The British superbikes visited Cadwell park for round 8 of the 12 round championship last weekend. The iconic “mountain jump” was again tested by the fastest riders, bikes and teams in the UK over 3 days that brought some amazing weather. It was my first time on the Superbike at the very technical and narrow circuit. The layout of the track makes it easy to learn, but to be fast on such a tough track was always going to take a day or two.
Rolling out Friday morning on a superbike in the 25 degree weather ready to tackle a jump that often bites riders when landing wrong was an exciting to say the least! It did prove tricky for the first session as I struggled to carry the speed needed into the tight corner at the bottom to land smoothly on the top of the mountain. It is also vital to be on the gas and completely relaxed when you land to reduce the head shake if you land a little side ways!
We finished Friday in 22nd position, learning a lot about the new geometry setting that had been installed into the head stem of the bike prior to the weekend. The adjustment was positive but meant that we had some work to do to find a good base setting that I was comfortable with. I only had a couple of scary moments over the jump and was starting to pick up the ideal line.
Saturday morning’s session was again tough as I struggled for any feeling from the front tyre which is vital to building confidence to carry corner speed. We did how ever see a significant improvement in the last sector which included the mountain! Qualifying was a little disappointing as we didn’t move forward from position 22 after trying some new settings which would help us make a decision that proved helpful for the Sunday morning warm up!
We headed into race one with the focus on latching on to the faster riders ahead to understand where I was losing lap time. I was only able to stay with the group ahead for 9 laps before a gap started to eke out. On lap 11 the safety car was deployed to clear a bike and debris from the top of the mountain as it claimed its first victim. This gave me a second chance to learn from the riders ahead, until 4 laps from the end where I ran into an engine problem as I opened the taps down the front straight.
The problem was to every ones dismay unresolvable for the second race and ended our weekend short and with massive disappointment.
Its been a very tough time the past few months so im trying to stay positive and work harder to improve for the next 4 rounds!
I would like to thank all my supporters and sponsors during these testing times for staying by me! Oulton Park is coming up in just under 2 weeks time so stay tuned for info!