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Round Three, Donington Park – In the points!

Results to date:

Snetterton (Dry, warm):

  1. 19th
  2. 25th
  3. 16th
  4. 19th

Cadwell (Mostly dry):

  1. 15th (all on wets on a dry track!) – 1 point
  2. 21st
  3. 16th
  4. 17th

Donington (dry, hot):

  1. 20th
  2. 22nd
  3. 14th – 2 points
  4. 14th – 2 points

I’ve been a bit lazy recently on race updates, due to a number of factors:

  1. Round Two at Cadwell was not very noteworthy
  2. I’ve been on holiday
  3. I wrote a little note about the NW200 which went viral

Back to basics now with a review of Donington Park…

We had only one qualifying session and one race on the Saturday, I missed the practice day as it was on Thursday rather than Friday making it impractical. My qualification was junk (29th @ 1.50.55), but it meant I had more aggression than normal going into the race – this showed through much improved passing and determination. I finished a lowly 20th but gaining 9 places gave me the confidence that I was looking for.

On Sunday we had one qualifying and three races. Again, rubbish qualifying (23rd @ 1.47.839). I wasn’t happy with those lap times and decided I wanted to see a 1.45.xxx before the end of the weekend. Race 2 was disappointing finishing 22nd with only a small lap time improvement, I again settled into position instead of fighting hard. But race 3 was when the fun started – I started 22nd on the grid and finished 14th. Everything just felt like it fell into place, my laps were consistently smooth and fast and I refused to stare at anyone’s rear tyre for any length of time. This race genuinely felt like a new experience and I loved every minute of it. I managed times of 1.45.131 – not going to set any records but a decent improvement over the pace I felt stuck at until then (and my first experience of lapping someone!). For race 4 they stuck me on 18th on the grid despite the paperwork saying 17th, I again had a blinding race and finished 14th again. Best time was 1.45.041, so dangerously close to the 1.44s.

So for me, this was my best ever race weekend. I felt like I was riding with a new level of confidence, at a higher pace and strangely enough finishing with more energy than before – I thought the three 11-lap races plus qualifying would kill me, but I felt good. My poor girlfriend couldn’t quite figure out why when we were on a plane to Cape Verde I was still more excited about my last two races from the weekend before than our holiday – it’s kind of hard to explain, but I couldn’t get the buzz of Craner Curves out of my head.

That’s me in the points then, 5 points from 12 races – but I was starting to worry about finishing the season pointless. I’m 25th in the series and hopefully this is the start of me riding from my balls instead of my head.

Roll on Brands Hatch Indy on 21st/22nd June – I’ve only ever ridden the GP and only ever three, maybe four times so it’ll be fairly new to me but I am expecting good racing.

Big, big thanks to Phil and Mandy for coming to support me at Dony (they brought some magic clearly) and to Perky and Cuzza for supporting me at Cadwell despite miserable weather. Having people make the effort makes the world of difference.

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