Been mega busy so only got time to sit down and write this now.
So I have been quite busy. Went to my first Ducati Glasgow Track night on the 27th of May. Conditions were not great but it was dry. I write about this as I had right of passage! I got my knee down! Wooooo!!! I took the bike over with Brian and Steve. Their excellent motivation skills of making fun of my knee sliders looking brand new prompted me to try go for it. I figured my best chance was probably at Mcintyre’s. The right after Duffus Dip. After some advice from those two I went out again and touched it down, just grazing my knee. I was so excited!!! I came straight back into the pits but couldn’t see them so went out again straight away. This time getting it down again at Mcintyre’s and then again at the hairpin. My dad had come along to take pictures but unfortunately he had moved from the corner before he saw me touch down. So that was the first milestone passed. A good day.
Next up was Oulton Park. It was just a Saturday only race so we decided to go down for the trackday on the Friday. Duncan picked me up and headed down. On the way down Duncan wanted to stop for a coffee. He then proceeded to buy the most expensive race fuel in Britain at the services. The coffee machine was broke. As a substitute he opted for a big bottle of water and some Irn-Bru. The price of the water enraged him so much it was Irn-Bru only. Not our wisest move but it was funny seeing the look of horror on Duncan’s face when he found out how much water cost.
We got to Oulton Park at 12:30am. I had to call ahead and ask for them to keep the gate open so we could get in or it would have been a grim night in the van. As it was it was a bit of drizzly evening. We quickly set up the awning and Brian arriving 30mins later got everything unpacked. The weather for Saturday was to be showery. We had six sessions in total, three before lunch, three after. We got lucky, only 1 of our sessions was wet. We hid in the van till it passed. I had a bit of an exciting morning before that, in the third session I was passed by Brian on the Lakeside straight so I thought I would just match his speed round Shell Oils Hairpin. Next thing I know im sliding along the road on my arse holding onto the bike. I thought – better let go of the bike – and ended up a heap on the grass bank. My first racing crash. Another milestone. I was completely unhurt from it, it did burst some of the material on my leathers and damaged the right footrest but that was it. Luckily it was in the last session before lunch and chief mechanic Brian was able to help getting it patched back up. Also a big help fro m the Desmo paddock for the parts – Mykal and Paul.
So onto the racing on the Saturday. After the trackday I was a lot more confident than Cadwell for the race. I was started 14th on the grid in the first race. I got off the line well and was having some fun racing with Giles. Passed him on the 2nd lap then he took me back at Old Hall of the 3rd lap then me back in front at Island Bend before he passed me and Andy Taylor at Shell Oils. I then took Andy braking into Lodge Corner. We had a bit of a ding dong battle for the next lap before i was able to lose him. I know it might not sound like much but this was my first real racing battle. So exciting I could have pee’d my pants! It was all plain sailing then till the last lap. I saw a front tyre push past at Old Hall think it was Andy again but this time it was Steve Baden and then to add to my woes Lee Moxham took me on near enough the last corner to knock me back down to 14th. I felt I could ride faster and put together a better race in the afternoon. My best lap time was 2:13:16
Onto race 2. Conditions were much better in this race. It was almost sunny! I started 14th on the grid again. Unfortunately the good conditions didn’t help me at the start. I botched it big time. I think everyone came past me. It felt like that anyway. After the first lap I was sitting in 18th. What a disaster! But I was riding much better this race. I quickly passed James Robinson and Rodney King to get up to 16th. Kevin Ellis had to pull in. Next up was Andy Taylor and Lee Moxham so up to 13th. Then the battle with Steve Baden again. Managed to get past him on lap 4. I was trying to chase
down Jack Younge, I thought I was catching him in some parts but a rubbish couple of laps to end the race meant I wasn’t really in touching distance. With Scott “Badger” Wilson crashing out I finished in 11th out of 21 finishers. My best result yet. I was most happy with my fastest time of 2:07:98 which was faster than two of the bikes ahead of me and on pace with the next two after that. Must get a better start!!!
Oh I also managed to get my left knee down at Oulton Park, so now both knee sliders have seen action. Happy days!
So next up is Anglesey Coastal circuit. Its not till August. Feels like for ever away! Bring on more racing!