The weekend started off well. I was fast and smooth throughout testing with no hiccups and I felt positive for the qualifying session. I wanted to break my PB badly despite the cold weather.
Qualifying didn’t go as expected. The problem with setup is it doesn’t always translate on new tyres but I expected the small issues to go away once I had the grip of fresh rubber. They didn’t and were highlighted even more with the cold weather so the setup I had in the summer from the previous round just didn’t work!
Mad is an understatement. There isn’t a day goes by between rounds where you don’t think about your racing and I thought I had it all planned out but it was going pear shaped!
I went and had a cup of tea and thought about the issues I had with setup and made a decision to change the bike fairly drastically. I had no chance to test the changes as we were straight into a race but the decision was made. I hadn’t even got to the holding area and I knew I had made the right decision by the way the bike handled in the paddock! Race 1 came around and despite losing touch of the front wave I managed a 4th and broke my personal best by 0.5 seconds.
Race 2 was destined to be touch and go with tyre choice, rain had fallen over night and we were against the clock for the circuit to dry out in time. Most of the standing water had gone for the race but it was still damp and slippy. We raced under wet conditions and after a poor start I realised the compound of tyre I had chosen was taking some getting used to. The front tyre felt like it was trying to fold everywhere. I went backwards for the first few laps until I found some feel and started to move back up the field but was held up in places struggling to pass without being harsh and ended up finishing 5th, not ideal but ideal would have been a dry race!
Race 3 was awesome, I had opted to go back to the tyre I had used previously in wet races and the feel was there immediately which was handy because the track was soaked! I got a good start and plugged away over race distance. I had found a really good setup and once I found my rhythm I felt like really comfortable.
A podium in GP1 and Superstock 1000 was a great way to end a great season!
Race 1: 4th
Race 2: 5th
Race 3: 3rd