I arrived at Mallory Park on Thursday night ready for testing Friday morning, I went out on four sessions and tried to get a feel for the circuit again. A couple of changes were made as the bike wasn’t performing as well as I’d hoped, Once complete this allowed me to get ready for qualifying on Saturday morning.
Qualifying in the morning and I felt nervous but good about how I’d performed on the test day, I managed to get a 1:00.551, this gave me a grid position of second to last but I was really happy as my fastest time last year was 1:00.600. This meant I had already beat my fastest lap time from last year but was still aiming for my sub one minute lap.
I had a really good start, I overtook a few riders from the start but unfortunately it didn't take long to loose those places again, there was an incident on track and the race had to be stopped and restarted, this then became an eight lap race rather than ten, again I had a really good start taking a few bikes, I held position until Edwina’s chicane where everyone bunches up close together, I lost a couple of places due to riders out breaking each other, I spent the rest of this race frustrated as I was being held up. I constantly tried to get past people but with no luck, I still felt good though as I was on the pace but didn't have enough to break my sub minute target, I ended the race sixth in class with a lap time of 1:01.048 ! A bit disappointed but I saw the checkered flags at the end and managed to stay within the 7.5% of the fastest racer which meant I could gain another race signature towards my road race licence. I did not expect that so even though it was an extremely frustrating race it had a massive positive outcome of it at the end.
I felt I needed to push to hold my position but there was a stalled bike on grid, I only just missed him, this enabled riders to get past me, I had more drama later when a bike in front of me high-sided in the middle of Devils Elbow, I nearly came to a stand still and almost ran over the poor guy, I just missed him but had to push to catch the back of the pack again, I did one further lap and at the same place as before a broken down bike crossed directly in front of me pulling off the track, this held me up yet again but I still cracked on and tried to catch the back riders, I got lapped by the lead racers on lap 7 or 8 and grabbed a tow from them to drag me forward and by the last couple of corners I tagged onto the back of the last rider finishing again 6th in class with a lap time of 1:00.535. A little quicker than the first race but still not good enough for that sub minute goal.
I had a good start from the line and tried to hold my race position into the chicane but lost places, I spent the rest of the race trying to re gain positions but with no joy, in the last 2 corners of the race I was lapped which I was gutted about because I was only a couple seconds away from having a full race not being overtaken. this is a massive goal for me this year. again I finished 6th in class.
As I came into Parc Ferme. Toni from the podium asked if I was still about? I came forwards and she announced that I had broke the sub minute barrier !
I was ecstatic that I had finally managed to do it. I couldn't wait to have a look at my lap sheet, my lap time was 59.818 so managed to brake the barrier that I really needed to get past, I also gained another signature to my road racing licence, in one race I managed to get everything I wanted ticked off my dream list.
I had a really good start but on lap one going into lap two Ryan Strafford and George Pycroft came together down the extremely fast start finish straight, the race got stopped and restarted luckily the injury's sustained were minimal for the speed they were doing. I hope both riders have a quick recovery and all of us at Chris Ganley Racing hope to see you back at Donington for the next round.
The race was restarted but shortened to an 8 lap race, once again I had a really good start managing to hold my position, I even gained a position coming up into the chicane where I always seem to loose positions but as soon as I got past Brad Davey he managed to gain it straight back off me, I know Brad Davey is a fast and consistent rider so if I can finish just behind him means a lot. I also managed to finish 5th in class and was told 8 of my 10 laps were sub one minute, but the first few laps of every race everyone is tightly together until everyone starts to spread out so again even more of an achievement, my fastest lap was 59.651, once again I was faster, not by much but its all going in the right direction.
To sum up the whole weekend at times was extremely frustrating but with really good results I took just under a second off my best lap time and got two more signature towards my dream of riding in the Isle Of Man TT