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Louis Dawson back on track and clocking up wins

By James Driver-Fisher | Grassroots | Published:

Following a self-imposed hiatus Louis Dawson is back doing what she does best – winning races.

After an early season crash and other commitments throughout the season, 2018 was a quiet year the Shropshire racer with little to no racing on the calendar.

However, after almost a full year off, 2019 got off to a positive start back in February with testing on his new bike, an Aprilia RSV4 1000, at the sunny Almeria circuit in Spain.

Louis, from Chelmarsh, near Bridgnorth, previously competed in the Ducati TriOption series, raced on the under card of the British Superbike (BSB) championship.

The 23-year-old said as the Aprilla was the most powerful bike he had ever ridden, and as it also contained a full electronic package, he said the trip to Spain had been a much-needed test base for the 2019 season.

The testing clearly worked too as he opened his account in the East Midlands Racing Association (EMRA) with a first and three second-placed finishes in the Buildbase 1000cc class.

Dawson said: "It was a special weekend for me getting to grips with the 200-plus BHP Aprilia. It is a big step up as it’s far from anything I’ve ever ridden.

"We’re not quite where we need to be yet but it’s rewarding knowing that our efforts and many man hours in the off-season are now paying dividends."

Dawson is aiming to gain more track time on the new bike before a couple of wildcards in the British Superstock 1000 class towards the end of the year, one of will be round in Assen, Holland, where he has ridden several times before.

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During breaks between race meetings he is also working closely with the Aprilia Racing UK team in the BSB paddock.

“Working with Aprilia bikes on a daily basis as my job, and my previous experience with the Aprilia UK Team and manager, has secured me a position within the Aprilia race team," he said.

"This will help tremendously with my own bike as the team run the same machines as I now ride so I’m increasing my knowledge of the bike and electronics package.

"And the team had a win at Donington at the end of May, which was fabulous for rider Lewis Rollo.”

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Dawson, who was also racing at EMRA during the first weekend in June, improved further still winning three out of four races at Mallory Park, in Leicestershire, while just missing out on a clean sweep following a close battle in the other, finishing second.

The results mean he is now leading the championship.

The first Buildbase Mallory Trophy was a close battle between Dawson and Lee Wilson, with the Aprilia staying just ahead of Wilson’s BMW until the ninth lap when the Chelmarsh rider was able to get past a back marker and open a gap from to a second and a half.

The second Buildbase race was a three-way scrap with George Stanley holding off Dawson and Barry Burrell for the first half of the race.

Dawson took over for a couple of laps until Stanley set the fastest lap of the day, at 52.5 seconds, to regain the lead on lap nine and open up a gap.

Dawson won both of the Tamworth Yamaha Allcomers races, the first being an epic battle between him and one-time European Superstock contender Barry Burrell, which showed the standard of his riding at Mallory.

Michael Austin led the race early on but once Dawson and Burrell had got by him, the two were wheel to wheel for the rest of the race.

Dawson crossed the line just one eighth of a second ahead at the end of the 10- lap race.

The second Allcomers race was an easier win for the Aprilia rider as he stretched out a five second lead over Michael Austin and Mikey Leeson.

Telford racer Shane Payne took third place in both of the Powerslide Motorcycles Rookie races, with fellow Telford rider Aiden Wells taking fourth in race one.

The EMRA series returns to Mallory Park on July 7.

James Driver-Fisher

By James Driver-Fisher

Motorsport journalist and entertainment and food reviewer for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

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