Donington Park GP – Penultimate Round
Round 5 of the British Superbike Championship brought us to the Donington Park GP Circuit. With the weather looking pretty torrid for the whole weekend, Saturday was looking likely to be the worst day. Coming into FP1 I wanted to build lap on lap after having a not so great time during the last visit to the circuit at the start of the year. A steady start took in the cool windy conditions took me to 22nd overall and 9th in class with a few tenths separating myself and the riders in front. The rain decided to show up just before FP2, however a dry set up was already in the bike which meant the team had to change to a wet set up including a change to the tyres. This meant we missed most of the session along with many other riders, having said that we managed to post a good time which put us 15th Overall and 5th in class.
Moving onto Saturday, the weather took a turn with it raining very heavy throughout the night and continuing through the morning. Therefore the BSB officials decided to cancel our qualifying session and use the times from FP1 to decide grid position for race 1 starting at 11:40. Before the race we had a 10 minute warm up to get ourselves up to speed in the conditions. My confidence was building again and my times were getting quicker, unfortunately on the last lap of the session coming out of the final corner I was a little eager on the throttle causing me to high side. I landed awkwardly on my foot which caused a lot of pain and discomfort, but after examination from the medical team I was declared fit to race. The team did a great job in getting the bike sorted for the race with only a short turn around after the crash. For the race the rain came even harder and coming from 22nd I made a good start getting myself up to 15th overall after 4 laps (there were also a few crashes by this point), the conditions continued to get worse but we kept pushing until another slight mistake lead to a big crash coming round Starkey’s. Thankfully my ankle avoided any further damage.
Ready to go again on Sunday, after the bike was fixed the conditions were looking a lot better for our race starting at 13:30. Dry setting confirmed with the track pretty much fully dry, I had a slow start to the race dropping back a couple of positions but once I got into my rhythm I started making the positions back. On the last lap I made another move, but hit a false neutral coming into the last corner which ultimately cost me two positions finishing 21st overall and 9th in class. I’m happy to have finished the race after the mares of Saturday and continued to grow in confidence. I’m really hoping for a dry last round where i can build on this result and set myself up for next year.