YATE’s Luke Hedger had a frantic ride after he travelled to Oulton Park, his favourite track on the calendar, last weekend.

The beautiful circuit is located in Cheshire not too far from Alton Towers and it is loved by the riders and fans.

Hedger also loves this circuit.

He has had many podium finishes at the circuit and was hopeful of another over the Bank Holiday weekend.

It all started really well in free practice one where he was in the top ten all session and ending up in seventh place.

However, free practice two didn’t go so well.

Hedger and his team tried a different set-up with the bike and it was not right.

As such, Hedger found himself down in 22nd.

So, for qualifying, the team put the settings closed to where they started hardening everything up.

This was not still not quite right so he came in the pits to change the rear suspension, only having five-minutes left of this session.

But he managed to put himself in 13th position for Monday’s race.

Hedger had a small issue in warm up first thing on Monday morning. At first, it looked like his engine had blown and he had to pull off the track.

But after the team got the bike back, it was seen as a small oil leak which was an easy fix.

And that was just as well because they would have only had one hour to change the engine.

As Hedger set off for his warm-up lap for the race start, he had a good look on the way round, just making sure everything was good with the bike.

And as he took his position, he had one last look, got his head down and waited for the lights to go out.

The first lap was mayhem with riders all trying to find the racing line into the first couple of corners, and there was a couple of incidents along the way.

Hedger got caught up in one of these when two riders had a coming together.

They both went onto the grass as they re-joined the race.

One of them collided with the luckless Hedger but, thankfully, he managed to stay on his bike but by this point he was dead last in 35th place.

All Hedger could do was concentrate and get as far up the field as he could.

He clearly had the pace as he was doing much faster times than the riders in front of him.

Lap by lap, Hedger continued to past his fellow riders, overtaking up to four riders a lap.

With just a couple of laps to go, Hedger had made his way up to 14th place.

The next two riders were four seconds in front of him.

Yet, not only did he manage to catch them but he also overtook them, finishing in 12th place.

It was a shame he got caught up in the first lap melee because he had the same pace as the front runners and he could have got his first podium.

But this was not to be and he will have to wait till Snetterton in a few weeks’ time.

Hedger said “What a race! I got caught up in the first lap melee and ended up dead last I got my head down and forced my way back through the pack.

“The bike felt really good and I knew I had the pace to fight for a podium.

“But unfortunately this was not to be. I was luck to stay on my bike after getting punted off onto the grass.” he said.