Paul Nolan from Charlestown has taken over the management of the team since Donington which has really allowed us to turn the corner. He entrusted Ducati Coventry/JHP Racing with the task of repairing the engine after Donington Park. With Paul’s help it also takes the pressure off me and allows me to focus on riding rather than managing the team. I CAN'T THANK Paul and JHP enough for the work they did with the bike as it has been transformed. I was also much more relaxed going into the weekend without the usual running about. (Paul did this instead!!!!)
Qualifying – Position 13th
Qualifying was held in difficult conditions. The track had a few damp patches and light drizzle during the session which is always a mental test. After the recent run of luck I didn’t want to risk crashing in the conditions so 13th was the result. 5th row start is less than ideal however we made some drastic changes after the qualifying session which transformed the bike. Nigel from Ducati Coventry changed the geometry of the bike by 16mm which may not sound like a lot but trust me it is like riding a completely different bike.
Race 1 – 9th
The first lap was absolute carnage! A few near misses and I then settled down into a rhythm. Although I am never happy finishing 9th I was pleased to finish a race with the bike in one piece. Furthermore the bike felt fantastic which gave me great optimism for the forthcoming races.
Race 2 – 6th
Sean Knochill hairpin
I really enjoyed this race. Sean Gilfillan nearly crashed coming out of the hairpin on the 2nd lap which meant I lost around 2 seconds on the group in front due to taking evasive action. Fair play to Sean as I have no idea how he stayed on!! I was gaining on the group in front during the closing stages however I didn’t have enough laps to make up any further time. The bike was great and I could feel my confidence coming back with each lap. I just need some time on the bike now to get the best from it. The drastic changes have improved the bike immensely however it’s completely different to ride in every aspect so I just need to continue working on this.
To finish both races and have a bike capable of winning is a great feeling. I know I can compete for race wins as I have done this before and we are on our way back. It really has been a tough period but I want to thank my loyal sponsors for sticking by me and also the lads in the team who work faultlessly as they want the results just as much as me. I really do feel humbled that I have such support and I can’t wait to repay the faith. We will test now before Cadwell so we can be up at the sharp end come the race in August.
I go away on holiday to Cyprus on 18th July which is my first holiday in four years. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to this and it will mean I am even fresher for the next round!
Once again thank you so much for all those that keep the faith in me.
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