Annabel Thomas threw down the gauntlet to her competitors for the 2019 British Superbike Motostar Championship with an impressive weekend at the EMRA Meeting at Mallory Park.
Riding her Four Anjels Honda 250, the Burton Latimer racer started well in first practice and qualifying by blasting to pole position.
Now pain free after breaking both feet last year, and undergoing laser surgery and physiotherapy in the off-season, Thomas felt completely revitalised and able to handle the bike the way she wanted to for the first time in a long while.
In the first race, she got off the line rather slowly but by the following lap she had moved herself to the leading group and began her attack for the lead.
After a big battle with the leading group she put an audacious move on the last lap to take the lead and two back markers at the same time and held her nerve to cross the line in first by a bike length, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process.
Thomas then got a flyer of a start in the second race and led from start to finish with just a few back markers at the end of the race to deal with.
She got her head down and set a new fastest lap, opening up a four-second lead, and then carefully managed her race to take another win at the chequered flag.
“I was feeling great, I forgot what it was like to ride without being in pain,” she said.
“Now it’s not even on my mind, I was able to enjoy a great battle in the first race and taking the win just boosted my confidence.
“I got a great start in race two and knew I had the pace to lead, so I just got my head down and tried to pull a gap.
“When my dad signalled four seconds ahead, I just maintained my pace and focus and brought it home. It was a big boost for the up and coming BSB season to bring home a trophy.
“But with the wins, pole position and fastest laps, my goals have moved up a bit!
“We’re always looking for a bit of help with my racing but the support we get from Four Anjels, Stanair, West End DIY, The Duke Arms, HBB Builders, Northants Community Fund and Motogear locally is amazing.
“I’d like to say how proud I am to have the Mighty Magnus logo on my bike too.
“Magnus is young lad from Brixworth with a very rare form of cancer, and his bravery is a big inspiration to me, and that first win was for him and my Grampy who can’t get to see me race because of ill health at the moment.”
Thomas has one more meeting at the Wirral 100 at the end of the month before she kicks off her BSB season at Oulton Park between May 4 and 6.