Race 1: 2nd Race 2: 5th Championship position: 2nd (31 points) To be fair, all I had to do was make it to the grid for the weekend to be better than last year! The first race was difficult, it was quite cold and I got a terrible start which put me down to about tenth and with it being so cold I didn’t want to rush back through, I was trying to look after the tyre and make moves when they were coming. There were people making a few mistakes and I capitalised on some of those and then in the last couple of laps it all got a bit close! Brad made a mistake at the esses and I thought that was my opportunity to nick the win, so I tried to pass the pair of them into the loop. I passed James and then thought ‘right, Brad is having it at the last corner!’ but it would have been one of those hero or zero manoeuvres and he’d ridden a really good race. We can’t win the championship here this weekend but we could certainly lose it, and the risk of wiping myself and another rider out wasn’t worth it so I took the podium points! Before race two, I said to the team that the last two young riders who have won their first races have gone on to do the double! I so badly wanted race two to be a dry race as I had a great first race and finished three tenths off the win. I started on the front row for race two so my objective was to go one better, but I had a sneaky feeling Brad was going to do the double but I didn’t want to let that into my head as I wanted to win myself! I made a few mistakes, I ran wide a few times, touched the damp parts of the track a few times and it was particularly unforgiving and in the end we had to settle for a fifth place. A second and a fifth has put us second in the championship when this time last year I didn’t even know what circuit I was at, so I can’t be too unhappy! Brands Hatch is up next and while I’m not a huge fan of the Indy circuit, it was where I won my first race with the Panigale. We’ve had some issues there in the past so we’ll have to work hard from the early sessions, but hopefully we’ll get some good weather to do that!
ROUND 1: DONINGTON PARK