The new Normal
With things looking great and all kicking off with the new “normal” in place, we was all set and ready for round 1 of the British Superbike championship until I f**ked up again!!!
Coming into the weekend of Donington Park National Rnd 1 I was very excited to get going after 14month off a bike from when I broke my legs but at the same time I was very anxious and nervous of the whole situation. FP1 was Friday evening at 16:00this was a tough session as the humidity was ridiculous and the track temperature was high which can leave the track feeling very slippy. We ended the session in 19th position, not where I wanted to be but I just hadn’t the best feeling with the bike just yet.
Saturday was a very busy day for the Superbike grid as we had FP2 at 10:00, qualifying at 13:00 and race 1 at 16:30 (or I thought that at least). FP2 was very much the same as FP1, not just as hot, still not a lot of feeling from the bike and was pushing me into the corners leaving it hard to get stopped for the apex’s. My crew were firing loads of changes at the bike but the feeling was still the same. As we finished the session in P19 yet again, we knew we should be further up the grid than we were. Lee Machin (crew chief) and I done a very long debrief and I tried every single way to describe the feeling of what was happening and suddenly it clicked with Lee. Basically the slipper clutch was engaged fully and free spinning and not letting the engine braking do the work to slow me down, hence the pushing into the corners. For qualifying we had big changes with the bike, this time not on chassis setup but on engine mapping strategies, WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!
We was getting happier and closer to where we needed to be to find a good base setting for my new beast. I started to find my confidence coming back and believe in my self again after all the hard work over this past 14 months of getting fit and healthy. On our last run with a new rear and a few clicks of suspension we started to dig a little deeper, suddenly heading into redgate on what was to be my last flying lap, I grabbed a little more brake than any other lap which sent my bike sideways, as I released to straighten again then re-braked, I found myself face down on tarmac at 130mph and then a few twists into the gravel, which I didn’t want. Got up and realised something was not right with my right arm/shoulder, after a check over and some x-rays from the Bsb medical crew (thank you so much yet again), I was diagnosed with a phase 2 dislocation to my ACJoint ligament, with to my knowledge of this now is an ass of an injury.
Since this weekend I have been to see one of the top surgeons in the country for the job, which is professor Funk in Wilmslow Private Hospital (Thank you to Michael Dunlop for putting me in contact with him). He has diagnosed me with a phase 3/4 dislocation and if I want to try and ride again this year with some comfort then the opp would be needed. I have been booked in on Saturday 22nd of this month (Snetterton round)😏 for the operation. It’s not how I wanted to start the season nor did I want to chuck £1000’s of pounds into fixing my shoulder, but needs must. See you on the other side with hopefully a fully functional shoulder and a race date to aim for 🤞🏽
Thank you everyone once again for all the lovely messages of support, thank you too my whole team (Hawk Racing) for being so supportive of me and having such belief in me, my partner Sam for being by my side, supporting me, cleaning up after me and looking after our beautiful daughter while I am half disabled. Thank you but sorry to all my loyal sponsors who have stayed onboard in these challenging times of COVID19, I will be back stronger and do the job right.