My Fireblade had a misfire on Friday, so I didn’t get out in the morning. You can’t give these riders and inch so it didn’t help to miss a session. It turns out to be a bug in the laptop that we use to download the telemetry data and reprogram the ECU.
When I did get out I was still lacking a bit of front end confidence in the new Showas. Everything is about front end confidence. Racing’s all in your head. You’ve got to have confidence. But we kept plugging away and improving it. The team’s suspension man, Javier from ProShock, is a top fella and he’s getting his head around these new Showas as well.
I qualified 19th and got up to 15th in the first race. Hard work for one point.
As I rolling out of pitlane for race two the misfire came back. We’d changed the gearing and someone had plugged in the laptop again to remap the ECU. I had to start from the back of the grid, 32nd place, because I didn’t get out in time to take my place on the gird. I was up to 16th when they red flagged the race for a crash. On the restart they gave me 16th and I managed to get up to 9th in the end. It’s good to be in the top ten. It’s where I need to be.
And it could have been worse. The red flag was out for my old team-mate, and my best friend out of all the racers, Karl Harris. He had a hell of an accident when Tom Sykes’ flying Suzuki hit him in the face. It was like a Looney Toons accident. People who saw it on TV thought he was a goner, but he’s so hard he got up and walked to the ambulance. Legend.
We’re definitely getting there and we’re improving all the time. We’re moving forward with each session and now I’m riding the bike rather than the other way around! The changes we made in the morning were a step in the right direction for the first race and we made it a little bit better for the second race.
The second race set-up was a lot closer to where I wanted to be so I’ve got to say a big thank you to the team – especially Warren, Kate and James – for all their work as I put them through it a bit this weekend. Rome wasn’t built in a day but the second race was a lot more like it and I really enjoyed myself out there – I was revving all the way!
See you at Oulton on May 3-5. Come say hello.