BSB | Snetterton 300
Snetterton 300 on the 19th -21st of June, it was set to be a good weekend. Seeing as I had never ridden the 300 layout before I knew I had my work cut out. We were guessing on the set up and I had to learn the lines rapidly. However I was still hoping for a top ten result to retain or even improve on my 5th in championship.
Free Practice- 9:00am and the sun was out, track temperature was rising and I was feeling excited to get back on the bike. With a few laps of the circuit cycled and I had 25minutes to learn the circuit and get my head up to speed. My aim for this session was to just figure out some lines and get a feel for what the bike was doing. As the pit exit opened 46 of us charged out on track, once I had completed my out lap the track felt flowing and fast. After doing my first 10 minutes of the session at a steady pace I then just picked the pace up gradually. I had decided not to come into the pits as I needed as many laps as possible. With the session having 6 minutes to go I wanted to put in some consecutive fast laps to get a feel for what the bike was doing, I found it was difficult to get some of the corners lines right so I knew going in to Qualifying I had something to work on. The session came to a close I ended up 22nd, this didn’t bother me as I knew I had lots left to give and I mostly lots left in the bike. So after a post practice debrief we made a few little changes to the front end and I had in my head where I needed to improve, by analysing the sector times I could see the infield sections was where I was the slowest so I aimed to work on those areas the most for Qualifying 1.
Qualifying 1 - With changes made and a few different things to try like lines, braking points and corner exit speed. The session started, I planned to put in a banker lap just in case anything happened with the weather. With 25minutes I put in my first flying lap within 5 minutes of the session. As the timed ticked down I worked on many different things to improve my lap time. 10minutes of the session left and I went for a quick lap, hitting every apex and running much more corner speed than the whole session I put in a time to put me 15th. After this lap I gathered my thoughts and went again with 6 minutes to go. As I entered turn 3, palmers, I hit the same line as previous laps but suddenly the front folded underneath me at around 100mph, I slid out the way but when the bike hit the grass it flipped and barrel rolled leaving the bike in a big mess. I knew immediately we had lots of work to do. After assessing the damage it was apparent lots of parts of the bike were bent. With the session ending prematurely for me I ended up 17th which was disappointing and I knew if we could get the bike fixed I had to make some time up.
Qualifying 2 - After spending 15 hours on the bike to get it ready we had found lots of damage. After analysing the sector times I could see I had improved in the infield section gaining around half a second, but then I was losing the most of the time in the last sector. After the crash I was on the back foot, this session I wanted to make sure the bike was ok and everything was straight. With using the first ten minutes of the session ensuring the bike was ok I didn’t have long to post a faster time than qualifying one. Unfortunately I was struggling out of the corners with getting good drive. As the session ended I didn’t go any faster and I dropped lots of positions to 26th. I was very disappointed with this but I kept positive and tried to work out where I was losing all the time. We changed the gearing to try and give me more punch out of the corners; with warm up in the morning our plan was to try it before the race.
Race- annoyingly just before warm up we had a sprinkle of rain meaning it was waste of time and we couldn’t try the gearing before the race so we took a gamble. Starting from 26th I knew in order to move up the pack I needed to have a good start and first lap. The lights went out and I made a good jump and passed two riders on the row in front of me. As we plunged in to turn 2 we all bunched up and everyone swapped positions. With a clean first lap I gained a few positions and settled down in to a rhythm, as the race progressed I found myself in battle for 18th but we kept tripping each other up and costing each of us time. As the rider in 18th gradually slipped away a group of 5 of us battled for 19th. With the closing stages of the race approaching I tried to work my way through them but with the slipstream effect working so well at Snetterton it was hard to make the break. As the last lap came upon us I was sitting in 23rd and chasing down 22nd, unfortunately I wasn’t in a position to make a move so I ended up in a disappointing 23rd .
This was far from the result I expected coming in to the weekend, but with weekends like this you have to take away the positives. So we know move on to Knockhill, 500 miles from where I live. Another track I haven’t been too so I don’t know what to expect, however I will be giving it 110% as always. Thank you very much too all my sponsors for their support I hope to get some good results to repay them with.