2016 BRITISH SUPERBIKES
Round 1 8/9/10 April Silverstone
First round of a new season its always important to get off to a good start and score some points. Pre season testing had gone well with winning every club race I had entered so was looking forward to round 1.
Silverstone is fast and flowing and in qualifying 1 I was in pole for the first 10 minutes but as the track dried out I made the mistake of not coming into the pits and changing to dry tyres and dropped to P28.
I had another chance in qualifying 2 to improve and was going well until I had a big oil leak from the clutch but had climbed to P14. Not where I wanted to be but better than 28th.
Race day and I got off to a good start but got caught in a close battle from 7th to 16th place and that had allowed the leaders to get away. After 12 laps I came across the finish line in 13th place and 3 points. Bit disappointing but after a few issues it was something to build on for round 2.
Round 2 30/1/2 May Oulton Park
Oulton park is a track I hardly ever go to as its so far away but really enjoy racing at. In free practice we tried some suspension changes and was 10th quickest. Qualifying 1 was a patchy track half wet and half dry. We used wet tyres as did most others and finished the session in 5th.
Qualifying 2 and it was the same conditions and stupidly I waited too long for the track to dry and went out with only 7 minutes remaining and didn’t leave enough time to go faster than the day before and dropped to 8th place on the grid for the main race.
On race day I lined up in the middle of row 3 and it was absolutely pouring down, not my favourite conditions. Got off to a flyer of a start and was up to 4th place in the 9 lap race as it had been shortened because of the rain. After 5 laps my visor started to steam up and could hardly see and people started to come past me. After what seemed ages with not being able to see I finally finished the race in 10th place. Felt I was good enough for top five if it wasn’t for my helmet steaming up so another frustrating meeting but on the plus side I have now moved up to 10th in the championship out of 42 riders.
Round 3 20-22 May Brands Hatch
One of my favourite tacks of the season so was up for a good result. Free practice we had the settings so pushed on and finished 7th quickest 0.4 off pole.
Qualifying was nice and dry so we had 25 mins to get a good time in. Bike felt good and we did well. Finished 2nd 0.1 off pole.
Qualifying 2 we did go slightly quicker and did a PB off 47.7 but dropped to 4th on the grid for the race.
Race time and was starting from 4th. A great race that seemed to go on for ages, but after 18 laps I crossed line in 3rd, and on the podium. Well Chuffed!!
Good points and another PB of 47.5.
Round 4 29th – 31st May Donington Park WSB
Support class for the World Superbikes, pretty cool.
Free practice we finished 14th and 1.2secs off the pace. Need to make some improvements.
Qualifying 1 and was hopeful after making some changes to the bike. Was really chuffed to finish 4th after a 40 minute qualifying. 0.3 off pole and quickest thru the first 3 sectors. Feeling good for the race.
Race time and disaster. The clutch seized on the line at the start and flipped. Unfortunately another bike came through the field and hit mine causing a lot of damage. 0 Points and a podium chance missed.
Round 5 24th – 26th June Knockhill
Never been to Knockhill before so was looking forward to seeing for myself what all the fuss was about. Had a few laps of the track on foot when I got there to get my bearings.
Qualifying 1 was wet to start with but dried out near the end. We finished in 7th ony 0.4 off pole so proper happy with that.
Qualifying 2 was another disaster out of our control. The new rear shock had leaked all its oil and we had no rear suspension. Dropped to 18th and 0.6 secs off pole. Knew I could go quicker with the bike right. 52.1 secs.
Race day stating a long way back in 18th. Was starting to rain on the grid and knew they would stop the race early so decided to take some risks on the first lap while the others were finding their feet. Up to 11th on lap 1 so a good start. Finished 5th after the red flag at ¾ distance as the rain was getting heavier. Loved the track and the surroundings, will look forward to going back in 2017.
Round 6 8th – 10th July Snetterton
My bogey track of the year. Always struggle to set the bike up here and I cannot quite click with this track.
Free practice was slow as I missed the first 10 mins as my rain light wasn’t working. Managed 6 laps and in 18th. Wasn’t too worried as was going a lot quicker each lap.
Qualifying 1 was perfect conditions. Tried as hard as I could but struggled with the bike. Finished 23rd and 2.2 secs off the pace.
Worst qualifying of the season and still hate this track.
Qualifying 2 was soaking wet so sat it out as wasn’t going to better qually 1 times. So start the race in 23rd, great.
Race day and was just hoping to score some points. Was going to be hard from that far back tho. Finished 18th but finally felt like the bike was feeling better. No points so not happy. Dropped to 9th in championships after 6 rounds of 12.
Round 7 22nd - 24th July Thruxton
Really like Thruxton, levels the field a bit as no one can test here. Fastest track of the season and really bumpy.
Free practice 1 and the bike felt a little strange and ended up 13th quickest 1.1 secs off the pace. Should be closer, see what qualifying 1 brings.
Qualifying 1 went better closed the gap to 0.5secs and up to 7th, bike still not quite right tho, qually 2 will be interesting.
Qualifying 2 and everyone went quicker but with my bike not being right i had dropped to 14th on the grid for the race and a second off the pace, need to find a setting for the race.
Race time and starting 14th on the 5th row. Got a reasonable start and was not far off the leading pack after lap 1. Started to set some fast times each lap and caught the leaders. was a good close race and crossed the line 2 secs of the win in 4th place. cracking result after a hard weekend.
Round 8 5th - 8th August Brands GP
Back to Brands but on the GP circuit. Good fast track and hoping to go well. First practice was ok but there is something not right somewhere with this bike and we cant find it. Finished the session 14th and a massive 1.8 secs down.
Qualifying 1 was better, running 4th all session till the last minute and dropped to 10th with riders luckily getting another fast lap, now down to 1.3 off pole.
Qualifying 2 was a disaster, an MV Augusta blew up in front of me and the next 2 bikes including me went down on the spilt oil. Lost all the skin off my hand and dropped to 23rd on the grid for the race.
Race time and was feeling pissed at being down in 23rd through no fault of my own. Even better was to follow, running down the order in 14th the guy in front of me highsided taking the next 3 racers down with him including me. DNF and dropped to 12th in the championship, on a bad run and dont know why.
Round 9 27th - 29th August Cadwell Park
Pouring with rain we all headed out for free practice 1 looking to just stay upright for the better weather in qualifying. Didnt really push to hard hence the 20th place finish in the session.
Qualifying 1 was no better with the weather in fact it was worse, puddles and rivers running across the track made it really dangerous.
Qualifying 2 was even worse as the bloody bike still doesnt feel good, dropped to 28th for the race so going to be impossible to get anywhere near the points.
Race day and not much to say apart from i tried my hardest and came home 21st, something is not right.
Round 10 9th - 11th September Oulton Park
Free practice was rubbish and we are now certain something is wrong but cant find anything so chasing our tails, long way off times and setup feels awful.
Qualifying 1 was down in 21st and 2 seconds off feeling more frustrated than ever. trying to go fast is so hard when the bike doesnt want to do it.
Qualifying 2 and the rot continues the harder we try the further away we are getting, a huge 3.3 secs of and our worst qualifying ever down in 28th.
Race day and was looking forward to getting home and stripping the bike down to find this problem. Still lapping 2 secs off the pace during the race and finished 24th. lets go home.
!!!!!!Eureka problem found!!!!!!!!
Round 11 16th - 18th September Donington Park
We arrive at Donington with some hope, found our rear shock that was new after Knockhill has been set up wrong by Ohlins and our setting have been wrong for the last 4 rounds.
Free Practice and the bike felt strange but better , wasnt bothered with times or positions was just trying to get the bike feeling better.
Qualifying 1 and 2 was used to get the bike better and better and gain some confidence back. finished both qualifyings in 17th place 1.4 secsoff pole so was getting there.
Was determind to get a decent result after all the hard work and stress of the last few rounds with a dodgy rear shock. Pushed hard all race and finished in a creditable 8th. We have turned a corner, finally.
Round 12 14th - 16th October Brands Hatch
Final round of the season and everyone wants to finish with a good result, including us. Free practice was better and the bike is feeling like it should at last.
Free practice was good and finished the session in 7th which is back to where we want.
Qualifying 1 went well again and the bike feels perfect, crossed the line in 5th so looking forward to qually 2.
Qualifying 2 and things got a lot quicker, finished in 6th place so on the second row of the grid for the race, so given myself a chance.
Last race of the season so want to make it a good one, decided to rain for our race but we got off to a good start but red flagged half way due to an accident. Restarted race was 6 laps so was going to be frantic. finally finished the race in 6th place and the championship in 8th.
To finish 8th was pretty good seeing as we never scored at five rounds due to a buggered rear shock that was brand new so all in all we look forward to 2017 with more consistant results we should be up there for the title.
2015 BRITISH SUPERBIKES
NATIONAL SUPERSPORT EVO 600
Round 12 16/17/18 October Brands Hatch
Bike repaired from the big Silverstone crash just enough to get us through the last round. First free practice and second free practice on the Friday a waste off time really as it was raining all day and was due to be dry for weekend.h.
Qualifying was dry and we already had our settings from earlier in the year so were ready to go quick from the start. Finished 13th with a 1.31.3. we wanted better than that so lot of room for improvement.
Sprint race of 10 laps and the stiffer springs we had put in the forks were not working as well. Was running in 10th doing lap times of 1.31.0 and I made a small mistake and lost 4 places as quick as a flash. Unfortunately the race was red flagged due to an accident and never had time to get those places back.
For the feature race we decided to go back to the original settings that we had for qualifying and back in July. It felt better from the start and quickly started to make up some places. Really good race with Pett and Coventry and finished the race in a season best 5th with a lap time of 1.30.1 another personal best.
Round 11 2/3/4 October Silverstone
Fast, flowing MotoGP track we were going to be down on power a fair bit but really wanted to find some settings and gearing that would benefit us for next season.
First free practice was pretty good already 3 secs quicker than ever before, doing 2.16.5 but the bike not feeling great so need to make some changes for free practice 2. Finished 11th.
Free practice 2 we went wrong with the settings only managing a 2.15.9 and 18th. Need to change things and get the times down before qualifying.
Qualifying was a lot better, talked to the Ohlins guys and changed the bike a bit and hoped for the best. Eleven laps later and we had managed a 2.13.5 a whopping 6 secs better than last season and qualifying in 11th so pretty pleased.
Sprint race of 10 laps was going really well, bike was feeling great and was running in 7th when Josh Daley decided to try an overtake and we both ended up crashing at 140mph. So much damaged to my bike, leathers and helmet we were unable to fix it so couldn’t make the feature race on Sunday. Absolutely gutted but on a positive side we had knocked another second off and was doing 2.12.5. Onwards to Brands and the final round.
Round 10 18/19/20 September Assen
Was looking forward to Assen as we had never been there before. Never raced abroad anywhere in fact. Known as “The cathedral of speed” the circuit is fast and flowing so I needed to learn it quick. We arrived on Wednesday eve so I jumped on the scooter and did 12 laps learning which way it went.
Free practice 1 was pretty good, was 16th fastest Evo rider with a 1.46.8 so wasn’t too bad but having 5 Dutch lads out there and half the field being here last year I was going to be up against it. Lovely track tho was really enjoying it.
Second practice was a disaster, just before we were due to go out it poured down. Only half the field went out as it was pointless. Nothing to gain but lots to lose if you binned it.
Qualifying was hard as I had only had 16 laps to learn the place and go fast, again it rained half way thru so lost more time on track. Finished 19th with a 1.44.9. Half the field had entered the Dutch classes as well so were getting twice as much track time as us so we were really up against it.
Race 1 and had a great start up to 7th on the first lap but then ran onto the grass and dropped about 6 places. Enjoyed the race and came across the line in 15th with a time of 1.44.1 so a little quicker but not a lot. Couple of changes needed and new tyres and we be good for race 2 tomorrow.
Race 2 and I had my granddad cheering me on from the grandstand and was determined to get another good start and keep it. From 19th to 9th on the first lap and I wasn’t going to throw it away this time. Good battle with others and finished with a season best 7th and a 4th fastest laptime of 1.43.2.
Absolutely loved Assen and rode really well. Would love to come back here again even if it was a long trip. Well worth it.
Round 9 4/5/6 September Oulton Park
Was looking forward to Oulton as it’s a beautiful place and a lovely circuit to race around. Not been here for a while so didn’t really expect too much.
Free practice 1 was pretty good, was 12th fastest Evo rider with a 1.44.6 so wasn’t too bad but needed to change the gearing and just change the rear suspension slightly before free practice 2.
Second practice and the changes were better that we made to the bike. Time was down to a 1.42.9 so was quicker but was now 15th Evo rider. Have to go better for qualifying.
Qualifying was a lot better, finished 12th with a laptime of 1.41.3 so had gone over 3 seconds quicker since FP1 so bike was set up nicely was down to me now to ride faster.
Race 1 was ok nothing special or disastrous, had a good battle with Tommy Philp and came across the line in 12th with a time of 1.41.0 so a little quicker but not a lot. Couple of changes needed and new tyres and we be good for race 2 tomorrow.
Race 2 and the aim was to try and get into the 40’s and just improve my times, didn’t matter where I finished. Had a great race with Wakefield No.4 and finally got past him on the last lap but then the race was red flagged due to a crash so ended up loosing that place is results went back a lap. Chuffed tho as every lap was in the 1.40’s and a best finish of 9th Evo. Fastest laptime of the weekend was a 1.40.1. Good weekend.
Round 8 21/22/23/August Cadwell Park
Really pleased where we finished at Thruxton, but know we are at Cadwell a circuit we havnt been to in over a year.
Free practice 1 was to just get used to the track and get the bike feeling right for me to go quick, finished FP1 in 18th evo. Lap time of 1.35.8. Need to find a few seconds.
Free practice 2 and was trying to close the gap to the front lads and get the bike right for qualifying, ended up doing a 1.34.3 and in 16th place of evo class.
Qualifying and it was sunny always a bonus. Really pleased with bike and set a new PB with a 1.32.9 which put me 12th evo. Getting used to the track but struggling in sector 3 thru the twisty stuff.
Race 1 was a complete disaster. After getting a good start the race was red flagged after just 2 laps. After another sighting lap and warm up lap my bike was badly overheating. When the lights went out my clutch stuck and I flipped the bike on the grid. Embarrassing or what!!
Race 2 and I know had to start at the back of the grid after not setting a lap in race one. After a careful start I just put some steady laps in and had a cracking race with Ryan Dixon and set a new PB of 1.32.8 and finished 9th. After a hard weekend it was good to set a best time and get a good result. Onto another circuit I havnt seen for a year Oulton Park.
Round 7 1/2/3/August Thruxton
After a pretty good Brands Hatch we came to Thruxton a circuit I quite like. Free practice 1 was to just get to remember the track and get the bike feeling nice for me to go quick, finished FP1 in 15th evo. Lap time of 1.21.3.
Free practice 2 and was trying to up my laptime and get the bike right for qualifying, ended up doing a PB of 1.20.7 and in 12th place of evo class.
Qualifying and everyone normally goes quicker so had to pull my finger out. Really pleased with bike and set a new PB with a 1.19.7 which put me 11th evo and less than a second from a podium place. Chuffed.
Race 1 was all about trying to better my times really. We know our bike hasn’t the speed at circuits like this against the supersport bikes so we were really pleased with a time of 1.19.1 and 13th place in the race.
Race 2 was a bit of the same, try to improve times and see where we finish. We managed the same times as the day before and finished in a very creditable 9th. Good weekend and a good choice to change classes.
Round 6 17/18/19 July Brands Hatch
After a lot of discussion we have decided to move classes to the prestigious Supersport class running as a privateer Evo rider. Our bike the Triumph remains stock because of the cost of tuning it so we are well under powered but are hoping the extra track time and extra race will give us the track time we desperately need.
Free practice 1 we were getting used to the full GP circuit and the bike was now feeling quite nice now we have sussed the suspension set up. ( only just been told after 4 rounds that our new forks are 14mm longer than last year)
We have gone a second quicker than ever before and amazingly in 10th place in the Evo class against more powerful bikes so pleased so far.
Free practice 2 and we made a few changes to see if we could go any quicker. Ended up doing the same laptimes as free practice 1 but finding it easier. Bike was over heating due to the longer sessions and the hot weather.
Qualifying and I was to get a new tyre halfway thru so got up to speed and came in to change the wheel after about 8 laps. I managed to hook onto the championship leader for a lap and realised I was taking 2 corners slightly wrong so changed that and really tried to stay with him for as long as possible. Amazingly I went a second quicker and qualified 9th really pleased and a great laptime.
Race 1 on Saturday was new to me but wanted to make the most of the extra tracktime. Went a tenth quicker and finished 10th but realised the softer Sc1 front tyre wasn’t strong enough to take the faster corners.
Race 2 and we put a new Sc2 stiffer front tyre in and a stronger spring in the front forks to give us better feel that we were missing in race 1. After 4 laps I was running in 6th place matching my fastest times lap after lap but then lost the front at Druids and the race was over.
Disappointed at crashing but pleased we now had the bike feeling how I want it and also proving to myself I can run in a faster class on a slower bike. Learnt loads too.
ROUND 5 3/4/5 JULY KNOCKHILL
MISSED ROUND DUE TO FINANCIAL REASONS.
Round 4 19/20/21 June Snetterton
Not my favourite track Snetterton, 3 mile long with 12 corners, time can be gained or lost very easily. Free practice was ok but not brilliant, struggling with set up a little and also making mistakes trying too hard.
Qualifying 1 was soon here so 25 minutes to get sorted and put in a good time. Fastest lap was my last lap but still not good, 4 secs off pole and 37th on the grid, shocking.
Qualifying 2 and I had to go quicker, few changes to the bike and we were good to go. We went over a second and a half faster but only moved up to 25th place for the stat of the race.
Race day and I was determined to make up a load of places, few changes to the bike and we were good to go. After the first lap I came over the line in 18th place, but as I went to overtake at the end of the back straight on lap 2 I ran on across the grass and went back to last 38th place. Started to get my head down then and just go as best as I could. After 12 long laps I finally finished the race in 29th place. Disaster really and not happy.
Have now decided we need to get the bike sorted and set up right so will be missing the next round in Scotland, will save some money too.
Round 3 2/3/4 May Oulton Park
After scoring points at the opening 2 rounds we were hoping to break into the top 10 at round 3.
We had a 25 minute free practice session and was finding the front wheel was nearly always in the air and was struggling to keep it down and get grip at the rear when getting on the power.
Qualifying and we was up to 10th place with 5 minutes to go when we went the wrong way with a suspension change and couldn’t go any quicker. During the last 5 minutes we dropped to 21st as others started to go quicker. This is where we were to start the race and was not happy.
We tried to change the set up in warm up ready for the race but ended up going even further the wrong way and went even slower.
After talking to Freddy Pett he showed us where we were going wrong and helped us get our bike ready for the race. During the race we were up to 16th when we ran on at the chicane trying to overtake and lost several places and fell back to 21st. We managed to go nearly a second quicker with the new settings from Freddy so a big thanks to him. The lap time we did in the race would have put us 13th in qualifying and we could have gone forward from that. Easy to say in hindsight.
No points and 21st not where we wanted to be. Now sitting in 18th place in the series out of 54, not bad but not where we want to be.
On to Donington Park for the World Superbikes round and hopefully a better result.
Round 2 17/18/19 April Brands Hatch
Free practice went well enough was 9th quickest with a 48.9 on old tyres and a cold track but knew things would change come qualifying.
Qualifying one and the T3 stock Triumph was really going well. Ended the first qualifying in 6th place out of 52 riders with a reasonable time of 48.0.
Decided to change the gearing and made a couple of suspension changes for qualifying 2 as we were sliding a lot coming round the last corner onto the start/finish straight.
Qualifying 2 on Saturday and the gearing felt better but still couldn’t get grip when lent over but ended the session with a PB of 47.90. This put me 11th on the grid for the race, 0.1 sec off front row but the first 30 separated by only one second.
I had the fastest sector 1 time ever even beating the sector one lap record I just needed to find a fraction in the middle part of the track.
The race started and was red flagged after the first lap as there was a horrendous crash with 4 riders falling at Graham Hill bend. After a very long wait of an hour and half in pit lane we restarted with a shortened race distance of 15 laps. When I was hit from behind I never realised I had bent the shaft on the quick shifter, this was making it really hard to change down gears going into the fast Paddock Hill corner, this was making me run wide and costing me time.
I was overtaken several times because of this and in the sector I was fastest in, arrggghhh. Frustrating as I felt I had the pace to run top 5 but ended up 12th and scoring 4 points. We now move to Oulton Park for round 3 and hope to break into the top 10.
ROUND 1 4/5/6 APRIL DONINGTON PARK
Opening round of the season in a different class was always going to be exciting, new riders, higher standard of bike and bigger grids. Welcome to the National Superstock 600’s, Junior suicide or axe murderers as some call it.
Friday practice was ok but having problems with the front brake was holding us back. 3 laps and the front brake would fade, annoying and not being able to get any quicker we were struggling.
We tried to fit the front brake calliper that was leaking fluid badly and also changed the gearing ready for qualifying one. First qualifying was frustrating, the brake calliper was still leaking fluid and the change in gearing was wrong. Finished the session in 20th out of 54 but knew I could go much quicker.
Qualifying 2 and we tried a different gearing again and also tried to fix the brakes again. Three laps later back in the pits with no brakes. We went bake out for another ten minutes and was in 10th place with a minute and a half to go but as I pulled in with failing brakes others went quicker and I finished qualifying in 21st. So frustrating as I hadn’t even beaten my times from the year before on a slower bike.
First race of the year and we lined up on the 7th row in 21st place. Hopefully the brakes would last the 14 lap race. After a good start I crossed the line at the end of lap one in 16th place, The brakes lasted but faded quite bad towards the end but got me thru at last. Finally crossed the line at the end of the race in 14th, not great but not a disaster, scored my first points at my weakest track so something to build on as we go to round 2 at Brands Hatch.
2014 BRITISH SUPER BIKES
TRIUMPH TRIPLE CHALLENGE
TTC CUP BRITISH CHAMPION
Round 9 17/18/19 October Brands Hatch GP
The last round of 2014 knowing I only needed 1 point to be the Triumph cup champion was a great feeling. I wanted to wrap it up straight away in the first race Saturday so I could relax and enjoy the rest of the meeting.
Qualify went really well after getting the bike feeling comfortable during practice. Twenty minutes isn’t that long, around 13 laps at a minute and a half a lap. On my 12th lap of 13 I was quick enough for 3rd and on the front row. This set me up nicely to get that 1 point.
First race Saturday went well but couldn’t quite stay with the front group after making a couple of mistakes. Finished 1st in the cup class by over 25 seconds and was enough to be crowned TTC cup British Champion.
Last race of the season I was determined to enjoy it and go out with a bang. It had rained overnight and was still really patchy when we went out to race at 11.10am so everyone was on wet tyres. On the warm up lap it had dried enough for me to be thinking we should have dry tyres on now but as everyone was in the same boat I was happy enough. As soon as the lights went out I was proper going for it, while everyone was sussing out the conditions I went for the win it or bin it attitude. From starting in 5th I was leading by the first corner and continued to do so until I had a massive slide down Paddock Hill bend which put me down to 3rd. Another 8 laps later and the chequered flag came out and I had won the cup class again and was 3rd in the main championship. Double trip to the podium.
I had finished the season as TTC cup champion and 6th in the main championship in my first season in the BSB paddock. Pretty good.
Round 8 Silverstone 3/4/5 October.
Having never raced at Silverstone we knew we were going to be up against it. We had a 20 minute free practice to learn the track find the right gearing and get the bikes suspension set up, this would be about 8 laps as Silverstone is a 3.66 mile track taking about 2m.15 secs to complete.
We had free practice and got the best set up we could manage in the lack of time and then headed out for our 20 minute qualifying. I was quite happy with how things went, qualified 1st in the cup and 6th overall and felt i could go a fair bit quicker.
Race 1 on Saturday was in the wet, most of the day had been cancelled due to the torrential rain so i guess we were lucky we got to race. Not being a massive fan of racing in the wet we decided to play safe and collect as many points as possible rather than risk crashing in the wet. Good result with a 3rd and 16 points secured towards the championship.
Race 2 on Sunday was at least in the dry but because of my lap times the day before in the wet i was starting from 10th place on the grid. Was a real frantic race with about 8 of us fighting for 5th. I eventually came over the line in 2nd place with my main rival one place behind.
I know lead the championship by 49.5 points with just 50 up for grabs at Brands Hatch. Triumph triple challenge cup British champion here we come.
Round 7 Donington Park 5/6/7 September
Donington Park is not our favourite track of the season but after racing there earlier in the season with the WSB we were confident we were close with our gearing and suspension set up. With some of our rivals entering an extra class we were going to be up against it with lack of track time compared to them, but knew we had to make the most of what we had.
Friday 20 minute practice went well, we had a decent set up and knew our gearing was ok for qualifying later that day. Qualifying came round and after just 6 laps it was red flagged due to a big accident at the Melbourne Loop. Sam was getting quicker each lap so was a shame it came to a stop for 10 minutes while they cleared the accident. Qualifying resumed for another 11 minutes but only a couple of riders went quicker, we had finished the session on the front row in 3rd place and 1st in the cup class. Cracking result.
Race one on Saturday was going really well, was in 5th quite comfortably following Bohn and Cox when the front tucked at the last corner and that was it my first crash in a race this season and an easy 25 points gone. Lessons learned.
Sunday and I was determined to make up for the mistake the day before. Starting from 5th on the grid, because of the crash the day before. I made a reasonable start and was happy running with Cox and Carne for 4th when on around lap 6 my clutch started to give me problems it was jumping in and out of gear so I settled for 6th and took a comfortable win in the cup class, my 10th win of the year and 25 points.
Now lead the cup championship by 42 points with two rounds to go and 7th in the main championship. Next round is Silverstone an ultra fast Formula 1 circuit so we see how it goes.
Round 6 Cadwell Park 23/24/25 August
We drove the six hours to Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire for round 7 of the Triumph challenge in the British Superbike Series hoping for a good result after testing there 6 weeks previously. Nice and sunny for qualifying and after a frantic 20 minutes Sam had qualified in 1st position in the Triumph cup class on board his Strategic Solutions backed bike and 5th overall.
On Saturday in race one Sam took his 7th win on the trot by over 3 seconds from his closest cup competitor as he tackled the famous mountain at the Cadwell Park circuit, with two of his closest rivals crashing out we had gained some good points on them. Sam also set the 4th quickest laptime during the race meaning we had gained a place for Sundays race.
Race 2 on Sunday saw Sam started from the second row in fourth place and got a fantastic start leading the race for the first 2 laps. After 10 long dramatic laps Sam secured a remarkable 8 wins on the bounce with a winning streak that stretches back to May at Donington Park. Sam took the win by over 9 seconds to now lead the cup championship by 53 points with 3 rounds left.
Round 5 Thruxton 1/2/3 August
We were looking forward to Thruxton as it was our closest meeting of the year just over an hour away and expecting a few friends and family to come and watch. It’s also a track that does not allow track days or testing so the racing should be a bit closer, except for the guys that have been in BSB before that is.
Friday practice and we had 20 minutes to set the bike up and find a gearing suited for the ultra fast and bumpy Thruxton circuit. Again those who had been here the year before had an advantage already knowing their gearing and suspension settings.
First lap of practice and I couldn’t change gear, turns out my gear selector had broken and I was not to get a lap in. That was all my 20 minutes gone and now a long way behind the others. Saturday morning we had another 20 minutes for qualifying and with the gear selector fixed we tried to set a good lap time for the 2 upcoming races. I was getting quicker and quicker as I learnt the track and made a couple of quick suspension changes. I managed 11 laps which was interrupted with rain and ended up 8th overall and 1st in the cup class. Not bad seeing as everyone else had a full session more than me.
Saturday afternoon and we lined up for the first race of the weekend. Got a good start but realised with a bit more track time and going quicker my gearing wasn’t right. Finished the race 7th overall and 1st in the cup which now meant after 5 wins on the trot I was now leading the championship for the first time this season. We changed the gearing and made some suspension changes for the race Sunday and hoped it would be better.
Sunday was nice and dry and after a long wait I lined up in 10th position on the grid. Had a really good race with Sam Middlemas for 6th place and realised that this was the right gearing and had got my lap times down to 1m 21.45 secs. The race was red flagged after 9 laps and declared a result, i had taken my 6th win on the trot in the cup class and now lead the championship by 12 points.
All points in the championship are halved after this round to make things more interesting, this means i am now leading the cup class by 6 points and stand 9th in the main championship 25 points from 5th.
Round 4 Snetterton 13/14/15 June
We travelled to Snetterton for round 4 in second place in the cup championship 55 points behind the leader. We were determined to try and pull the gap back and with it being a triple race weekend we had a chance.
It was lovely and sunny for Friday and in free practice we were trying to find the right gearing and suspension set up ready for qualifying in the afternoon. It went ok but could of gone better. Qualifying that afternoon i went a little faster but was now needing to change the gearing for the following 3 races. I was in 10th place on the grid and had qualified 1st in the cup by half a second.
First race Saturday was ok but nothing special, went quicker but needed to go faster. I won the cup by 9 seconds and my rival was 4th so 12 points clawed back. Saturday afternoon and it was time for race 2, good start and better lap times had me take a second win in the cup by over 13 seconds, more importantly my rival had crashed so another 25 points gained, i was now only 18 points behind.
Race 3 on a colder windy Sunday was really good, set my fastest lap times all weekend after getting the bike feeling right and won again by over 16 seconds in the cup class. My rival was 6th so another 14 points gained.
Really good weekend, laptimes were finally down to where we wanted and i am now only 2 points behind the leader. Roll on round 5 at Thruxton.
Round 3 Donington Park 23/24/25 May
Round 3 supporting the World Superbikes at Donington Park
After a huge crash at Oulton Park we were lucky to have a bike to race this round so we wanted to make the most of it. We collected the bike at the circuit Thursday eve and finished putting the last touches to it by midnight. Friday morning 9am we had a 20 minute free practice to get up to speed and check the bike felt ok after the rebuild. Unfortunately we had wet tyres on and the track dried out really quick and had to come in after 2 laps. The bike felt good but we had no time for gearing and suspension changes which was not ideal.
Friday afternoon we had 20 minutes qualifying and we had to go for it straight away as the sky was looking quite grey. After 4 laps it started to rain and that was it, i was 1st in the cup class but 11th overall. Not too happy but after the big crash and only 6 laps since it wasn’t too bad.
First race was wet, not ideal but it is what it is. Off the start i took a few laps to get settled in and was down to 15th and 4th in cup. Once i settled down and got used to the wet conditions i started to move forward, even by the end of the race we had a fair bit of a dry line. By the end of the race i had finished 11th same as where i started and 2nd in the cup class.
Second race on Sunday and it was dry and i wasn’t going to lose this one. Lights went out and off we went, bad start and i got boxed in at the first corner. I got my head down and put some good laps in going faster and faster each time until i had a 5 second lead over my main rival. Chequered flag after 10 laps and i had finished 8th in the main race and 1st in the cup class. Chuffed with that.
I am now in 2nd in the championship 55 points behind Lundy but with plenty of races left to pull that back. Next round is at Snetterton in 3 weeks and its a triple header so three good wins and we are back in business.
Round 2 Oulton Park 3/4/5 May
Round 2 and we were at the lovely Oulton Park, quite like the circuit but not had a lot of practice there so was unsure how i would go. One thing for sure was i needed to win.
Saturday free practice went really well, 20 mins to set the bike up find the right gearing and go quick, simples! Did a best laptime of 1-45.3 which was quicker than my previous best with Thundersport on the Kawasaki so not too bad, also that was on old tyres so i knew i could go quicker with new tyres and a bit of help from Kais suspension.
Sunday and after a fairly long wait we went out for 20 mins qualifying, after just 6 laps it was red flagged due to a big crash involving 2 of the riders and that was the session finished. Luckily i had got my act together quick enough and was 1st in the cup class by over a second and 6th overall. A lap time of 1-44.1 and i knew i could go much quicker so was feeling confident for the 2 races. Only 1.2 secs off the lap record and 0.3 off front row so proper chuffed and only my second meeting on this bike.
Monday and it all went horribly wrong, during 10 min warm up before the races i had a huge crash which completely destroyed my bike and was unable to take part in the 2 races, gutted. My rival cruised to 2 easy wins and i am now 56 points behind him with a lot of work to do as we go to Donington Park for the WSB round in 2 weeks time. I am desperately hoping Triumph can fix my bike or i wont be there, fingers and toes are crossed.
Round 1 Brands Hatch 19/20/21 April
New season and the big step up to the British Superbike Series with the Triumph Triple Challenge. First round was 3 races, one on each day and main aim this season is to win the cup championship within the main championship. Also by the end of the season to try and be on the podium for the main championship as many times as possible.
So the first round at Brands went really well, after having real problems trying to set the bike up at the official test days we changed the rear spring in the shock and also both springs in the front forks which seems to make the bike a lot more comfortable to race.
Qualifying was 20 minutes long so had to get straight on it, went ok and i was 9th overall and 1st in the cup class. First race on the Saturday was ok and finished 2nd so a nice trip up onto the podium and 20 points to start the season off. The second race was in the pouring rain on Sunday and after a little crash in the morning practice i was a little nervous and didn’t have the bike as i wanted it. Plan was to stay upright and finish. Came home 5th which was ok and another 11 points so better than nothing.
Last race was on the bank holiday Monday and after the wet race the day before i was down to start in 16th place on the grid and 5th in the cup class so had some work to do. Went really well, got a good start and just got my head down. After the 12 laps were over i had finished 1st so was really pleased.
Another trip up onto the podium but this time on the top step, nice trophy and bottle of champers plus a good 25 points. After this round i am 2nd in the championship 5 points behind the leader as we go to Oulton Park for round 2.
THE VAN INSURER 600 ELITE CLASS
THUNDERSPORT GB YOUNGEST 600cc ELITE SUPERSTOCK CHAMPION
Round 9 Donington Park 25/26/27 October
This was the final round or the 2013 season and I was 22 points in the lead of the championship, which I had lead from the very first round back in March at Brands Hatch. The weather was nice and dry so come qualifying Saturday morning i only had one person on my mind, I had to out qualify my main rival for the title Sam Cox. Twenty minutes later I had a time that put me 9th on the grid, not to bad as we had 3 BSB lads out there and a TT and Macau roads Specialist. More importantly Mr Cox was 2.5 secs slower than me and back in 14th.
Race 1 Saturday afternoon was pretty tense, we lined up on the grid and although I only had to finish one place behind my rival I wanted to beat him. It was a good race which I finished 3rd and collected a good 16 points and Sam Cox had rode really well and finished just 2 seconds behind me so I had only gained 3 points to stretch my lead to 25 points before the last day of the season.
Sunday the last day of the season was here and quite a few people we knew started to turn up, we had the French Fan Club over, around 8 people from Bournemouth had made the long trip up, a few friends from Birmingham and a few family members from London so I was starting to get pretty nervous. Was great to have lots of people to support me but it did put the pressure on a lot. The first race arrived and we lined up on the grid, my dad and Kirk told me to just get my head down and go for it, so that’s what I did, the lights went out and off I went. After 22 and a half miles, nine laps i crossed the line in 4th a massive 9 seconds and two places in front of Sam Cox and was now the champion.....what a relief.
The last race of the season and I was just going to enjoy it and see if I could beat the lap record, I finished 4th again and was 0.3 secs off the lap record so not a bad effort. I had finished the season CHAMPION by 33 points and was told I was the youngest Thundersport 600cc champion they have had, also the first UK champion to wear a Kabuto helmet who are now sponsoring me for helmets.
I WOULD LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE WHO HAS HELPED ME THIS YEAR, AND ALL THOSE WHO HAVE COME TO THE TRACKS TO SUPPORT ME. It’s been a blast.
Next season with the help of some still to be found sponsors we will move to the next step of the journey.
Round 8 Mallory Park 29th September
This was the penultimate round of the 2013 season and had been reduced to a one day meeting because of disputes between the track and the residents from the nearby village. The villagers had moved next to a racing circuit and then decided they didn’t like the sound of racing and complained to the local council about noise. There was to be two races with the second being a double pointer. Sam was starting this round only 9 points in the lead with 75 up for grabs.
After quite a slow start Sam finally put in a quick lap time to qualify 5th on the second row so that’s where he started both the races from. In the first race after some really close overtakes Sam came over the line in 3rd scoring 16 points and with his main rival 5th so 7 points gained and another climb onto the podium and a trophy.
In the double pointer race 2 Sam really had to go for it. Luckily all went well again and after a frantic last lap he came over the line for another 3rd with his rival 4th so another 6 points gained.
Sam goes into the final round at Donington Park at the end of the month with a 22 point lead but with 75 points on the table in 3 races it’s not over yet.
Thanks to all involved again, my granddad for getting a plane, taxi and lift in a car to the circuit and then a lift and a ferry home, and to Kirk for setting the bike up and my sponsor Robert from Little Base Designs who hasn’t missed a race yet this season.
Round 7 Anglesey Coastal Circuit 24/25/26 August
One of my favourite tracks is Anglesey, not just the track but the setting as well, right up on top of the cliff top overlooking the sea and Snowdonia, beautiful.
My lead in the championship since the very first round was now 13 points and with 75 up for grabs things are getting tight. Luckily all of Saturday, practice day was dry so we got the bike set up nicely and had the gearing sorted ready for the 15 minute qualifying session in the morning. We had a good walk round the track that evening just to run thru last minute things with my dad and Kirk my mechanic.
Sunday morning and the sun was back out and I was ready for qualifying!! I kept looking at my pit board as I came down the start / finish line and I was jumping from 4th to 8th so just kept going as quick as I could. The session ended and i found I had posted a 1.10.5 secs lap time not bad seeing as the lap record was 1.10.0. secs.
I was middle of the second row in 6th place but 3rd in the stock class so not too bad. The race later that day was another really quick one, I set another 1.10.5 but was only good enough for 4th but the one good thing was my main rival was 5th just behind me. Two points gained.
We stripped the bike down and cleaned and checked everything ready for the 2 races on Monday. Monday morning I was up early ready for the day but the sun was buried under a blanket of sea fog and we had a couple of hours delay before it was burnt off by the sun.
We were finally called to the grid and we all lined up and waited for the lights to go out. Another cracking race but just couldn’t get the bike to grip from half distance, the rear end was sliding all the time but a good finish and 3rd place, unfortunately my rival was 2nd so 4 points lost and my lead now down to 11. Thanks to my sponsor Little Base Designs I put a new rear tyre on for the last race and hoped that would solve the grip issue.
Last race of the weekend and off we went again. The pace was even quicker with the first 2 stock bikes beating the lap record by over half a second. My time of 1.10.6 was only good enough for 5th and 2 more points dropped to my rival as he was 4th. Since returning home we have found our tyre warmers are giving false temperature readings and think / hope this is what’s causing us problems. We are setting our tyre pressures thinking our tyres are 90 degrees hot when really they were only 60 degrees. Road n Race Performance have sorted us some new decent warmers so thank you to them and we will test them before our next round.
Round 6 Rockingham International Speedway 27/28 July
A good qualifying session saw Sam start from 6th place on the grid. This was round six of nine of the 2013 season and Sam has lead the championship from the very first race back in March so we were keen to keep it going.
Race 1 on board his Kawasaki ZX6R saw Sam finish on the podium in 3rd place to collect some valuable points and with our main rival crashing out gave us a real bonus. Race 2 Sam went even better taking the win in the Elite super stock class extending his lead even further, things were looking up. Disaster struck in the final race when Sam crashed on the last corner with a lap to go while in 2nd place and our bonus was wiped away as our main rival won taking all 25 points.
Sam still leads the Elite super stock 600cc championship, but now by 13 points with 3 rounds to go. Its getting a bit close now and we need to try and extend the lead a bit at Anglesey our next round. Many thanks to my granddad and grandma for coming over from France to watch and my sponsors Robert and Claire from Little base designs. Also to Kirk for setting my bike up so well for me again to race, also to my mum and sister for looking after us all while we were away. Also a huge thanks to my biggest supporter Dad.
Round 5 Oulton Park 21/22 June
We arrived at Oulton Park leading the championship by 22 points and with the first race being a double pointer it was important to qualify well. After 3 short practice sessions it was time for 15 minutes of qualifying, that’s about 8 laps and with the practise sessions cut short due to other people crashing we were up against it. It was nice and dry so with a new set of tyres off i went. I qualified 12th and 6th stock bike back on the 3rd row my worst qualifying of the year so far. It wasn’t that i rode badly it was that the pace was so fast, i went a second quicker than last year too.
Saturday and it was the double point race, about half an hour before we were due to race it rained for ten minutes and stopped so the track was wet but drying out. I didn’t want to risk going out on dry tyres and crashing so went with the wets knowing they would be ruined by half distance if it carried on drying and also giving me no grip towards the end of the race, but i felt this was the better option. So we lined up on the grid and the lights went out and off we went, was a cracker really, as expected it dried out and i was sliding all over the place come the end and at over 145mph it does make you flinch a bit. I seemed to be handling the conditions better than most and kept overtaking people and when the chequered flag came out i had finished in 4th place overall 3rd in the stock class, would have been chuffed with that but my main rival pipped me on the last lap finishing 0.3 secs in front of me, another 8 points lost to him. Gutted!!
Saturday afternoon was the final race as we don’t race at Oulton Park on a Sunday so i had to do well. This time the sun was out and it was hot, the lights went out and off we went again. This time the pace went up again and although i went another second quicker starting from 12th left me too much to do after i was punted wide by an over eager rider trying to barge his way thru. I came over the line 6th in the stock class but more importantly 7 secs and 3 places ahead of my main rival so 3 vital points clawed back so all was not lost.
Overall a good meeting, knocked 2.5 secs of my lap time from previous year and won another trophy, on the downside i lost 6 points to my rival and now lead the championship by 16 points after 5 of 9 rounds.
Round 4 Cadwell Park 25/26/27/ May
Amazingly the sun was out to play for the first time in this season’s racing, and it was nice and warm. Practice day went pretty well, apart from a small 90mph crash! The bike was all set up nicely by Kirk my mechanic and the suspension felt perfect. Hopefully all ready to go for qualifying Saturday morning. Saturday at half nine we went out for a 15 minute qualifying session which was about 9 laps so had to go for it straight away. Fifteen minutes later I had qualified 5th in the Elites 1st in the Superstock class out of 42 racers, on the second row so quite happy with that.
Race 1 that afternoon was pretty tough, 14 long laps in really hot conditions, the supersport boys pulled away using their extra power which left a good battle with a few of us stock bikes. Cadwell Park is hard work with lots of twist and turns and with the famous mountain to jump every time so was quite a relief when I saw the chequered flag. My main rival was 1st and I was 2nd so although a cracking result I had lost 5 points to Sam Cox #54 so needed to up my game for race 2 tomorrow.
Crikey three hot, sunny days on the trot, a record. Race 2 and it was a hot one, more of the same really the supersport boys sneaking away each lap but this time after I had passed my two main rivals the race was red flagged due to a crash. We had to line up in our original grid positions which after the mega laps system had put me down to 11th so I had all the hard work to do again but with only 6 laps. Typical I was blocked on the first corner which is a fast uphill right hander so lost a couple of places. After what seemed a really short race I finished in 3rd so another good result and back on the podium, and on TV day but Coxy #54 was 2nd, another 4 points dropped!!
Last race of the meeting and we all lined up again for the off. Everyone at the front seems to start really well and I got blocked off again in the first couple of corners, I was really pushing trying to make up places when I had a massive moment over the mountain and was lucky to stay on the bike and lost more places. The more I tried the more mistakes I was making and was glad to finish in 6th by the end of the race. A 2nd a 3rd and a 6th were good solid places and some good points in the bag again. Still leading the championship but now by 23 points and 36 from 3rd place after 4 rounds of 9 so will be looking to stretch that a bit more at Oulton Park at the end of June.
Round 3 Snetterton 26/27/28 April
We decided I was now going to be using Pirelli tyres instead of the Metzlers I had been running with last season. These are 15mm bigger in circumference so all the suspension was altered to make up for the difference in height of the bike that the new tyres had made. Friday test day was spent setting the bike up and for me to get used to the new brand of tyre. I thought we did pretty well, the bike felt good and the tyres felt grippy.
Saturday morning and I had 15 minutes qualifying about 10 laps to go as fast as possible and try and gain a good grid position for the 3 races that lay ahead. With 42 riders out there all trying to go quick there was some tactical blocking going on, riders staying on the racing line but going slow just to muck other guys fast laps up, happened to me on my last flying lap which was over half a second better than any of my other laps, I know who they were and things have a habit of evening out over the season. I qualified 7th out of the 42 so was on the second row, happy enough but would have been front row if not for the foul play. In the first race Saturday afternoon it was really close, after a couple of laps it was red flagged due to a bad crash so we had to line up again for another 12 laps. The lights went out and normal service continued, I was slip streaming #4 Shaw and Dixon #69 was slip streaming me all of us trying to get in front for the last lap. Local stock rider John Lea had already gone ahead with the supersport guys so I was in the next group trying to catch them back. The top speed I recorded down the back straight was 157mph so the bike was working well and when the chequered flag came out I was in 3rd place so a nice trophy to celebrate my 18th birthday, job done!
The mega laps system also showed I had set the 5th quickest lap out of everyone so I moved up two places for T.V day. Luckily Sunday the sun was still shining so we stayed with the dry set up I had got used to, I had asked for the gearing to be changed from yesterday as I felt the bike was to viscous out of the corners apart from that everything was the same apart from me being a year older. Race 1 Sunday was another close one with all the top guys battling it out, I lost the momentum on the front few early on in the race and was fighting it out in the second group, the gearing was now not getting me out of the corners quick enough. I finished the race in 4th annoyed that #54 Cox had pipped me to the podium but my main rival # 4 Shaw had crashed so all was good again. Last race of the meeting at 5pm was more of the same but on the first lap #69 Dixon crashed and I had to run wide to miss him, this cost me dearly and about 8 guys flew past and I had a lot of time to make up. After another 12 laps I managed to claw my way back to 4th scoring another good 13 points. Not too bad!!
I ended up scoring more points than any of my rivals this meeting due to my consistency and them crashing out so am now leading the championship by 20 points after 3 rounds.
Big thanks to my main sponsor Robert from H.I.T. Hospitality Industry Training for coming up to watch and also to my granddad and grandma for coming over from France to watch and see me on my 18th birthday and Kirk as always, there to set my bike up perfectly.
Round 2 Donington Park 30/31 March-1 April
Another freezing cold test day with three foot of snow laying around the circuit made it hard to set the suspension up for qualifying on Sunday morning. We were riding on wet tyres in the freezing dry conditions just to keep some heat in the tyres to stay upright. So many people crashing with dry tyres on we played it safe for the test day and did the best we could considering the conditions.
Sunday morning it was still really cold and we decided to go with the wet tyres again for qualifying, I knew I had to go fast straight away as the rear would be wrecked after half a dozen laps and then my times wouldn’t get any faster. We only had a 15 minute qualifying so I went as fast as I could and set my quickest time on lap 4 of 9 which was good enough to qualify in 6th position out of 40 riders.
Sunday afternoon we had reached a tropical 3 degrees in temperature so I decided to go with the dry tryes and we stiffened the suspension up so I could go faster. Was a good race but the tyre wasn’t gripping in the over 100mph corners and the rear end was sliding around a lot so was giving me some scary moments, finally after 12 cold laps the chequered flag came out and I finished in a solid 5th place. A good result but my main rivals finished in front of me.
Bank Holiday Monday we had the normal two races and the weather was no better. We had to go with the same set up as yesterday and just hold on and hope for some grip. We lined up on the grid at 11.20am for the first race and off we went, got blocked into the tight first corner and was down in about 10th place. After a few laps I passed some of the guys in front and was up into 5th trying to catch the leaders that had now broken away, with a lap and a half to go I tucked the front wheel at the bottom of Craner Curves at around 115mph and slid across the track on my back with the bike shooting across the grass collecting 2 tonne of mud and snow. Race over and a sore backside as my leathers had worn through and nil points. GUTTED.
Thanks to a great effort from Kirk and my dad they managed to patch the bike back together with zip ties and duct tape and replace all the broken parts with bits and pieces and managed to get the bike ride-able for the afternoon. I had also broken the steering damper in the crash so had to do without one and lined up again a little nervous for the final race. The only way to get over a big crash is to just pin the throttle open where it happened so off I went down the dreaded Craner Curves again. This time it all went well and after what seemed ages I came down the start finish straight to see the chequered flag waving in a not too bad 6th place. Must admit I was a bit glad it was over and some good points scored.
After a 5th a 6th and a huge crash I am still leading the championships but only by a single point so when we get to Snetterton at the end of the month I will trying to defend my lead but it wont be easy, especially as this is the fastest track we go to. Will also be celebrating my 18th birthday at Snetterton so hope to give myself a nice present by standing on the podium.
Round 1 Brands Hatch 8/9/10 March
Turned up at Brands Hatch on Thursday afternoon after a very long wait for the season to start. I had ridden the bike at 2 wet and cold track days over the winter with one being cancelled halfway through and the other i was black flagged for a noisy exhaust, so not the best of preparations.
Thursday eve and we had everything set up and was ready for Friday's practice day. We woke up Friday morning to pouring rain so got out of bed and put the wet wheels in the bike. Spent all day setting the bike up with Kirk my suspension guru ready for qualifying on Saturday morning.
Qualifying Saturday and thanks to Sports Timing Services not having the screen in pit lane on qualifying mode but in race mode my pit board was telling me i was 5th so settled in at that pace. Unfortunately i was actually in 19th place but didnt know until it was over. Great!!
Saturday at 2.30pm it was the first race of the season and i knew i had to make my move early as it was a drying track and i had chosen to use wet tyres front and rear. The lights went out and off i went round the outside of everyone at Paddock Hill. Up into 7th after lap 1 and still going through the field. On lap 6 i was into 4th and trying to get a decent gap from the riders behind me but the three in front were to far gone for me to catch so i dug in and came over the line after 16 long laps in a great 4th place. Chuffed to bits!!
Sunday is T.V day and thanks to the superpole system i was now in 10th place on the grid so had a better chance. It was freezing cold and still damp around the track so went with the wet tyres again. We all lined up on the grid and i went for the outside again hoping no one would lose it on the inside and take me out. Round the outside at Paddock and then the same at Druids and amazingly no one seemed to be in front of me going down into Graham Hill bend....i was in the front..leading the Elite 600's. After what seemed an age i saw the red flags come out due to a crash but unlucky for me it was to be a restart and another five laps. Dan Frear on a supersport bike got away on the restart and beat me by 2 seconds but i WON the superstock race by 6 seconds and was over the moon. My first Thundersportgb podium and i was on the top step. SUPERB!!
After the excitement of race one i had it all to do again in race 2. The plan was the same but was sure the others would be wise to it now. We all lined up on the grid again and the lights went out and off i went. This time i had a bit of a battle with Curtis Wright on his new Triumph 675R but after a few laps i broke away and gained a couple of seconds gap. I just kept my head down and read my pitboard each time round until the chequered flag came out and unbelievably i had won again. Like London buses wait for ages and 2 come at once. What a day and not expected at all, a 4th on Saturday and two 1st places Sunday and leading the championship, over the moon and now determined more than ever as we go to Donington Park in two and a half weeks time.
Big thanks to Kirk for setting my bike up, my main sponsor Robert Bird from Hospitality Industry Training for coming to watch and Alan and Roger coming over from France to support along with my Grandad and grandma. Also my biggest fans Mum Dad and my sister Molly. What a weekend.
Its now 2013 so a happy new year to everyone.
Have been training really hard in the gym and also with my Boss and others down the beach with our instructor, running in the sand and up and down the zig zags to the overcliff is a killer. Cant wait for the season to start now, will be proper fit and have a good bike so we should be up the sharp end.
Missed the presentation night with Thundersport as i had to work needing extra days off for the upcoming season. From the pics it looked like a grand night and congrats to all those who picked up a trophy.
Unfortunately finding it impossible to find a main sponsor with big pockets tho not thru lack of trying, so lets hope my mum and dad are busy again this year and dont get sacked or i will be watching from the stands.
Always makes me laugh when i see some racers who have paid big money to be in a team then pleading poverty, but still manage to go on holiday etc.
Not ridden since last round in October because of the English weather and wont be off to Spain like some lucky others so will be at the test day with Thundersport 24 Feb to kick things off lets hope its on as previous years the track has been under a few inches of snow at this time. Fingers crossed.
RLR Sportsman Elite 600 class
ROUND 9 MALLORY PARK 19-21 OCTOBER
We arrived at Mallory Park on Thursday evening and set everything up and parked the new bike in our awning ready for the Friday morning practice. Thanks to Kirk and Insignia Signs the new ZX6r was looking good, Friday morning and I headed out for 6 twenty minute sessions to get the bike set up for qualifying in the afternoon. Times were good but I knew qualifying would be difficult as we had 5 BSB 600 guys out there as their season had already finished. Qualifying was dry so I just went for it, 15 minutes later I am placed 12 on the grid 8th in stock 600 class, not bad but 1.3 secs off this years champion Danny Murphy. The new bike was going well and I was feeling quite good on it.
Saturday morning there was a quick 8 minute warm up and then a wait till 2.30 for our race. Luckily the sun was shining again and we lined up on the grid, with me on the inside of row 3. A good start and a long battle with a group of 5 riders constantly changing positions I finally came over the line after 14 laps in 8th place. Bit annoyed as I had two guys pass me on the brakes with a couple of corners to go. Need to go better tomorrow to finish in the top ten of the championships.
Sunday was really misty and foggy and didn’t lift till around 10am, then the sun broke thru and we were ready to race. The ‘mega laps’ system meant I had dropped to 13th on the grid, back on row 4. Another good start on the new bike but I got blocked and was down the field so had to get my head down. A few good laps beating my best lap time by half a second I was up to 6th when we came over the line with a comfortable 6 second gap behind me. Not bad as one of the BSB guys Joe Collier beat the lap record by half a second in the race. All I needed was a 9th in the final race to secure a top ten finish in the overall 2012 standings. At 5pm we lined up again for the last time in 2012, the lights went out and I got blocked again. Another really good race and getting used to the bike more and more I came across the line in another 6th place after having a close battle for a while with Jodie chalk and Dale Thomas. Good results from three fast races, enough points to finish in 9th place in the championships in my first year in the Superstock 600 class. Well chuffed!!!
ROUND 8 CADWELL PARK 21-23 OCTOBER 2012
After another long drive we arrived at Cadwell Park and set up ready for the morning and practice day. We only had a morning practice session and it was pouring, my times were coming down and then just before lunch I highsided. Damage repaired and straight into qualifying, 19th on grid 12th in the stock class, not great but after the crash I was happy.
Saturday the sun came out and I had 2 races, both went well from the start, and with the dry track I started to go a lot quicker, I came over the line in the first race finishing 7th and in the second race I went one better and finished 6th. Pretty chuffed with that!
Sunday was still dry so I was going for it, up into 6th and with a lap and a half to go I highsided out of the chicane, painful one and ten points lost, gutted. Thanks to Kirk and my dad the bike was repaired again in time for my final race. I was determined to beat my lap times and went for it, went pretty well considering my bruises and finished in another 7th. And went quicker.
All things considered a really good weekend, 3 good finishes, 3 good bruises and caught some points back before the last round at Mallory Park 19-21 October.
Sat 30 August - 1st September
TRIUMPH LIVE FESTIVAL 2012
CELEBRATING 110 YEARS OF TRIUMPH
FINAL ASSESMENTS FOR YOUNG GUNS
We were asked to attend the Triumph live festival as part of our young guns campaign. This was held at Mallory Park over 3 days celebrating 110 years of the Triumph brand. Thousands of people turned up to look at the old vintage bikes to the new top of the range race bikes, there were live bands such as Reef and the Kaiser Chiefs vibrating our campervan to death all night with their music.
We were reassessed on our fitness tests by the lovely ladies from Loughborough University on the start finish straight in front of 100s of spectators. All the extra training I had been doing paid off as I set the new young gun record for the plank test at 8 min 16 secs! I also reached 11.8 on the bleep test, another personal best. Thanks to Tom Halsey owner of Zinc Fitness in London, one of my sponsors, for giving me a tough training programme.
Had an interview with Guy Masters, the General Manager of Triumph Motorcycles and a live interview over the public tannoy with Tony Carter the WSB / BSB commentator. Nervy stuff!!
We were privileged to have on track tuition from Glen Richards, Paul Young and Pete Ward the Triumph pro racers and learnt loads with them chasing us and me chasing them, on the power earlier now. Their knowledge is invaluable. Loads of little tips and really nice to chat and learn from them.
Overall a great weekend where I learnt LOADS, now have to wait 3 weeks before I find out if I am one of the final 3 to race against each other at Thruxton on 6th October. Fingers crossed!!!
Round 7 Anglesey 2012 25-27 August.
Bank holiday weekend in North Wales at the beautiful Anglesey circuit is our longest drive, after eight and a half hours we finally arrived.
Saturday wasn’t too bad, we only had 3 practice sessions before qualifying so we had to get onto the pace quick! First time on a 600 here so a lot to learn.
Qualifying came around really soon and with all the extra riders over from Ireland and the Isle of Man chasing £20,000 prize money we knew it would be tough. We ended up on 5th row in 19th place out of 45, not the best but with 7 Irish and BSB boys in front of me we had some work to do.
Race one on Sunday was fortunately dry and i had a brave start going round the outside on turn 1 and up to 12th! Its all good getting a good start but i have to be able to run at their pace! I ended up in 17th so improvements, but still not good enough! Seven tuned Supersport bikes in front of me so finished 10TH in Stock class.
Second race Sunday was the same situation, good start but dropped a few places through lack of power throughout the race! Came across the line same as the morning. Lap times coming down all the time but still need to go quicker. The pace with the new guys was so fast a new lap record was set in the 1min 08 secs, fair play thats quick.
Monday morning we woke up to gale force winds. At about 9.30am the organisers decided to call the days racing off due to 60mph winds! Even tho i wanted to race they made the right decision, even if it did mean sitting on the M6 a day earlier than planned.
Next up is the Triumph Live festival at Mallory park for the weekend, the final assessments cant wait!! 30 Aug / 1Sept.
Round 6 Rockingham Motor Speedway 27/28/29 July
Rockingham round 6;
Friday testing went pretty well, got all the gearing and suspension setup fine. Thank you Kirk. We started to get our times down lower and lower but i was still struggling with my lines at a track i have never raced at before!
Qualifying came on Saturday morning and we didn’t feel too bad! After a 15 min session i only got in about 2 or 3 clear laps! With line issues i could only make it to 14th on the grid.
Race one on Saturday afternoon arrived before we knew it. We didn’t have such a good start so had to make up a few places throughout the race but made it to 10th in class (Superstock).
Time for an early night, ready for a busy day Sunday.
Sunday, T.V. day. We were joined by a sponsor, J the B’s Biking weekends and about a dozen of his touring buddies, a big thanks to all of them for coming to support and watch me, hope you all had a good day!
Race one i had a bad start off the grid as one of the guys ahead missed a gear and i had to swerve to miss him and was down to about 18th into the first corner, i was now in the group I’m normally ahead of, and just could not get past Paul Charman on his tuned supersport Suzuki, he’s so late on the breaks, so frustrating, but finished 10th in class again.
Race 3, last race of the weekend. I went out with a ‘win it or bin it’ attitude. Fortunately i didn’t bin it but unfortunately i didn’t win it either! I did get my best result of the weekend though, 9th in class. After a good start i was up with my normal group and had a really good race, i was happy and enjoyed that last one!
At least it made the long drive home a little bit more happy. Overall though not too bad as we seem to only have the really fast guys entering now and i am still pushing to find the limits to stay with them.
Next race is at Anglesey just a short 345 miles north on the 25/26/27 August. Then 3 days later the final Triumph seminar where the final 3 will be chosen after two days of tests at the Triumph Live Festival at Mallory Park.
Friday 20th July Brands Hatch BSB
TRIUMPH YOUNG GUNS
Was met with free passes for the weekend from Triumph Motorcycles and escorted to the Triumph village for our morning briefing with Triumph Racing Boss Tony Scott. After this we were allowed a couple of hours to do as we pleased so we caught up with lots of old and new friends from around the paddock, and even had time for a cuppa and catch up on all the latest paddock gossip. After lunch we met in the briefing room on the start finish straight for a talk on suspension and tyres from Perry of HM and Tony Scott of Triumph. I got a lot of reading to do. Compression, rebound, damping, sag, hard tyres, soft tyres and feedback to the mechanic.
Final tests next month at the Triumph Live event held over 2 days at Mallory Park where the final 3 are chosen, train hard fingers crossed new motto.
Sat 30th June Loughborough University.
Triumph Young Guns fitness tests and seminars.
Another really good day with Triumph Motorcycles this time at Loughborough University learning about nutrition and Psychology. Also had some fitness tests to do monitored by the Olympic team staff. Was really interesting seeing the Uni and all the top facilities they have there. Just want to race the Triumph and see what it feels like now. Two more dates one at Brands BSB in July and then a weekend at the Triumph live Festival at Mallory Park in August before the final 3 are chosen. Better keep training.
Round 5 Snetterton 200 23 / 24 June
Friday practice day was almost a waste of time! The conditions were wet, dry, wet, dry wet dry! We changed the wheels about 7 times to suit the weather! Had time to sort the gearing and gain some confidence being back on the bike after breaking my foot and toes last month. Only had the cast taken off two days ago.
Qualifying came Saturday morning and it was dry, i had a really painful 20 minutes ending up a miserable 25th on the grid! Worst qualifying of the season in pain and not happy.
After qualifying 25th we made a few adjustments to the bike to see if we could improve, Saturday afternoon and it was race 1. We finished in 21st place 15th in the stock class so a few places gained but nowhere near enough!
That was it for Friday and Saturday so we had dinner and had an early night.
Sunday came and the weather was dreadful, again. After the first race on Saturday (superpole/megalap) it bumped me up to 22nd on the grid for Sunday! Race one Sunday was very wet and wasn’t as hard on my foot as we wasn’t riding as fast. I had a good race considering the rain and ended up 13th overall, 11th in stock class, better than expected!
Race 2 (last race) didn’t go so well! From 22nd on the grid i was 12th at the end of the first lap, a great start but i slowly dropped back to 19th overall 12th in stock class! So improvements everytime but not quite good enough!
Up one place in championship and into the the top ten again so not all bad. Now looking forward to Rockingham being fully fit and learning a new track.
15th May 2012 Triumph Young Guns.
Had a great day at the Triumph factory in Hinckley as one of the 9 Young Guns. Learnt absolutely loads and had a great tour of the factory showing us how all the bikes were made and assembled. Really interesting!! Met the 8 other hopefuls and we are all off to Loughborough University next for our fitness tests, my leg has been in cast for 4 weeks so a lot of training to do.
Anyone interseted in celebrating 110 years of Triumph please visit www.triumph-live.com.
Oulton Park Round 5 25/26 May
We decided to do a track day at Oulton two days before the meeting to get in some extra track time and set the bike up ready as the official test day was only 3 sessions (half a day)! After a good day setting the bike up how we wanted, we started pushing for the times, the times were coming down but not quiet enough! The last session of the day came and on the first lap i high sided at ‘Nickabrook’ chicane. After being sent to hospital it turns out i have broken a few bones in my foot so wasn’t able to race this weekend! Got to get this cast off now and be fit in four weeks time for round 5 at Snetterton. I have dropped to 11th in championship as this was a double scoring round. Gutted.
GREAT NEWS JUST FOUND OUT I BEEN CHOSEN
AS ONE OF THE TEN FOR THE
TRIUMPH YOUNG GUNS
ROUND 3 MALLORY PARK 21/22 April
A dry qualifying session on Saturday saw me qualify 13th on the grid out of 38. I was a bit disappointed with his position and had left myself some work to do in the races.
Race 1 on Saturday and it was raining but after a few good battles on track i finished in 9th place.
Race 2 on Sunday. With the typical English weather we were back on wet tyres! With the back wheel sliding out all the corners during the race i came across the line in a solid 8th place.
Race 3 on Sunday. The rain had subsided but the track was still wet, after a 16 lap race i managed another 9th place. Another wrecked rear wet tyre but 3 good top ten finishes in hard conditions so pretty happy.
Overall a good weekend, we now stand 8th in the 600cc superstock Championship after 3 of 9 rounds.
Need to make about 9 points up on 7th and 6th at the next round and we be up to 6th.
Next round is at Oulton Park 25th / 26th May 2012
ROUND 2 DONINGTON PARK 24/25 MARCH 2012
Had a good test day Thursday setting the bike up and changing gearing so was looking forward to Saturday morning qualifying. Unfortunately most of my competitors tested Friday aswell and we didn’t so i was behind before i had even started.
Saturday morning and we woke to thick fog covering the circuit, no qualifying could start until it had gone. Around 2pm we went out for 15 minutes. 6 laps to qualify and i was really annoyed to be in 26th place on the grid out of 40 riders. My race started around 4.30pm as we were running late because of the fog earlier. It was a good race with my lap times dropping into the 1.42’s but i ended up 25th out of the elite field and 13th in the stock class so only 3 points, not good.
Sunday morning and the sun was out and i was determined to go quicker. Had a ten minute warm up on track and all felt good. First race Sunday and i was starting in 27th out of 40 due to dropping one place because of the super pole system run in Saturdays race.
First race i had a good start but struggled throughout the race, i was just getting picked off one by one! I finished up 22nd in the race but 14th in my class, not too good at all! By the time the second race came all i wanted to do was get into the 1:40 second lap! I done it! With a good start i got away with the pack that are normally in front of me, after a hard race i ended up 19th in the elite race and 12th in my class. A bit better, need some big improvements for Mallory park though!!
ROUND 1 BRANDS HATCH 3/4 MARCH 2012
Friday practise started well, I was putting in consistent lap times in the morning. After lunch I managed to get down to 53 seconds a lap. Considering how cold it was I was pleased.
Saturday qualifying came and with 50 of us on the track it was hard to find enough space to put in a decent lap. The Superstock and Supersport were all on track together. I managed to qualify 19th and with only 38 grid spaces I was safe and in the ‘Elite’ class. I knew it was going to be a tough 1st round as we were joined by lots of BSB boys using the weekend as practise. Race 1, with damp weather conditions I decided to go out with full wets as it looked like the weather could get worse any second...Wrong choice!! It stayed dry! With my back tyre not enjoying the dry conditions I managed 18th overall which was 12th in my Superstock class. Frustrating that I chose the wrong tyres, but pleased I stayed upright!
Sunday the heavens opened all day, the rain just got worse and worse, the wind picked up and the temperature dropped. The mega lap system they are now using in Saturdays race to decide the grid positions for the sunday races and choosing the wrong tyres it put me in 30th place on the grid... I had lots of work to do. I kept my head down and tried to ignore the rain, by lap 2 I was in 19th place and then it got red flagged. So back to the grid to re-start. I managed to bag a 11th in my class, not brilliant but a few points for the championship. Race 2, I didn’t think the rain could have got much worse but it did! Still on the grid in 30th the lights went out and I headed off to Paddock Hill, determined to do better than this morning. Rivers were forming on the track and I just had to trust my tyres. I ended up in 5th place in my class. Best ever result. A good and encouraging start to the season. Finished the weekend in 8th position in the Superstock championship overall.
Bring on Donington!!
I would also like to thank some of my sponsors, Grandad, Alan, Roger and Bob for coming to support me at Brands, travelling all the way from France. I hope you can all make some more rounds!!
Fri 2 Dec 2011
Front forks and rear shock have been sent to Maxton for a full service.
Bike is waiting for a dyno run next saturday (hopefully) if we get suspension back in time to see if or how we can improve on the 106 BHP we had this year. Needs to be nearer 124 BHP...
Also dad took me to the NEC last Sunday and we haggled a pair of gloves, boots and a nice shiny set of Arlen Ness leathers for under 400 pounds so all sorted for 2012. Chris at Nine Lives Leathers is now putting the finishing touches on them.
Mallory Park round 11, last round!
We was excited that it was the last round but also very upset, whats adds to the emotions is the news about Marco Simoncelli #58, RIP. on the practice day we felt really good, trying all different settings to the bike, this just made my lap times drop! So qually came, i felt good and i was in 19th place to the majority of the 20 min session, all of a sudden i banged a few quick laps in and got down to 13th then 11th! so i was on 3rd row, first time being on the 3rd row on the 600 grid! spirits were high and i had a blinding first race, without knowing i was in 7th place with a comfortable 5 second gap from 8th i kept pushing and pushing and high sided coming out of edweeners on the second t last lap so was mega gutted about that!!! second race was not a bad one but i wasnt too pleased with my self, 13th! :/. last race of the year i just went for it, pushed and pushed and came out with 11th. not a bad end to the season! bring on 2012!!!!!
Oulton park round 10
As we arrived on Thursday afternoon it was pouring down with rain so it was a wet set up, even more to the point it was a wet weekend! horrible all weekend but it was good for the wet practice! still need to gain alot more confidence though. not a very good days practice but i was improving every time. race one, two and three were all very similar apart from the last where i had a DNF, because of me trying to go around the outside of someone at deer's leap, the last corner, i ran wide and before i knew it i was on the gravel sat it up onto the grass and hit into the Tyre wall and i wasnt aloud to carry on with the race because i 'departed from the bike'!
Brands Hatch MRO
After a great weeknd at brands with Thundersport we went again the following weekend with mro, it was a very good and successful weekend racing. we already had all of our setting from the weekend before so we got on it straight away, after a very poor qualifying of 22nd out of 32 i finished 19th in the first race with a very close near miss at paddock hill bend where i was nearly wiped out by someone loosing the front at Paddock Hill. Race two on the sunday i got down to a 16th place,! race three, last race so i went for it! i managed to scramble to 13th! after another very close call with someone high-siding right in front of me at Graham Hill bend! all in all a very good weekend! also thanks to my grandad for coming over from France to watch, love you! bring on oulton park!
Brands Hatch Round 9
Had a great time all weekend, makes a nice change!
Friday practice day went really well thanks to Kirk Dennis of Dennis The Menace Racing setting up the bike perfectly for me in the 6 sessions. Was feeling confident of a good grid position.
Qualifying was rubbish just as we went to the holding area it poured down really hard. Rode round for 20 minutes aqua plaining everywhere and wasnt happy with 21st on the grid. Need more confidence in the wet.
Race 1 saturday was pretty good times down to low 52s and finished 20th out of 25 not great but getting quicker.
Race 2 Sunday was better was in 14th over the line and realised there was still a lap to go when 2 other sped past still with there heads down, wont make that mistake again i was fuming with myself and finished 16th cause of that. Good race tho and times in the 51s now
Race3 Sunday was even better had a good scrap all race with 4 others swapping positions, still a second to find here and there but really liking the 600 now.
Good weekend faster everytime i went out and now in the low 51s every lap, roll on next week back to Brands with MRO Bemsee.
8th round Pembrey!
Friday test day went really well, got the bike set up in the dry in the morning sessions then it poured down for the afternoon so wet got some good suspension set up in case it rained for the races on Sat and Sunday. My times were couple of seconds off the pace as i couldnt get the big left hander right.
Saturday morning and we had a dry qualifying which was better than rain, qualified 14th. Not great.
Race one went really well finishing 13th after a big oil spill from Kyle Wilks who was just in front of me at the time. Bit of a lonely race really.
Race 2 Sunday morning and the sun was out. Did a lot better here and finished 12th and got my times down to 1.03 secs so finally getting the hand of the horrible left hander.
Race 3, just the same as the earlier race really finishing 12th, still need to tag onto the faster lads to improve my times. Getting the hang of the 600 now.
7th round at snetterton 300.
Fridays practice went really well, kept on improving my lap times and bike setup so we was confident for Saturday mornings qualifying, unfortunately it rained over night so it was a wet session, i qualified in 19th place after a crash on the second lap so we wasn't to happy about that but we had to focus on the races. race 1, super pole, i pulled in, in the wet because my throttle was sticking on! first race sunday we was very pleased with our result, 15th, bike was handling really well considering i didn't have a steering damper as it snapped in the crash! In the last race of the meeting it was dry when i was on the grid so i had the dry tyres on but then it started to hammer it down with rain so it was delayed 12 minutes to sort out tyers but where i buckled my rear wheel in the crash we only had one rim, the rim that the dry was on so we had no choice but to go out on drys, in the wet. i went out for 3 laps and thought i was going to smash the bike up at every corner so i played it safe and pulled in! learnt alot more once again this weekend, bring on pembrey!
6th round at Mallory Park.
After having to miss out round 5 at cadwell park me and dad was very eager to get back racing! first ever race meeting on the GSXR 600, i know the track very well so plan was just to get used to the bike and get used to changing the suspension settings. i qualified 16th and had 3 great races and learned loads! I'm getting used to all of the power making the back end slide all over the place! next round is at snetterton, big fast track, best grow a big pair of balls before then!!
Oulton park trackday 11th june.
Had a great day on the new 600, learned loads and got used to the front wheel being in the air! still got loads more to learn and im looking froward to mallory park round 6! would just like to say a massive thanks to Kirk Dennis and Rob Loveday of insignia sings for helping out so much!
Mallory park afternoon test day.
First ever time on a 600cc bike, our new suzuki gsxr 600 k7! I came down the start finish straight and put on the power and it just pulled and pulled and pulled! the power of that machine is amazing! going round every corner i felt planted and stable and i was able to use the power on the straights! finaly a bike that isnt too small for me!!!!
Round 4 at Anglesey
round 4 at anglesey was the last straw for the 125 2 strokes! in the 3rd session out bottom end went so we hoocked the engine out and out our top end on bradley jonses bottom end, we finished the rest of the meeting best result being 8th. 125's re now for sale and were on the look out for a 600!
3rd round at Donington Park
Going to round two we were very and confident for have a good result as we knew the bike was going quick. After running the new pistons rings in we decided just to go for it in the second session, unfortunately due to our lack of patience coming out of the old hairpin my back end locked up, slid out, then griped and through me into the distance, thats a classic seized high-side! I broke my big toe and badly bruised both my knees and stretched the ligaments in one knee. We missed two sessions of practice due to fixing the bike and resting my knee and toe, riding for the next 3 sessions was agony! I woke up in the morning in even more pain, i went out for practice and it wasnt too bad. Race 1,2,3 and 4 were not very good as we was runing a non- ported barrel and piston so the bike was slow and i wasnt feeling even 80% fit to race a motorbike, i just had to get on with it and get some points!! Time for rest and get the bikes sorted for round 4, Bring on Anglesey!!!
2nd round at Donington Park WSB SUPPORT RACES
I had been looking forward to this for ages, racing with the stars. Finally arrived at the paddock after 4 hours driving and thats when the nerves really hit me! In the same paddock as the World Superbikes WOW. Practice went really well, we kept on trying new suspension settings etc.. Race one was good and after a close race i finished 9th overall so spirits were high for race two. Sunday afternoon 2.30pm right after world supersport and before World Superbike race 2 we were on. A decent start and some good early laps we all settled down when as i was running in 8th place and i tried to stick it up the inside of David Allingham at coppice corner, but unfortunately clipped his rear tyre and that flung me off into the gravel trap. That was the end of the weekend for us! Shame to finish with a dnf but a great experience being amongst the top riders in the world.
1st round at Mallory Park
We set off for mallory Park on Thursday afternoon after a long and boring day at school compared with what i was going to experience this weekend! when we arrived we got all set up, sorted out the bikes and awning, tucked into some dinner and got a nice early night ready for the test day in the morning, testing went really well, tried a few new things out which paid off, after the fridays test day i went out in the evening with all of the usual superteen lot to go and welcome some of the many newcomers. saturday came, qualifying was here, i went out and tried to tagg along with the likes of Ben Luxton, Tom Oliver, Ross tynham and Max Symonds, we was really aiming to get on the front two rows but had to settile for 12, 3rd row in the end! the first race soon came, after a decent enough start with the sun glazing off the lake i got away in about 12th, done one or two around the outside of Gerrards and another couple up the inside of Edweeners, after a pretty good race i ended up 12th, same as my qualifying position. As i really want at least a top 10 finish every race i set my targets for the next race, it was declared a wet race so wet tyers in and off we go, again after a good start and a very enjoyable race i crossed the line in 8th. Sunday arrived and i was all phyced up after my best ever finish in the superteens and after another decent start i flew past the chequred flag in 9th. last race of the first round soon closed in, very excited to get a good finish, well maybe a little too excited as i got a terrible start and went into the first corner in about 15th place, i managed to claw back a few positions and have a very exciting race with Alister Duyas #17, as he crossed the line in 11th i crossed the line a gnats whisker behind him in 12th.
Overall i dont suppose we can complain too much but more points would have been nice!! must do better!!!!
NEW SEASON 2011
10th round at Donnington Park
For the last time this season we set off for one of our weekends racing, it was at Donnington Park. I was looking forward to this one as it had a new bit added to the circuit and also i new it quite well from the play station!
Friday morning was practice, so i had to learn the track with only 3 sessions! as qualifying was in the afternoon. I managed to learn it alright by qualifying but could of done with a bit longer, i QUALIFIED 15th out of 30. and i was on the 4th row. i wasn't that pleased with my position as was hoping for top 10.
saturday was really special to me as my grandma and grandad had flew over from france to watch me race and was going back really early sunday morning and they wouldnt see any of sundays races, so i really wanted to do well for the, my first race was at 11:20 and was really hoping to do well in it ! i got an ok start but UNFORTUNATELY i crashed on the entry of coppice, so that race was a DNF. i came back really upset as it was the first ever race my grandma and grandad had watched and i crashed! my next race on the saturday wasn't untill 5:10! so had a while to wait, but that was quite good as had a lot of time then to get the bike fixed. we managed to just in time for my last race. my dad had said that if i was to fall off again in this race, we would be going home, so i really didn't want to fall of, i just wanted to make sure i finished the race and THAT'S what i did, i came 19th but thought to my self at least i finished the race.
Sunday i really needed to get my act together and do well, we was the first race out at 10.30 so it was quite an early start. i got a really good start and was having some really good battles. i crossed the line with a 9th! i was so happy as it was best result this season, and i finally had come in the top 10 i came back to the paddock and all my family were so happy for me. The last race of the weekend i wanted to do even better now i new i could come in the top 10. i didnt do as well as i did in my 1st race but did ok and got a 12th.
all in all it was an amazing weekend and i was upset that it was the last round, next year is going to be amazing and i can not wait!!
Ninth round at Mallory park.
we set off for Mallory park Thursday afternoon, so we could get there and get all set up.
Friday was practice all day, i was increasing my times throughout the day. In the morning it was wet, then by the afternoon it had dried out. Saturday, was qualifying in the morning and two races in the afternoon. My best qualifying time was a 1.04.02 secs. witch put me down to a very disappointing 17th place on the grid,out of 36.
First race, got a decent start, ended up with a 15th position, wasn't to pleased with the result as i was hoping to do a lot better. 3 hours to wait before the second race to give myself time to get my head together and do a bit better. At 3.30pm we was on the grid revving to go. After a really good race with 99 Jordan Hole and 15 Ross Twyman i managed to finish 14th and 4th in the new comers, just 2 seconds from the podium behind 72 Brad Shaw.
From my last result i wanted to do even better, to try and get on the podium! my first race was at 10.50am, but had a 10 minute warm up before that and had to scrub in my new tyres, so was up by 7.30am. i didnt get a bad start. Throughout the whole race i was at the back of a group with 8 of us in it. 51 Luke Helm was leading the group. I wasnt impressed with my position that race as i got 18th.
My last race of the weekend i wanted to make it really good. I did do better than my 1st race today and got a 15th. I managed to beat my lap time of the weekend. with a 1.03.2.
All in all it was a good weekend even though i wasn't that happy with my results, so all i could say was... bring on Donnington!
Eighth round at Anglesey circuit.
Well, what a long drive that was, 9 hours !! As we new it was such a long way away, we had planned to leave on the Thursday at 4.45am !! we arrived at the track at 2.30pm. We got set up straight away, and got the bikes out trailer and put them under our awning. As there was no racing or anything on the Thursday we just took it easy and didn't do much. We all went for a walk round the track to learn the corner speed and what lines i need to take. On Friday, it was just practice day. As i had never been to the track before, for the first couple of sessions i took it easy trying out different lines. The weather was lovely on Friday, compared to what we all imagined it to be like. The sun was out, no clouds, just a brisk wind. Towards the end of the day, my times were dramatically increasing.
When we woke up Saturday morning, to go and sign on, it was beautiful, the same as Friday. This morning was qualifying and this afternoon was my 1st and 2nd race. I was quite nervous as i don't normally get a very good qualifying. The session was 20minutes long. I qualified 11th! and i was really proud of myself as it was my best qualifying position so far this season! i was excited for my 1st race, as i was on the 3rd row!
10 minutes before my 1st race of the weekend, tyre warmers on! leathers on, bike revving and raring to go. just waiting for the call.
Got a good start of the gird, up into about 8th on the first corner, managed to get away with the fast ones. was going really well until the 6th lap, and i got a rear puncture going into the hairpin and crashed on the exit. so i got a dnf. 2nd race that day, it was the 6th lap again,3 laps to go and the throttle cable stuck on at the end of the start finish straight, which sent me flying across the grass, and slid for ages! so another dnf. We wasn't happy with the results on Saturday but was pleased i was running up the front until i crashed, so all we could do was hope for the best on Sunday.
Woke up at 7.00 Sunday morning and all we could hear was rain and wind, it didn't sound very good. We had 10minutes warm up first, but because of the weather conditions we had to use the wet bike, so i only did 3 laps to make sure the bike was ok.
The bike was fine and i was looking forward to my first race as i got 2 dnf's yesterday.
1st race on Sunday it was absolutely mental ! i managed to put the weather behind me, and i did alright overall. I got a 14th. The 2nd race, i was going really well all the way through, i was up into eighth on the last lap, but it got red flagged,from a massive crash, so it got taken back to the lap before and i was in 10th then, i was really chuffed that i had finally broken into the top ten,and got my best result yet.
Overall the weekend was good, we all enjoyed it but wasnt looking forward to the trip home!
Seventh round at Brands Hatch -
Well where do i start...? we arrived at Brands at about 3:00pm on Friday afternoon. after we got all set up ready for the weekend we all went for a walk around the dead smooth newly re-tarmacked surface, the track was stunning and paddock-hill was a bit of a shock to me, i found this out in first practice as my belly stayed about 100 yards back up the hill. in practice i was just bedding my self in nicely getting faster and faster. 1st qualifying came and for some reason i had a bit of a off-session as i call them, and i was 20th on the grid! i just could not get to grips with my new favourite track in this session. all i could do was hope and pray my lap times where quicker in the morning for 2nd qualifying, no one improved their lap times so i remained 20th on the grid! in my first race i got away with a slower group than i was aiming for and my race was a disaster, i ended up finishing 23rd! was not very happy at all! In my second race i didnt go as bad and ended up 16th, at least it was better than before! i decided to just ignore that day and go for it on the Monday, T.V. day! in the first race i was on it, i got away with the faster group all the way through the race and on the last lap, Nick Clift #32 crashed on paddock hill bend and there was yellow flags being waved everywhere! unfortunately during the scene of this on the last lap i got overtaken by 3 people under yellow flags, this put me back to 16th, instead of 13th! in the last race, i think it was my best one considering...when i was on the grid my bike jumped out of 1st gear into neutral and i was dead last going over the grid! i fought my way through loads and loads of people and ended up with 13th overall and 4th in the new comers, my lap times were the same as the person in 5th!
overall a great weekend to be honest..
Sixth round at Cadwell park -
As Cadwell Park is quiet a long way for us, we decided to make a bit of a holiday of it, so we went camping in Sherwood forest the day before Cadwell park's sixth round meeting. when we woke up in the morning we set off for a two hour drive to Cadwell. when we arrived we soon found out there was a track-day on, if we had only have known! we set up and waited for the others to turn up. Practice day went really well, i knocked 3 seconds of my last visit, the bad news started when it was time to qualify, i went out put in a steady three laps to make sure i had a spot on the grid, as i was looking at my pit board it was saying 11th, 12, 11, 10, i was heading for my best grid positioning ever. this is where it all starts to go bad, i was trying to go even better than say 11th on the grid and tried taking Charlies exit flat out! i knew i wasn't going to make it when i was running wider and wider, within a second i found my self on the grass heading towards the tyre wall going at a speed of about 70mph! i soon thought this is gunna hurt! so as quick as i could i jumped of the bike tumbling and sliding along the damp grass watching the bike smash into the wall! the session still had 8 minutes left. As everyone else was getting quicker when i crashed i ended up 18th under the lights. Race one came and the bike wouldn't fire up, we had the tank up changing the spark plug, the fuel hoses came off spilling loads of petrol, i got out to the grid late and the officials made me start from the back of the grid! i had a cracking start overtaking what seemed like 5 people, i just had to pick them off one by one, the end of the race came and i found out i finished 18th out of 34, not too bad. In the second race i had a pretty good start as well, within a few laps i soon realised my foot peg was dramaticly coming loose! i just had to try and race as fast as i could with my gear changer and foot rest falling off! In the 3rd race of the meeting, i was going pretty well and on the second from last lap i was going down the back straight at about 110mph along side Marcus Tatchal #18, as he went past me in my slip stream we bruised arms and i ended up coming off, the bike was flipping towards the marshals hut, hit the tyre wall and bounded over it, all happening whilst i was spinning and rolling along the track and grass. i got taken the the medical center even though i was all right just because it was such a high-speed incident. I got back to the pits to see the bike was totally wrecked! i thought we would be going home. we managed to change wheels and other bits and bobs over the the other bike and get out on that for the last race finishing 20th as my No.2 bike is not as good.
i would just like to say the biggest thank you in the world to dad and Colin Groom (Colrai Racing) who races in the Thundersport 500 cup for all of the help and support they gave me that weekend! much appreciated! Least Dad knows what the socket set is used for now...only joking.
Fifth round at Oulton Park -
25th - 27th june.
I had an exam on Thursday and couldn't leave school until about 2:00pm before a long journey to Cheshire 6 and a half hours later we arrived at Oulton Park, we rolled the bike out of the trailer into our no 26 pit garage. We had to be up extra early on the Friday morning all ready for scrutenering. I only had three 15 mins practice sessions to learn the track and get up to speed ready for qualifying, in the first session i learned where i was going as i had never been to this track before, and in the next two practices i tried to tag on to some of the quicker riders, it must have slightly payed off as i had my best qualifying yet, 17th. that was it for the day, early night and time to hit the pillow ready for races Saturday. today was a disaster, well practice went fine as i was only going slow as i was scrubbing in a new pair of tyres. race one came and as per usual i was nervous as hell ! i was on the grid watching the lights they turned red, i knocked it into 1st gear, put my head behind the screen, lights went out, i got a terrible start off the line so i had to make up for it by going around the outside of about 10 people on the first corner, drifted out wide for the second to gain even more places around the outside but got pushed out onto the grass and into the gravel, race over for me and fairings were wrecked ! Race 2 came after a long wait fixing the bike and exactly the same happened on the start and around the first two corners but i didn't crash i was up into 13th place slip-streaming Harry Hartley #58, as i started to break and knock down the gears going into a chicane i realised my gear lever had snapped so i had to travel into pit lane and back to the garage in 4th gear :| racer over again !! a long way to travel for no points at all !!
Fourth round at Cadwell Park -
28th - 31st may.
I had an exam on the Thursday morning so didn't get to leave untill about 11:00am which was just as well because we had a 7 hour boring drive up to Lincolnshire. we got there Thursday night, set up and got my head down for only 3 practice sessions on Friday morning, i didn't go to bad learning the new track but the weather conditions didn't help one bit ! ( wet,dry,wet,dry ...) First qualifying came on the Friday afternoon it was thunder and lightning, hail stones were falling from the big black clouds! i ended up 22nd on the grid, i was not pleased with that really. when Sunday morning came we went straight into second qualifying when it was sunny and i made up four places and got 18th on the grid. after a rubbish start of the line in the first race i dropped down to about 26th, i got my head down and ended up finishing 13th, 5th in the new comers (my best result so far). race 2 i ended up finishing 18th one place in front of Ben Luxton #9. race 3 me and Sidney Hargreaves were battling it out and i managed to get the better of him on the last lap to finish 26 (my worst result of the weekend). Race four me and Jordan Hole #99 chased a group down and got away from them, me and Jordan were wheel to wheel for the whole race, i got the better of him on the last lap going into the chicane before the mountain, i held a defensive line for the rest of the last lap and managed to secure 18th (6th in the newcomers). overall a good weekend, hoping for a good round of results at Oulton Park!
A massive well done to Jim Lovell in the Thundersport 500 class for winning the last race by 11 seconds and smashing the lap record of James Toselands !! well done Jim !
Third round at Snetterton -
1st - 4th May.
as we pulled up to snetterton on the friday evening, we set up the camper-van, got the bikes out of the trailer, put the bikes under the awning and our heads hit the pillows for a good night sleep after a long 6 hour drive up to the track ! when we woke up at 7:30 me and dad went and signed on and scruteneered. on the first practice, on the second lap Ryan Snaith crashed in front of me and spilt some oil, i hit the oil and tucked the front ! ... on the following practice sessions i got quicker and quicker, qualifying came, i rode like a fairy ! .. ended up 30th on the grid. first race came on the Sunday, i had a rubbish start and ended up finishing 29th overall and 10th in the new-comers. second race was the same but 12 people fell off on the same corner and i ended up coming 18th overall and 4th in the new-comers. In the two races on the Monday i finished one 7th and one 8th. back home Monday night ready for school on the Tuesday :(.
Second round at Pembrey -
8th - 11th April.
On the Thursday we went to Llandow for a track day to learn more about the bike and hopefully do a bit better at Pembrey than what we did at Mallory. I managed to loose four seconds of a lap at Llandow from the last time we went, i had learned how much i can actually lean the bike over and go around the corners very quick with the tyres still gripping! At 6pm we left Llandow and went to Pembrey ready to rumble for round 2! got there Thursday night, had dinner and went to bed ready for the practice day on the Friday. It took me a while to learn the track and get up to speed, there is a double left hander i just could not get the hang of, i was loosing about half a second a lap on this corner! In the afternoon dad timed my lap times, i was putting out 1:18 secs. i just kept at it trying to get faster and faster. Qualifying came, i had a flyer and it was my quickest lap times so far, 1:11 secs, ended up 24th position on the grid. Race one came, squeaky bum time! off the grid i dropped a few places, and ended up finishing 26th. not very good at all. in race two, there was a few big crashes at brook-lands hairpin, the race got red flagged and restarted on about the 4th lap of the restarted race i had my first big slide of the back end on the hairpin before the flat out 6th gear straight, it done it again on the following corner, i thought the tyres might be on their way out, going round the hairpin after the start-Finnish straight, i put the power on and had a big high-side! the race got restarted again at the end of the day, i got taken back to the paddock in the ambulance, we franticly tried to fix the rear sets, handle bars and the fairing ready to race at the end of the day, i went out with bruised ribs, arm and leg, i didn't go very quick for obvious reasons but managed to get 3 points. my best time of the day was a 1:10 secs. on the Sunday i had a very good day, i managed to Finnish 22nd in the first race of the day, and 19th in the second. my best lap time of the Sunday was a 1:09 secs, so i managed to gain 9 seconds a lap over the weekend, overall a success really!!!
First round at Mallory park -
12th - 14th March.
We arrived at the track Thursday night and got parked up, had dinner and got an early night in for the Friday testing day. When i woke up on the Friday it was poring down with rain and had been all night ! I went out on my first session with my dry tyres on and after about 3 sessions we decided to buy a pair of wets and put them in because i kept on being overtaken. I had loads of confidence in the wet tyres and was going round the out side of people at 'Gerrards'. Friday night was another early night again, i woke up in the morning and the sun was shining ! i didn't know weather to be happy or not, i like racing in the rain as much as i do in the dry, but racing in the dry is a lot more easier! i went out for qualifying, had a great 20 mins session but sadly crashed on the last lap, thankfully no damage done to the bike or me. i ended up qualifying 22nd out of 44, which was 7th in the newcomers, 6th row on the grid. Race no.1 i had a great start and my front wheel hovering over the tarmac on the 'Kirby Straight' and went round the out side of a few round Gerrards, lost a few places going into 'Edweeners' (the place where i crashed in qualifying) ending up finishing the race 26th, 7th in the newcomers, Race no.2 was pretty much all the same but had an awful start as the front wheel lifted about 3 foot into the air ! finished that race 25th, 8th in the newcomers. So i was reasonably happy with Saturday's results but wanted to improve for Sunday. Sunday morning was fine but overcast as i got ready for race no.3. I went out and was going really well, sitting about 22nd and my bike started to play up, so i had no choice but to come in and get a DNF, it turned out my dad didnt put enough petrol in the bike before the race started! Really annoying and 19 points lost!! Race no.4, i was sat on the grid about to go, the lights went out and i canned it, nothing happened apart from the engine revving it's nuts off ! got another DNF, this turned out to be the clutch, the clutch had gone so we have to fit a new one ready for Pembrey, round 2 !! Another DNF and more lost points, not a good start to the championship. 4 hour drive arriving home 10pm Sunday evening.
All in all a great weekend on my 1st visit to Mallory, and i have learnt loads from my first meeting ready to take forward to the 2nd round. Looking to score loads of points at Pembrey and get up the leader board. Like my school report says, room for improvement, can do better. LOL.