Silverstone to Brands Hatch Low side Lows, to Podium Highs, and 2015 sign off. Blog.
I was looking forward to Silverstone as it’s very enjoyable to ride, if you’re precise, it rewards you with a fast lap time, and with our increased pace from the midpoint in the season, I knew we could battle at the front.
We qualified just 0.4 seconds off of pole position, but this was only good enough for 9th position on the grid.
With a good start I got to work and found myself moving through riders straight away, by the time I reached Vale Chicane I had an opportunity to overtake Barry Burrell for 6th place and took it as the leaders had already started to pull a lead on the pack. I got through and started to chase, but chased to hard.
As soon as I turned the bike for the fast left hand Farm Curve, I lost the front.
I was gutted as we had the pace to move forward, however I pushed too hard on the cold tyre and this was what caught me out. I apologised to my team and mechanic who had done a faultless job for me as always, and we put the result to bed, leaving us in 7th in the Championship ahead of Brands Hatch GP for the last round.
Brands Hatch GP Round 12
Brands Hatch GP is by far my most favourite track. Everything about the place gives me a good feeling when you’re on track, and I believe every corner suit’s the way I ride, so I was looking for nothing less than a podium.
Mixed Weather conditions tested us throughout the weekend, but we stayed at the sharp end in every session to finally qualify in 2nd position in 2nd Qualifying on Saturday, under 2 tenths off of pole position,, with a time of 1:28:2, which was much faster than I’ve ever been before.
In the race I got away well but slotted in behind Hudson Kennaugh and Keith Farmer on Lap 1.
Making sure the grip was where I needed it, I pushed at the start of Lap 2, overtaking Farmer at Paddock Hill Bend and started to push for Kennaugh, who had started to try and gap the pack.
For many laps I stayed in touch but couldn’t quite squeeze by the BMW on the brakes, on around lap 4 I made a mistake at druids by getting caught in between gears, and because of this I lost a little bit of time on the BMW to then find myself having to fend off a closing Josh Elliot.
Elliot’s Kawasaki come by at Paddock Hill bend but I quickly switched over and turned tight to get a run on him up the hill to Druids to get back by, and I did so with a planted move. When watching the coverage of the race after the meeting, Josh Elliot shook his head at me in Druids when I made the pass as I’m guessing he was frustrated and felt he had the pace to catch Kennaugh, but I was always going to come straight back at him, that’s just what you do!
Josh drove straight by down pilgrim’s drop, so I didn’t attack again in an effort to work and catch Kennaugh.
Kennaugh started to come back, and although I lost a little ground on the two in front I was still in touch and put my fastest lap of the race in on Lap 10 with a 1:28:1, the fastest lap of the race to that point.
In the closing stages Elliot had upped the pace once more in an attack on Kennaugh and on the penultimate lap just beat my time with a 1:27:9. The last lap came and Kennaugh pushed too hard at druids trying to fend off Elliot and lost the front, leaving me around 1.5 seconds off of Elliot which was too much to close, so I kept the pace enough to take the 2nd place at the flag, just 2 seconds off of Elliot and + 10 seconds in front of the next pack.
I, and the team were very happy, and still are. Despite many top 10 finishes, this round is the first where I’ve felt I am a genuine front runner, instead of pushing for the podium positions.
I can’t thank my team Downshift Motorsport enough for the commitment they have shown and the package they have produced, this has brought me on twice as fast to arrive at the pace and results that we have achieved, I feel like a stronger, more professional, and generally feel like a faster motorcycle racer because of it.
Further thanks go out to Dave Hopkinson, team mechanic and the team’s coordinator, who had the faith in me to put his word on the line and draft me in to the team, we did it mate.
Thank you to Jack Valentine for his over sight, I’ve appreciated your support and hope we can work together in the future.
Thank you to our supporting sponsors who are displayed proudly around our pristine set up, thank you so much for your support, you’re the reason we’ve hauled the trophies in, and special thanks to my personal sponsor, Walters Medical, who kept the faith also and of whom have been so helpful this season, I really appreciate it.
Our product sponsors have been faultless, the machines were the best turned out on the grid, so thank you for your support, I hope we can remain together in the future as contenders and winners.
I’d like to thank Simon and Karen Sherras who have been supporting me for many years, as well as Jake Beckworth, you’re brilliant, and I can’t thank you enough, again for your faith and generosity, you are diamonds, in the rough on Jake and Simon’s side, but diamonds all the same.
Thank you to my family, my Mum, Dad, Sister and Ursula, who have been there for me throughout. You’ve supported me and given me will and strength, and I’ll never give up.
I fear thanking all individually, because for those who know me well, memory is a fickle thing for me.
I wouldn’t want to say you know who you are either, as that seems and sounds like the easy way out, but please know I appreciate your support, it means the world to me, as does motorcycle racing, and please know you’ve not brought me back, I’m brand new, better than ever, and I’m ready to win.
Thank you for 2015
Over and Out
Photograph’s credited with thanks to Bonnie Lane Photography.
Downshift Motorcycle & Mountain Bike are a business based in Preston, Lancashire, UK, and specialise in competition cycle sports. Race Service, Builds, Maintenance and Product Purchase are available and carried out with the highest possible standards.
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www.k-tech.uk.com – Downshift turn and grip with KTECH Suspension Components
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http://www.pfc.parts/ – Gives Downshift stopping power with superior brake pads.
www.venhill.co.uk – Providing fast lines, Venhill Brake Hoses.
www.jap4performance.com – The beautiful Carbon Frame Protectors on the Downshift ZX10R’s are kindly supplied by Jap 4, check out their range.
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