enough funds to compete.
“Neither James or myself have any large sponsors to help and fund it ourselves and from our parents.
“So over the winter we will be working hard at attracting some new support.
“Every little bit of backing helps as the costs of running Superstock bikes can still be high – the tyre bill alone for me and James next year could be around £1,500 for each event!”
2011 British Superbike Calendar: Apr 22-25 – Brands Hatch, Apr 30-May 2 – Oulton Park, May 13-15 – Croft, May 28-30 – Thruxton, June 17-19 – Knockhill, July 1-3 – Snetterton 300, July 15-17 – Oulton Park, Aug 5-7 – Brands Hatch GP, Aug 27-29 – Cadwell Park, Sept 9-11 – Donington Park, Sept 23-25 – Silverstone Arena GP, Oct 7-9 – Brands Hatch.