Donington Park GP Race Report
After winning the Supersport class in 2017 it was time to get back on the bigger bike with moving into Superstock 1000 class again with Tyco BMW.
With not a great forecast heading into the Easter weekend, I was going with the intentions to get 3 solid finishes and start to understand the BMW S1000 RR even more and move on to the next round. Free Practice 1 (FP1) was very wet and cold with a track temp of 6degrees, it was my first time on the bike and I was very nervous, to say the least, I went out and just built it up lap by lap and ended up p4. FP2 was very much the same in temperature, we went out and built it up again but came in early as I was that cold, we ended the session p6.
Qualifying was yet again cold but with a dry line meaning we could run slicks, we got a good feeling straight away but came in to make a few small changes and a new rear tyre. When we went back out and fired a couple of laps down taking pole on our last lap thinking we had done enough, then Billy McConnell took it away from us with a lap under lap record pace. This was us 2nd on the grid for my first experience of the 2part 100mile race. I got a horrible start and got absolutely swamped to 9th, I start to regroup get back through to 4th until my quick shifter stopped working meaning I had to switch the bike off and on to reset this, with this, I lost 3positions. As I had a few laps to settle back in, I managed to get back up to p4 setting my eyes on the ones in front, I got gifted 3rd with Andy Reid going down, I managed this to the flag behind McConnell and Elliott. For the second part we had a better start but marginally with me keeping p4, I settled into the race and then got into 3rd passing my teammate Dan Kneen setting my sights for McConnell and Elliott. As McConnell started to pull a lead, I edged passed Elliott and set my sights on the lead with reeling Billy in until the rain came, I then settled for p2 rather than throwing it up the road.
Monday was a long wait around for everyone as the weather was horrific overnight and all morning. As the clouds started to clear things started to roll with the sessions, our warmup was cancelled so instead we got 2 warmup laps to get a feel for the track. We got a steady start and just settled into position to let others find the grip, we did this pretty much the whole race until a few laps to go when Billy came by me wakening me up! I followed him for a lap and then passed him back going into the Melbourne loop with one lap to go, I knew I had to put a really clean lap together to pass MrRutter in the wet. I hit all my markers and got a really good drive out of the foggy eases heading down to the Melbourne loop yet again and just slid up the inside and left him nowhere to go. I rode defensively into the last turn then powered to the line for 3rd on my BMW machine leaving me 4points adrift from the championship lead. I would like to say a massive thank you to all involved in the Tyco BMW team who made this possible, my personal sponsors Rapid, Waitings, Hillcroft Park, JW Plastering, A.C Autos, LC Customs, Fit4racing, Arai and RST. Round 2 at Brands Hatch is the 13/14/15th April so come say hello.