Race Result - 26th
The Easter weekend brought a huge milestone for me, with my first race weekend competing in BSB Superstock1000, for the first round at Donington Park.
The whole weekend was set to be a huge learning curve, and from the moment we arrived and I collected our passes for the year, queuing up with Josh Brookes(!) I really started to feel the excitement of the whole occasion. BSB is a great place to be!
Free practice on Saturday morning proved to be a little tricky, highlighting some fairly major changes that would be needed to be made for the afternoon's qualifying session.
We made the necessary changes, and as there were more entrants than the 40 grid slots available, I went out determined to qualify within the top 40. I had to push very hard, learning huge amounts about the bike all the time, and I finished the session in 39th place. As a first qualifying session at a National level event, having out-qualified many experienced riders on just my second event on the ZX10, I was really very happy.
We made some more changes for Sunday's qualifying 2 - unfortunately not all were successful. Half way through the session I came in to readjust, and immediately managed to set a faster time. However, it was not quite enough, but after some reclassification due to 2 riders' illegal use of a softer tyre compound, and a faller on Monday morning warmup, I ended up lining up on my first Pirelli National SuperStock1000 grid in 38th position - a fantastic achievement in itself.
I got a pretty good start, and although the changes we had made were feeling good at the start of the race, as I picked up the pace it became apparent that I should have taken the changes a bit further! No matter, though, I managed to get in some good racing, most notably 3 laps or so dicing for position with Bruce Anstey (...I know, I'll get over the name dropping eventually!) and even after he had passed I managed to learn a lot from following him.
I did eventually have to succumb to the fact that my fitness was clearly not quite up to the level I had hoped! The 25 minute, 16 lap race, was definitely taking its toll, and although I had been lapping with my fastest times all weekend, I had to drop back for the last few laps. Certainly something to work on for the next round!
I crossed the line in 26th position though, as there had been many fallers and non finishers throughout the race, both ahead and behind, which as my first SuperStock1000 finish was absolutely fantastic.
Thanks to all the team at JDRacing, who have been amazing help; not only by allowing me to use space in their race awning to run from, but welcoming me into the team with open arms and providing me and my team with priceless help and support. Thanks guys!
I have learned a massive amount over this weekend, and although I am currently unable to attend the next round at Brands Hatch due to funding/cash flow constraints, I cannot wait until Oulton Park on 2nd-4th May.
How many days is that to go.....??