Market Rasen rider Tom Neave races in Spain

Tom Neave mixed it with the likes of MotoGP world champion Mark Marquez in Spain EMN-180401-113754002
Tom Neave mixed it with the likes of MotoGP world champion Mark Marquez in Spain EMN-180401-113754002

It may be closed season for motorcycle racing, but Market Rasen rider Tom Neave is not kicking his heels at home.

Neave travelled to Spain after being invited to compete in the high-profile Superprestigio flat track races in Barcelona.

He said: “I was absolutely buzzing to get a last-minute invitation to the Superprestigio race. I’m so grateful to everyone for pulling all the stops out at such short notice.”

The event was held in the Barcelona Olympic stadium, starting with two days of testing where Neave mixed it on the track with the likes of MotoGP world champion Mark Marquez and JD Beach.

“The track was like riding on ice,” Neave added. “No better feeling than chucking it in sideways on the limiter.”

On Saturday there was an open challenge race which Neave won with ease, although he had to work hard for the victory.

He made a tough move up the inside before stamping his authority on the race to pull away and take the win.

Neave was optimistic of a good result in Sunday’s main event where he would be up against several Moto2 and Moto3 riders plus top MotoGP rider Johann Zarco.

It was the third time he had ridden at the track, but admitted to being rusty, having completed only two flat track races in the last two years, both of which he won.

But things didn’t quite go his way in the Saturday heats where he won the challenge race, but didn’t make the super final of the main event.

“It’s fair to say the night didn’t quite go to plan after such a positive couple of days’ practice earlier on in the week,” Neave explained.

“We got the bike working well and I felt confident for the race, but my first couple of heat races, which determined how far I would progress through the event, went pear-shaped as I got rammed off line twice in race one and foolishly crashed in the second.

“I did manage to win the Challenge Race comfortably, setting one of the fastest race times of the night, but it was too late for any chance to make the Super Final.

“Onwards and upwards though; it was another mega experience to top off a cracking year.”

“A huge thank-you to Simon Smith, Matt Layt, Tim Coles, James Andrew, Peter Boast, Anthony Brown, mum and dad, Sarah Neave, nan and grandad, Judy Coles, Shoei Helmets, and Sidi Boots for looking after me the whole time and making it happen!”

Tom, along with brother Tim, is now looking forward to 2018 where the twins are busy making plans and preparing their bikes for the new season.