The next 5 week stint of racing has kicked off, meaning we race every single weekend, bar one on which we will be attending a race. My next free weekend (for the time being) is 14 September - and I wouldn't have it any other way!
After a full day of travel, we arrived at Thruxton Racing Circuit in high spirits, carrying our first top 10 finish from the last race. Setting up the whole rig came much easier knowing we could hit the ground running from the first practice session on Friday, so once we had a full working pit, I could retire to bed in anticipation of getting to ride my bike again!
Hit he ground running is just what we did in Free Practice, as I knew the bike would be close to right, I accelerated at full tilt straight out of pitlane. After trying a few small changes, we sat most of the session in 5th place - the highest we've ever been! A few of the others front runners pipped me at the end, seeing us finish the session in 10th.
After a good meal out with the team, we called it a night and I could climb into bed to carry on running laps in my mind, looking for time wherever I could find it!
I set out in the front pack early on, and tagged on to a rider who normally runs top 10, knowing he would be fast and who I could use for a slipstream on my fast lap. We both got on the pace early and I pushed hard to stay with him, then we both started our fast lap. The bike felt great, and completely in control, seeing me quickly catch and pass him before the end of the lap - meaning I should have got a really good top 10 lap time! I checked my dashboard and even though the time was faster than I went in Q1, it wasn't as fast as I expected, but I was convinced it was top 10 as it was still faster than the rider I was following.
I wasn't happy with 15th as I knew we were capable of a faster time, but I just didn't get it. Albeit, it was still our best qualifying yet! Another night full of laughs and good food helped cheer me up a bit, so I could rest for a hot and sunny race day.
"being forced to settle for 10th" is something I didn't think I'd be saying 2 races ago! We have scored our second consecutive top 10 and are firmly associated with them now. The main positive we take away from this race is that we were only 0.9sec off Danny Buchan's fastest time! He seemed absolutely unbeatable at the beginning of the season, now we are finishing within sight of him - solid progress.
Once again, I returned to a joyous pit crew, knowing we all did a great job! The hugs and high fives carried on all the way back to our truck where we reflected on the race, where I could improve, and what goals we could set for the next one - a really satisfying feeling after all our hard work!
After the crowds cleared, truck was packed and good-byes said, we hit the road back to Manchester. A drive which saw the hours fly by as we wore big smiles and high spirits all the way; another successful and thoroughly enjoyable weekend with our special crew.
A big thank you to Mark, Dan, Ian and all of our MWR Kawasaki team, including our new team member Em, for the effort over the weekend. To Rocket88, Leatt, Mom & Dad, and our team sponsors Spur Steak & Grill and Pawson Commercials - without you we couldn't be doing it!
Next up is Oulton Park, this coming weekend. As I mentioned, we have a string of 4 races over the next 5 weeks, which means I have Monday and Tuesday at home to train, then Wednesday til Sunday is race weekend - 4 times in 5 weeks!
I can't wait:)
Cheers for now!