A FLU-riddled Chrissy Rouse scored his first podium finish for Morpeth-based SGR Racing at the North East Motorcycle Racing Club at Croft.
The 2.127 mile track was steeped in sunshine as Rouse went out to qualify.
Unfortunately his quick shifter developed an intermittent fault not allowing him or his Honda GP 125 to reach its full potential. He had to settle for seventh place on the second row of the grid.
The first race of the weekend was one to forget as a rider came underneath Rouse in turn one and t-boned him – sending him and his machine into the gravel.
Thankfully he was fine and the team was able to have the bike ready to contest the second race.
Race two saw Rouse go the distance and after four laps of battling with the bigger machines he was able to get clear and chase down the 125 riders who had escaped at the front. He finished sixth in the overall race and fifth in the 125 race.
By the time race three came round Rouse was learning how to get the 125 off the line and with his improved start he was able to escape the big bikes within a lap.
With the 125s in sight he started chasing them down, putting in consistent and improving lap times. This turned out to be his most successful race with a third place finish being achieved in the 125 category, and fourth overall out of a grid of 31 mixed bikes.
The final race of the day was red flagged on lap one and re-started. Rouse noticed his bike was losing power and that the temperature was rising. He pulled in to have a closer look and discovered that a bracket had failed, believed to have been weakened during his crash earlier in the weekend.
Rouse made the wise decision to retire and get his SGR Racing machine ready for the first round of the Sunoco British 125GP Championship.
He said: “I learnt a lot about the bike and how it worked.
“We had plenty of time to make changes and for me to understand how those changes felt. I got my lap times down and I got a podium so it was all good. It was a great test and a learning experience which is just what I need ahead of Brands Hatch.”
Team Manager Stephen Kinghorn added: “I’m pleased with what we achieved this weekend. I wasn’t expecting a podium this early on in the year.”