Rd.1 was a disappointing weekend, fortunately we countered the disappointment with a decent result and awesome race this past long weekend at the beautiful Oulton Park circuit!
The season opener was a massive disappointment for us, knowing what we our setup was capable of made me furious at not getting to use it's full potential. We had a very successful test day at Oulton Park the following Friday which set us up nicely for this race weekend just gone. It started with a few questions over bike settings as usual and we made bad choices with regards to timing the changes, but fortunately got it right in time for final Qualifying!
My previous fastest time was in qualifying last year at 1:40.7, but the test day saw me lap nearly a full 1sec faster getting a 1:39.8! The setup we had was feeling good and put us 5th fastest Superstock 1000 there. Free Practice and Qualifying 1 was where we tried settings different to what we ran at the test day, this proved a bad decision as I couldn't go faster than a 1:40.3 putting us in a provisional 34th place on the grid! Not good!
We clocked off for the day without touching any settings, prepped it for warm up and we had a nice team meal before bed.
Race day was upon us and I was really looking forward to riding my bike, just how a rider should be! Morning warm up came and went, and after my pre race massage to prevent the onset of any more arm pump, we headed to start the main race. I pulled up to my team on the start line and got ready to stare the lights down before planning my line into the first corner.
The bike really came to me during the race and I felt confident in it's handling so I could push harder to make up positions. I really enjoyed getting to ride hard and stick some good hard passes throughout the race, taking us up a few places each lap before I get to the front of the pack fighting for 17th and started my chase on top top 12 group with 16th place in sight. I put my head down and tried my hardest to close down the gap with 4 laps to go, but this was to be cut short as the red flag came out with 2 laps to go, meaning a crash has stopped the race early - heal up quick Victor Cox who ran off and took a bit of a knock to the tyre wall!
I'm delighted to say the BSB Organiser thought so too when I was awarded Fred Clarke's Merit Award of rider of the day in Superstock! SO CHUFFED! It's a great achievement to take away from the weekend in 17th place!
We have a 5 week break now so I'm glad we could go into this period on a high note and even an award to our name, not that it will make it go by any faster, but it will certainly make it more pleasant. I look forward to more hard training coming up before we head to Snetterton on 15 June.
Cheers for now!