Showing progress by mixing it with the top guys at Thruxton
We are getting there folks, we are getting there!
BSB is the world’s toughest domestic championship but last weekend at Thruxton we were in the top ten for a while in qualifying, mixing it with former world champions and racing my back-side off in a ten-bike freight train for points in only my third weekend on a factory Superbike. I will score points but I’m staying on-board and learning all the time with the TAS boys on the Tyco BMW.
In the first race, I was as high as twelfth place, and well within the points. At the end of the 18-lap battle I dropped back to 17th, but did fight as hard as I could with top class riders like Dan Linfoot and Tommy Bridewell. They got the better of me but again I’m learning. In the second race, I was really close to scoring my first BSB points for the Tyco BMW team, but I ended up 16th although I was not too disappointed.
This is just my third time on a bike in a long, long time, and coming off a 600 after a nine month break it is a big jump for any rider. This weekend we have made a lot of progress and having spoken to team manager Philip Neill he is happy with how things are going.
Thruxton is a really fast, gutsy track and very different to the rest of the championship. We went out in FP3 and it turned out that we went eighth and for me that was fantastic. I was happy and mixing it with the top guys, and just over 0.2 seconds would have put me fifth.
In qualifying I set myself a goal of Q2 and we achieved that. The times are so tight and it was another learning curve and we went out on a new tyre. I pushed too hard rather than letting it come to me like in other sessions, and I got a bit of a slide going and lost time but again we made progress and I showed the potential of a rookie on the Tyco BMW package.
In race one I was battling with Michael Rutter, Tommy Bridewell, and Michael Laverty, who was a race winner around here last year. This is only my third time sitting on a Superbike and the bigger picture is that we are doing well and at the end we were only 0.4sec off a points’ scoring finish, but ahead of race winners Ellison and Laverty.
In race two I used up the best of my tyre in the battle for points but again, I’ve learned a lot and I believe it will not be long before we score points then start troubling the regular boys just tenths of a second ahead of me in the top ten.