This was a fresh start to the season for us, back on our old bike as an independent team once again after deciding to leave the Phoenix race team. Eager to get going, we made a decent start to the day. Pretty happy with the handling I knew we could put some good times in; I was already a second quicker than I was in the race last year by the second session, happy days! Unfortunately, that joy and optimism was short lived. We developed a fuelling issue with the bike which plagued is all weekend, so for the rest of the day in testing it was pretty pointless because the bike was around 20mph+ down on everyone else, it just wouldn’t rev. We knew the setting we were going with, so that was something at least. My team worked tirelessly all day, they were mint and we were optimistic we had solved the issue; it was a case of fingers crossed for qualifying!
Qualifying For qualifying I was one of the first out and I immediately started putting decent lap times in, already into 1m15’s by the third lap. Sadly the issue that we had suffered with the previous day once again haunted us, unable to improve my lap time because of it. This meant we qualified in a
lowly 31st, my worst ever qualifying. The issue was the bike and not us so for this I was still confident of getting a decent result if we could sort the problem out!
Race 1 Race 1 was upon us and I got a decent start, making around 12 places on the first lap! I was up to 19th when the bike started losing power and not revving properly once again. We had tried everything! New fuel pump motors, filters etc but nothing was working. Once this started I was going backwards, going through the speed trap at only 124mph. If we were to challenge the following day we needed to find out the issue and quick!
The following day I went out in a wet warm up, and again the problem remained. We were desperate now, and fellow racer Alex Laureys’ kindly lent us his spare fuel tank, as we had pretty much established the problem was fuel related.
So for race 2 it was all riding on whether this would work, thankfully it did!
Race 2 No loss in power, it was revving properly, happy days! I didn’t get the best of starts but again I started fighting my way through the pack, making up 10 positions in two laps. I was running 19th and quicker than all four riders in front of me, I was just slightly down on power on the massive straights, so it was proving tricky to make a pass stick. The race was sadly red flagged due to a few accidents, everyone involved was thankfully okay. 19th is where we finished, 7th in class.
For the final race I was gunning to get a good result. I didn’t get a brilliant start and I was struggling early laps to make decent progress. It started raining on one side of the circuit, this exact thing happened the previous year and I crashed out, so for a few laps I backed off and refused to make the same mistake again! The race was red flagged due to multiple crashes, again everyone was okay! This time though the race was restarted and I was put up to 18th on the grid, so I was eager to get a good result and get this season back on track! I battled hard and I managed to get 10th, being 4th in class!
I was really happy with this result as it felt like a break through after the tough start to the season, plus it was a great way to repay my team for working so hard all weekend. A very tough weekend all in all, but great to get a top 10 finish in the end! A massive thanks to you all for the help and support so we can do this, now we look towards Cadwell Park for round 4 at the end of the month! ☺