Race 1 - 10th
Race 2 - 8th
Race 3 - 6th
The first weekend of the 2013 season and the first races for the new bike were held at Brands Hatch with as much drama as anyone could hope for.
On the Friday Test Day we woke up to thick fog, and heavy rain followed soon after. I made some good progress mainly in learning the bike and was really pleased by the end of the day with how the bike felt and handled. A large number of riders had had incidents on the very wet track, but I had manage to stay on the black stuff!
Saturday morning qualifying it was still wet on track, and the temperature had dropped a little. I went out and put an OK time in, but nothing spectacular. Still building in confidence on the new bike though, and very happy with it.
In the race, the track was beginning to dry, but it was still full wets. A few tried the dries but they struggled, and some pulled in. I put my head down and was doing well, but then a missed gear lost me some places. A lap later, my rear wet started to overheat on the now drying track and I had to steady up as it was just sliding. A lap and a half later, though, it came back to me and I managed to then put in some really good lap times. These times then moved me up the grid, for Sunday's races - a row further forward in the whole field, and 5th F600.
Sunday morning, the weather was a whole different ball game. We woke to snow, and although that cleared the temperatures were only around freezing all day,
During the GP1 race, one bike deposited what must have been every last drop of its oil all round and down Paddock Hill, all the way up to and all around Druids. A large scale cleanup operation ensued and when the GP1 bikes went back out to finish their race, many didn't make it through the warmup laps as it seemed there was still oil on the exit of Druids.
Race 2 I was doing ok, keeping with the pack and coping with what was now a half dry and half wet track, with some added oil that made the exit of druids very very slippy. A few riders highsided out of Druids and a few lost it on the way into Graham Hill. One such highsid-ee ended up with his bike in the middle of the track and so the red flag came out. At the restart, again I was keeping with the now much reduced pack as most of the riders who had not made it for various reasons seemed to be behind me. I couldn't really get any decent times sorted though, and I couldn't make any headway into overtakes. Finished in the points in F600 again, though.
Last race of the day was very late, and it was incredibly cold and getting dark! I headed out with all intentions of making progress through the now tiny pack, less than half of the entrants were on the grid, but I just couldn't get the times and didn't feel confident on the very cold and dirty track. I kept it upright though, and again some didn't, and brought it back home.
So, points in all 3 races, and massive confidence gained in the new bike. Looking forward to Donington where I can build on that hopefully get right up the grid!