Over the Moon Taking Points Away from Superb Cadwell
Stoked, pumped; over the moon and in the last race, full of red mist, but still very happy how my weekend went at Cadwell Park with Tyco BMW taking two points scoring finishes.
To make the third and final qualifying session [Q3] and having held the second quickest time at one point during Q2 was pretty satisfying, especially after a slip-off in the final free practice session, which could have dented my confidence. A rookie mistake and a valuable learning experience in my Superbike apprenticeship.
Yes, I gave the boys in the garage a bit of work to do between the crash and qualifying, which is always a little embarrassing. But they knew I was doing my best to try and improve my lap times and in turn put the Tyco BMW where it deserves to be at the front end of the timesheets.
In terms of experience, I’m still the ‘rookie’s rookie’ in the British Superbike class with just four race meetings under my belt, but we’ve continued to make steady progress and I’ve now raced with and pretty much matched a former BSB and World Superbike champion on track this weekend.
I’m not getting carried away, not at all, but you need to have confidence in your ability to succeed in a world where tenths of a second make the difference between being employed or sitting at home wondering went wrong.
The British Superbike series is a hot-bed of raw talent, mixed with the experienced campaigners like five-time champion Shakey Byrne and Leon Haslam who is a world superbike and BSB race winner, not forgetting the other ten or twelve guys who are pretty damn fast.
Cadwell Park, which is a superb circuit, is narrow, undulating and unforgiving by nature, leaving absolutely no room for error and not the place where a rookie normally leaves with a smile on his face.
Thankfully what started out as a tough weekend down in the bottom end of the top 20 ended up with my best qualifying of the year making that Q3 session, and taking points in both races on the Tyco BMW. That’s as much down to the team as it is to me, who are helping me on my journey.
It was really encouraging, and another valuable learning experience, racing and exchanging blows with the top ten riders in BSB and although I ended up just outside the top ten in both races [13th in both], I feel I held my own and can now look ahead to Silverstone’s triple header with added confidence.
In the second race, I do believe I could have made the top ten had I not been ‘encouraged’ off the track by a very experienced former World Superbike rider. I put my head down [swearing in frustration inside my helmet!] and came through from almost dead last to score points, so that was satisfying. My fastest lap was good enough for the top ten, so I’ll also take the positives from that.
Cadwell is the local circuit to my personal sponsor Cool Milk and it was great to spend some time with them during the build-up to the event, and also on the weekend with local company SAL Commercial who came along to lend their support. I hope you all had a great weekend guys and have become firm BSB fans. Thanks also to William McCausland [FonaCab] for making the trip over to lend his support.
See you all at Silverstone…