In her latest column for Crash.net, Sean Emmett's girlfriend Lauren Carter gives the 'inside line' on their Cadwell Park weekend, venue for round 11 of the 2006 British Supersport championship...

We travelled up to Cadwell on the Friday, the traffic was horrendous and it took us four and a half hours to get there. I kept feeling car sick and Sean was in a stress because of the traffic so it was turning out to be a great birthday!

We finally arrived early evening and had a quick celebratory drink with the team before heading of to an Italian in Louth for a meal with Ian (Tommy Hill's mechanic), his wife Helen, Tommy Hill and Billy McConnell. Unfortunately they had cancelled the table for some reason and we had to sit and wait for 40mins (but I had a complimentary bottle of wine so it wasn't that bad!). While waiting, half the paddock seemed to be eating there, Shane Byrne arrived with his girlfriend and motorhome driver, then the Vivaldi team turned up as well!

The meal was great and I even got some profiteroles with a candle in them and everyone sang happy birthday to me which was actually very embarrassing. We were meant to be going to Karl Harris's mechanic Tommy's for a BBQ after but that was already finished so we met up with some friends from Dunlop who bought me a bottle of champagne so it was a great night.

It was practice the next day and Dunlop were missing a person to run their caf? so Helen and I volunteered to help out, we served coffee for what seemed like the entire paddock! We ended up being entertained by the Dunlop guys with their dance music on full volume and some kids showing off some dodgy break dancing moves. It turned out to be a fun day and I got to have a chat with my friends, something you usually never get to do because it's always so manic at the meetings!

Meanwhile Sean was struggling in both sessions with the bike proving hard to steer through the tight twisty parts of the track. Sean and the team were expecting the bike to be hard work as the Ducati suits the faster flowing circuits a lot better. Sunday qualifying proved just as difficult and Sean ended up in 11th place after 1st practice.

Afternoon qualifying was pretty much the same and Sean dropped another position eventually ending up 12th place on the grid. When he went out on his qualifying tyre during his fast lap the session was red flagged. All the riders pulled in unaware of how serious the incident had just been. The session was delayed as the air ambulance was on its way for a young rider named Ashley Martin. I was standing with some friends when the helicopter flew in and Ashley was taken to hospital. Unfortunately Ashley did not make it and passed away in the early hours of Monday morning. I just want to say that Sean and I send out our sincerest condolences to Ashley's family and friends during this tragic time.

It does affect the riders and their families when a racer dies as there are a lot people in the paddock that are really good friends and go out when the season is over, so its always devastating news to hear about such serious incidents. It also makes you a lot more nervous on race day as it hits home how dangerous this sport really is.

Sean was more tense than usual and prayed for rain as he knew he did not have a good set up in the dry. The rain started to come down just as the Superbikes were going to the pits. However it started too early and the rain was over in a matter of minutes. The sun beamed down stronger than ever causing awkward tyre decisions for the race. We managed to watch a few laps before going back to the truck for Sean to get changed. The team kept an eye out for rain and as soon as we reached the pits it started again. This time the downpour was a lot heavier and as I was holding the umbrella had to stand over the bikes engine in pit lane so it didn't get wet. I ended up getting drenched before the race had even started.

Because of the rain, the bikes were allowed an 8 minute wet practice before the race. Sean came in after practice and decided he wanted to change bikes so had to jump on to his number two bike.

Airwaves were kind enough to lend us their garage for Sean and Martin to stand under during the down pour. Airwaves team manager Colin Wright came out to me and said, "are you the brolly girl? You should be out there now!" and pushed me out on to the gird, which Sean and the team found highly amusing so thanks Colin!

They were off and Sean got a disastrous start and fell back to 19th on the first lap! In races these days you need to qualify on the first two rows to have a chance of being on the podium as the pace is so quick during the first few laps and the riders just seem to pull away. Sean rode strong and managed to gain a place nearly every lap and ended up 10th over the line, so he rode really well it was just frustrating that he didn't get the start he wanted.

Once the race was over it's all a rush to get back over the track before they shut the gates for the next race to start. I had to help Neil, Sean's tyre man, push a huge trolley up the hill, which was such hard work, I was struggling and looked a state with my hair massive from the rain and my shoes soaked through, and what made it even more annoying was the Bennett's girls strutting past down the hill looking glam, so much for the sophisticated life of the rider's girlfriend!

It ended up a frustrating weekend for Sean but the team were great and told him not to think about it and just concentrate on Silverstone and Brands. It always helps when the team remains positive especially on the low days, Sean has been with team owners in the past who just blank him if he hasn't had a great race and that just makes him feel worse and never helps.

Sean's looking forward to the Silverstone test next Tuesday. We're off to Alton Towers this weekend with Ian, Helen, Billy McConnell, Tommy Hill, Guy (Virgin Yamaha's PR last year) and his wife so I'll make sure I get some good pictures!

Bye for now!

Lauren x

www.seanemmett.co.uk