So here we are. A new year. Month one of an eight-month season. Race one of thirty.
I’m ready. I’m at a healthy weight, fit, no broken bones, freshly trained, leathers repaired.
The bike is ready. After being thrown onto Cartagena tarmac at 60mph a month ago, she has new fairings, new fluids, new tyres, new crash protection.
The van is ready. New internal LED lighting.
The caravan is ready. New hi-fi, new tyres, full service.
The awning is ready. Brand new arch-style door. Just because.
In truth, the van is feeling a little hard-done-by, but she was all kitted out last year and then sat on her large backside for most of the season. Time for some work, big girl…
I’m looking forward to a new season and I’m excited about the possibilities it holds. The circus is back in town and I’m up for another crack at this whole ‘going fast and not falling off’ lark. And I’m going to try very hard to go faster and fall off less. I’m shooting for points from race one and I’m going to chase points all season.
As any sports psychologist will tell you, the focus should be on beating the racetrack, not beating the competitors. Beating competitors comes as a by-product of beating the circuit. So I’ll concentrate on that for now. Improved technique, improved lap times, more points. And we know what points win, don’t we? (£3 plastic trophies, for the record).
Many of my friends are off to ride in the Tri-Options Cup at the BSB rounds, so whilst I will miss them in the No Limits paddock, I look forward to supporting them in their new, higher-profile series.
As an aside, it strikes me that that there has been a fair bit of attrition from the No Limits ranks this year, it will be interesting to see if the grids are quite as full as last year. The big plans to run separate Pirelli races for 1000s and 600s have been shelved, not a good sign given No Limits’ aspirations to be a feeder series to the British Superstock paddock. But maybe No Limits was always going to be a bit of a springboard to other intermediate series (I think Thundersport are benefiting from their loss) – I’d say if they want to be a club that retains the best talent they will have to up their game.
Anyhows, one last trip to Dynotech on Wednesday night before we hit the track on Friday for practice day. It is March, so the weather is likely to be ‘variable’ but I have fingers crossed for some decent dry track time. Silverstone International isn’t a terrible circuit but it tends to be a tad slithery when moist. Regardless, it’s an expanse of smooth tarmac upon which we are invited to ride our motorcycles as fast as we jolly well like in the prescribed direction and that, Sir, suits me.