Last weekend, Scott had one of his most important races on the 2016 calendar. The 4X ProTour round in Fort William, Scotland. Held as part of the Fort William Downhill World Cup weekend, this event attracts thousands of fans who flock to the Scottish Highlands to watch 4X ProTour, Downhill World Cup and the impressive side events.
The race had a good entry, so when practice started the track had a constant flow of riders as everyone got to grips with it. The weather was dry and sunny. In fact that doesn’t do it justice. In 15 years of travelling to Scotland for this race we have never seen it as dry! Dusty and hot almost made the track too dry – now there’s something we never thought we would say in Fort William! The sun was shining and the track was absolutely perfect.
Scott has had some great results here in the past and always rides his track well so we were confident heading into qualifying.
With all the top riders injury free, this year’s 4X ProTour looked set to be one of the best ever. With 10 of the elite men riders all more than capable of taking wins and the overall title, the strength in depth of 4X ProTour is now better than ever. Scott knows that consistency will be the key and was looking for a decent qualifying to set up his race night.
In his qualifying run, visually, Scott looked one of the quickest on course and as he crossed the finish line the time agreed placing Scott in 4th position. Happy with the run Scott said:
“I made a great start and rode all the lines well. I was a little conservative through the rocks, but generally I am happy with the run”.
Race day rolled around and the weather continued to be kind to Fort William. Blazing temperatures and blue skies set the racing up perfectly! The Yeti race bikes were prepped and Scott was ready. Winning his first 2 rounds of racing Scott was looking good. In his quarter final Scott made a great gate and led the race into turn 1. Through the rocks he had a scary moment, but recovered to take the win.
In the semi final, Scott opted for the slightly smoother gate 3. The gate dropped and he was level into turn 1. Having to settle into 2nd position on the 2nd straight, Scott looked comfortable and crossed the finish line in 2nd. It means so much to Scott to make the podium at this race and again for the 3rd year in a row Scott was guaranteed a top 4 position.
Scott was very happy to choose gate 4 in the final. The same gate as he used in 2015. He wanted a clean run down the first straight and would make his move on the 2nd straight. The gate dropped and all 4 riders were level. Heading into turn 1, the rider next to Scott had the same idea and ran wide in the berm. This left Scott with no where to go and he had to back off. Heading into turn 2 though Scott was close again and railed the outside of the turn. Into the rocks 3 of the riders including Scott came together. Scott got into trouble in the rocks and lost some ground. In the last turn though he was able to salvage a good result when a front flat for another rider gave him 3rd position.
It wasn’t Scott’s best race, but he was very happy with the other races he had on the night:
“I am happy with 3rd. Of course I came here to win and the crowd were going crazy in the final, but I just found myself in trouble in turn 1 and it was hard to come back from that. Some good points towards the overall and we will continue working ahead of the next race in Czech Republic”. Said Scott in the finish area.