BSB 600 Super Stock Round 1 – Donington Park
After months of training, preparation and sleepless nights the first round of the British Superbike Championship was upon us. Heading into the weekend I was actually really relaxed, but I was so excited to get going! So much hard work had been put in over winter by my parents and all my sponsors and I had been preparing myself ready for this season, so it was safe to say I was up for it.
Free practice 1
Free practice 1 was a wash out, the track conditions were terrible but nonetheless I was eager to get going. After working with Colin from 100% Suspension through the session and managing a lack of rear grip, we finished in P3 just 0.9 off top. It was certainly a good way to start the weekend but I knew there was a long way to go.
Free practice 2
Free practice 2 was again a wash out, but the rain had stopped by this point and there was an actual visible racing line appearing so from the minute go I felt really comfortable with the bike and I had put a really strong opening lap in, putting me in 2nd early on. I was getting quicker and quicker before I lost the rear at Macleans and crashed out. I was really annoyed because it was an avoidable mistake to make and it meant we were put on the back foot for qualifying. At the end of the day though these things happen, so I dusted myself down and focussed on the next day for qualifying!
Qualifying came around and we were once again first out, a very cold and bitter 9am start. From the start I had a lot of issues and I was struggling a lot, mainly to do with a gear selector issue, a misted up visor and absolutely no grip on my boots! With 4 minutes to go I was sitting 12th which considering the issues I had wasn’t bad at all, and when I got sent back out the issue with my gear selector had been sorted so I was able to push a lot more.
I came back around after my out lap and the 2 minute board was displayed, so I knew it was now or never. Sadly as I tipped left into Craner Curves I lost the front and had a really fast crash at around 130mph, completely smashing the bike to bits and ruining any chance of a decent qualifying! It was a shame because in the first 2 sectors we had gone green on the live timing, matching the top 3 so it would have been interesting to see where we would have ended up if I had managed to complete that lap! We got the bike back and once I had been hosed down (literally hosed down!) our attention turned to the bike. My team worked wonders in getting the bike sorted, and with help from Everquip Racing we managed to get the bike ready for the race; that was something which at one point looked largely impossible earlier in the day, so it shows how hard everyone worked to get me back out!
The race came around and for the first time in my racing career I lined up on the grid with a brolly girl, something everyone in racing dreams of doing at some stage! I managed to get a good start, moving up to around 12th by the
first corner and I felt like I could push hard. Unfortunately on the first lap whilst exiting the Old Hairpin, my bike cut out and broke down ending any chance of a challenge for a decent result.
In the end we showed glimpses of our potential and we showed that we can hold our own against some really fast riders, so although the weekend didn’t quite go to plan, I took plenty of positives away from it!
Thankyou as always for all your support and for making this happen I really appreciate it, onwards now to Brands Hatch! ☺