Silverstone Race Report
After a very brief testing programme, it was set for glorious weather all weekend for the opening round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Silverstone national circuit. Not a track I would favour with it being so short, but none the less it was all systems go on the all-new Tyco BMW S1000RR.
First day was very positive with FP1 & FP2 going really well and feeling very comfortable on my new machine. However near the end of FP2, I had a massive moment going into the left turn at the end of the Wellington straight and it sent me really late into the turn, to the point that I was either going to wipe out Tommy Bridewell or try and get up the inside of him. I obviously chose down the inside as I let off the brakes to try and miss him, unfortunately as I went past he was already committed to the turn and I took the front wheel from under him with rear of my bike. This ended in him and his team not very happy and I got a 6 grid penalty and 2 points on my licence, my own mistake so I took it on the chin.
FP3 on Saturday morning was again lovely weather and track temp was coming up nicely. I set off and started to get into my rhythm but unfortunately, as I was entering turn 3 I was trailing the front brake a fraction too long and tucked the front. It was only small thankfully and I rode the bike back to the garage, the boys got her fixed and I got the last 10mins of the session to get back up to speed. Qualifying was up at 16:00 and with the nature of the track the times was stupidly close, I ended up a little disappointed being only 0.4 seconds off 1st but ended up 20th and with the 6 grid penalty that put me 26th on the grid for race 1 Sunday. Not the start I was after!!
Sunday race day was a new day, time to get two races under our belt and try to get in the points. With starting from 26th it was going to be hard work for race 1 but we were going to try. We got a mega start and made some shrewd passes (but clean) to get up near the points and not get dropped from the leading pack, I paced myself so I would not use tyre and so to be strong towards the end of the race. Unfortunately, I made a mistake and ran off track! I got myself back up to 16th and just off the back of the last points rider, fortunately for me there was an incident between two riders at the front and one went down so I got the last point.
Race 2 we made a few little changes but the main change was to come from me with the way I was riding the bike and stop overriding it and be a little more precise with everything. With starting race 2 in 16th (16th fastest time from race 1) I would have a better shot at getting into the points if I kept it all together. With another good start and some passes I was in the points, however, this wasn’t to be as I ran off track yet again and went onto to do this on 3 different occasions. After resetting myself and in last place, I could now think about riding the bike properly and enjoy it. I was keeping an eye on my lap timer on my dash and with the times coming down gradually I knew I would start to catch some of the riders but never ever did I think that I would get to 12th. I got lucky with the safety car coming out, which got me closer to the group of riders who were battling for 6th right back to 13th. On the last lap, I got by Ben Currie but couldn’t manage any further. I was absolutely buzzing with this as I had just had a mega ride from the back of the pack right into the points.
We leave round one with some confidence and really looking forward to the test at Oulton Park on the 25th April followed by round 2 at Oulton Park the following weekend.
Thank you to all my team for making this happen, with everything being so last minute and still delivering a bike that’s so competitive.
Roll on Oulton.